Hartford Men United’s Community Involvement
In recent years, of the church. Such demonstrations have been manifested by distribution of clothing and toiletries to men’s shelters and nursing home facilities, monthly visits to local correctionalHartford Men United (HMU) has demonstrated its commitment to service beyond the walls facilities, leading praise and worship services at Detroit Rescue Mission, visiting and ministering with residents of Wayne County Juvenile Detention Center and serving as mentors with Big Brothers-Big Sisters.
Three years ago, HMU decided to do its part to fill the void resulting from the absence of Black Christian men in the daily lives of many young people. With the cooperation of DPS officials, HMU adopted Ella Fitzgerald School to implement its Men of Presence initiative. The idea was to be present greeting the students when school opened, to be present during lunch, at recess and during dismissal. The hope was that the presence and interaction with mature, adult, Christian Black men would induce an improved level of order and civility. A more orderly environment always provides a better opportunity for learning and teaching.
Three years later, by God’s grace, order, civility and MEAP scores have all shown significant improvement. The cooperation between HMU volunteers and a new, dedicated, no-nonsense principal have all contributed to the improvements at Fitzgerald. HMU further showed its sincerity by counseling with individual students, paying for painting of the schools hallways, purchasing team uniforms, attending basketball games and purchasing clothing for some of the students. Most gratifying is that many of the students have expressed appreciation for the Men of Presence.
Building on its success, HMU will launch a tutorial project for 5th-8th grade students of Fitzgerald Elementary School focusing on development of consistent study habits and reinforcement in basic academic skills i.e. reading, language arts skills and math.
Recently, HMU shared its Men of Presence experiences while fellowshipping with members of Trinity Baptist Church Men’s Ministry. Trinity’s men have since established their own Men of Presence initiative at a local Pontiac elementary school. To God be the Glory!