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River of Life UMC joins effort to help abused and neglected children

River of Life UMC joins effort to help abused and neglected children

Conference News

The number of children removed from homes because of abuse and neglect is a problem that cries out for compassion and action.

In 2019  alone, state records show that 24,563 children in Florida were removed from their homes to protect their safety.  The reasons range from parents being addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, domestic violence in the home, and unemployment leading to a desperate lack of money..

​When children are removed from their homes, out of concern for their welfare, they are usually brought to the child welfare offices to await placement with a foster family.  This wait can be several hours to nearly a full day.

These children will often have nothing with them and are scared, lonely, hungry, dirty, and in desperate need of love and support.  A local organization called Isaiah 117 House is building a home in the Mandarin area near Jacksonville to provide a comfortable place for the children to wait for a placement that is full of friendly and loving volunteers.  

To support the mission of Isaiah 117 House, a joint project with River Oak Academy and River of Life United Methodist Church was developed to assist in making this experience a little less traumatic.  The students at River Oak Academy collected 24 backpacks and provided them to volunteers at River of Life UMC, who then filled the backpacks with hygiene and special items such as snacks, blankets, small toys, and notes reminding the children that they are loved.    

Isaiah 117 House will provide these filled backpacks to children who are removed from their homes to help make the transition a little easier. The project team of River Oak Academy and River of Life UMC provided 24 backpacks, but the contributions will continue with a focus on children who are the victims of abuse and making it easier to service more children in the local area because of this wonderful partnership.  

For more information on River of Life United Methodist Church please access our website at, For more information on Isiah 117 House, please visit