project leader
Kayla S
location
E. Fayette Street
(Syracuse, NY )
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the project

Brunch N Bible Study is a community initiative for women ages 21-40 in the urban lower class of Syracuse, NY. With a tasty brunch as the backdrop, Brunch N Bible Study Brunch N Bible Study provides a safe space for women to explore their spirituality and mental health through the lens of fellowship and sisterhood. We help women by providing monthly resources by way of in person meetings, community building activities and weekly correspondence and accountability of the members. While Bible Study is the over-arching theme of this initiative, the ultimate goal of Brunch N Bible Study is Community, Connection, and Accountability. In addition to exploring spirituality and mental health, Brunch N Bible Study features local special guest speakers, team-building activities, self-care awareness, and group outings. The space also provides a platform for women to promote their businesses, organizations, and any personal initiatives they are pursuing. 

Graciously, Brunch N Bible Study has been active since it's start in March of 2023. We have been meeting every month since then. The meetings have been successful with 10-15 women attending each meeting. After the first meeting in March, the participants were eager to know when the next one would be and how they could get involved. By our 2nd meeting in April women were volunteering their time and contributing food for brunch. Currently, we've expanded our leadership with 2 new women agreeing to lead discussions and activities in 2023. 

With the year coming to an end, myself and my team are looking for new funding opportunities to continue our our efforts with Brunch N Bible Study and the impact it's making on the women in our community. The funding provided by donors will specifically go to covering material costs for monthly meetings and activities at those meetings. It will also cover group outing costs, t-shirts, and venue rentals. Some of our long term goals for 2024 include creating a new chapter of Brunch N Bible Study in another city. Additionally, we hope to provide online resources and a membership forum for remote participants and engagement. 

the steps

January 2024: Kickoff Brunch N Bible Study 2024 1st meeting.  (This meeting and February's meeting are already prepped and ready to go as far as materials, rental costs etc) 

February 2024 - Cash in hand from donations, grants etc. 

-Pay for venue rental costs for March - December 2024 

-Purchase materials for March- December 2024 

-Purchase T-shirts for new BNB members 

-Begin process of creating resources and materials for online community 

May 2024 - Explore starting 2nd chapter of BNB in Western NY region 

why we're doing it

Over the years, but more-so in the past year specifically, I’ve encountered many women who have gone through life changing circumstances, trauma, and struggles in their spiritual walk. In encountering those women and dialoguing with them, there seemed to be two common themes: 

1. There’s not a safe space to heal and release spiritually, mentally, and emotionally outside of therapy or church. 

2.There’s a curiosity about spirituality, but many don’t feel comfortable or safe exploring it within the context of the traditional church or religion. 

I asked myself how do I create a safe and inviting space for women to explore spirituality without the constraints of religion and the traditional church setting? It’s so easy to place spirituality into those typical boxes and I wanted to I didn’t want women to feel like they had to be a part of something that resembled those boxes into order explore their spirituality and mental health. My goal was to also create a space for women to explore their mental health outside of the typical therapy session which may be daunting or not even accessible to the women in the lower class demographics of Syracuse NY.  I wanted this space to feel lighthearted and fun like going out with the girls for Sunday Brunch. 

There’s no denying that women love brunch - the exciting atmosphere, the fellowship, and most importantly the food. I thought it a great idea to merge spiritual exploration with this popular social phenomenon to remove Bible Study and spirituality from those typical religious constructs and place into an atmosphere that many women enjoy. I wanted a space where women could laugh and fellowship over a meal while also encouraging transparency and vulnerability to have the harder conversations. This is ultimately what birthed Brunch N Bible Study. 

Brunch N Bible Study addresses problems at the intersect of mental health and religion/spirituality. According to AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, Americans who lack religious affiliations have varying religious and spiritual beliefs. More than 43% say they believe in God or a higher power. The same consider themselves spiritual, but not religious. While this may be true, 88% have little or no trust in religious or spiritual leaders and 75% are wary of organized religion in general.More than 70% of adults in the U.S. say religion is important in their lives, and most patients want to discuss religion or spirituality during therapy. However, (80%) of psychologists say they received little to no training on addressing spiritual and religious issues during therapy. Additionally, there is a glaring economic burden when it comes to addressing mental health in urban lower class communities. 

Brunch N Bible Study is bigger than the traditional "Bible Study". It's open to women from all walks of life: religious, spiritual, God believing, atheists, whoever feels a need for community and sisterhood. It addresses spirituality through experience, explores mental health, and offers fellowship through a provided meal. It takes a task that is often daunting and religiously labeled and makes it inviting and interdisciplinary.

budget

Guest Speakers Honorariums @ $125 per (across 3 chapters/locations) = $750

120 piece plates, napkins, utensils @ $16.00 = $144

Group outing costs for 50 women (across 3 chapters/locations) = $1200

Activity supplies for 50 women (across 3 chapters) @ $10 per woman = $500

Catered brunch 2x a year (across the 2 chapters/locations) @$400 per = $800

Brunch N Bible Study T-Shirts @ $13 per T-shirt = $390

Venue rental costs @  $70 per month (one chapter/location) =$700

Total $4484

Estimated CP (Project Donations) $4,484.00

 

PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED $4,484.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee N/A $0.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee 4% $186.83
TOTAL TO RAISE $4,670.83
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  

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