Quarterly News & Updates                               December 2016
Letter from our Executive Director - Cathy Capo Stone

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,
I hope this note finds you and those you love looking forward to a holiday season full of joy and hope as you celebrate the birth of Christ.
Here at Cornerstone many of the families of the children we serve are holding on to hope for a brighter future this holiday season. Because of your support of our ministry, they are not alone in their struggle to find a pathway out of poverty. Your gifts make it possible for us to care for their children with nutritious food, early childhood education and the love of Christ as parents go to work or school to break the cycle of poverty.  Read More

Enclosed are some success stories that we share to inspire you as you enter into the most holy of seasons and the New Year.  Also enclosed in this newsletter are some needs and challenges that we hope you will keep in prayer and share with those you know who can help.
May you and those you love enjoy a blessed Christmas!
In His Service,
Cathy Capo Stone
Executive Director
P.S.  Please lift up our 2017 Prayer List and share it with people you know who will also pray and help. 2017 Prayer List
Wonder Walk 2017 - SAVE THE DATE
Come join Cornerstone Family Ministries Annual Wonder Walk.   This is an event for all ages and abilities for a good cause. The event is a prayer walk and fundraiser to raise scholarship funds and pray for the nearly 20,000 babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school aged children served by Cornerstone. The scholarships raised at Wonder Walk provide quality early childhood education and nutritious food to children living below the poverty level and attending the Rosa Valdez Early Learning Center and Lab School located in the inner-city of Tampa. Cornerstone is a United Methodist Women founded ministry and has been a beacon of hope for children and families in the Tampa Bay region for over 120 years.

For more information about how your group can participate email
Carrie Brown, Director of Community Support at cbrown@cornerstonefm.org or call her at 813-253-3853 x301
For making a difference in our community through CFM.
Leslie Berlin - Retiring Board President (L) and Margaret Masters - Retiring Board Treasurer (R)
A Legacy of Leadership & Service...

In October, Cornerstone celebrated the leadership and service of two women who have served their term limit on Cornerstone's Board of Directors.  Leslie Berlin and Margaret Masters served during a time when their leadership was most needed.  Their leadership was instrumental in the rebuilding of Cornerstone's programs and a renewed emphasis on impacting the lives of economically disadvantaged children throughout the Tampa Bay area with nutritious food, early childhood education and connections to the hope found in Christ through the local church.   Read More

Thank You Leslie and Margaret for your service!

New Board Leadership for 2017...
Eric Stone
Board President

Hilary Rain
Board Treasurer

Jeff Gold
New Board Member

Julie Ramga

New Board Member

For a complete list of Cornerstone's Board of Directors and Cornerstone's Committee members, click here  .

Volunteer Spotlight:  Ruth Cormier
At eighty-three-years-old, Ruth Cormier is one busy woman.  She is a busy grandmother and a member and volunteer at St. Andrew's UMC where she is also the resource secretary for their UMW unit, president of her UMW circle and member of Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality (HOPE). With all this, she also manages to volunteer two full days a week at Cornerstone's Rosa Valdez Early Learning Center and Lab School as the school's administrative assistant. Read More

There are multiple volunteer opportunities at The Rosa Valdez Early Learning Center as well as the Children's Nutrition Connection Offices. To find out how you can volunteer, please click here.
Cornerstone's 2nd Annual Top Golf Fundraising Event
Cornerstone Family Ministries held its second annual Child's Chance 4 Change Super Hero Top Golf Challenge on Friday, October 14th. Each C4 Super Hero Sponsor donated $2,232, the equivalent of an annual scholarship for a child attending the Rosa Valdez Early Learning Center and Lab School.  Each sponsor had the opportunity to have a state-of-the-art golfing experience with up to five guests. There were also "Lone Hero" opportunities for individual golfers as well. A lunch buffet, prizes for best and worst scores, 50/50 raffle, and silent auction were also included in the festivities.  A great time was had by all for a great cause. Read More
Thank you to all those who participated, donated and sponsored this event. The event raised just over 27 scholarships! Many Thanks To All Of Our Donors and Volunteers
Fall Festival Fun! 
celebrating the season  and preparing for Jesus' birthday...

Rosa Valdez Early Learning Center & Lab School Fall Festival
The Rosa Valdez Early Learning Center Fall Festival is always a fun day on campus for the children we serve, their families, staff, volunteers and others engaged with Cornerstone Family Ministries. This year's annual celebration held on Friday, October 28th did not disappoint. The bounce house was the place to be as the inflatable structure was filled with the laughter of children as they wobbled around while holding on to the sides, and fell with abandon. Each class created booths with games appropriate for a variety of ages, face painting and plenty of yummy treats including popcorn, snow cones, and caramel apple slices. Trying to emphasis healthy snacks, nutrition coordinator, Shawndre Marshall, created adorable pumpkins made from peeled, whole mandarin oranges each with a celery stick for a stem-all the healthy treats were a big hit. Parents, grandparents and children alike enjoyed and danced to music provided by our volunteer DJ "Can't Get Right" Joe Mitchell.Read More
Where Are They Now:  
Carlos Diaz, Rosa Valdez ELC Alumni

Eighty-two-year-old Carlos Diaz has been a resident of the Old West Tampa neighborhood where Rosa Valdez Early Childhood Learning Center and Lab School is located for most of his life. Once his grandparent's home, Carlos has lived in a house just a few blocks down the street from the Rosa Valdez Center since his eldest son was two. It wasn't until recently however, that Carlos decided to stop by "Rosa" and reacquaint himself with the school he attended and loved as a young child. It was back in the late 1930's that Carlos' mother worked in a local cigar factory, and his grandmother used to walk him to the Rosa Valdez Center where he remembers playing games and being given a blanket when it was naptime.

If you know someone who graduated from the Rosa Valdez Early Learning Center in old West Tampa or someone who graduated from the Wolff Center Settlement in Ybor or someone who served at either of these facilities, email their information to Cathy Stone at cstone@cornerstonefm.org .  We would love to feature their story in an upcoming newsletter.
Serving More Children and Engaging More Partners
UMW Action Day:  The Ubuntu Journey
South Central District UMW Action Day at Cornerstone
October 1st was a clear, bright and brisk fall morning when over 50 United Methodist Women from throughout the Tampa Bay area came ready to serve the Ybor City neighbors and bless 200 pre-schoolers through their service. This long awaited "Action Day" started as a spark when some of the women participated in a 2014 United Methodist Women General Assembly Ubuntu event in Louisville, Kentucky. Ubuntu roughly translated means "human kindness." It is an idea from the Southern African region which means literally "human-ness," and is often translated as "humanity toward others," but is often used to mean "a universal bond of sharing connects all humanity". It is this Ubuntu philosophy partnered with the group's life verse from Matthew 5:3-4 that drives United Methodist Women in the Tampa Bay area to embrace social justice issues and put their faith into love and action. As a result, in a few hours on this very special day in October, these dedicated women of all ages helped Cornerstone start two ground breaking efforts:  An annual food distribution to Ybor City families and the kick-off of a weekend snack program called Care Packages for Kids.   Read More

St Andrews UMC Jesus Walk Mission Fair

Manhattan Ave UMW Serving

Vivian Hart prays for children as she distributes Care Packages

Care Packages for Kids Collection Delivered

Cornerstone Family Ministries' vision is that all disadvantaged children in our community will have access to nutritious food, quality safe early childhood care education and opportunities to connect to the sustaining love of Jesus Christ through a local church.  While accomplished using a variety of outreach programing like nutritious food and early literacy, equipping churches....your church...to connect in mission with the children we serve is the heartbeat of what we do.
We would like to express a heartfelt, "thank you" to the various faith groups who, over the last quarter, collected much needed items such as diapers, wipes, clothing, shoes, and jackets, who invited us to participate in an event at your church such as a missions fair or opportunity to speak to members.  In addition many groups came to the Rosa Valdez Early Learning Center and Lab School for a "day on campus" where they either took a quick tour as they dropped off donations, or participated in Friday morning chapel, or volunteer in the classrooms, or helped  beautify our facility.  Others visited our Children's Nutrition Connection in Ybor City and packed weekend food for our care packages for kids program or sorted and packaged books for our early literacy outreach program.
We invite you and your faith group to share the sustaining love of Jesus Christ through your local church by hosting a meal site, collecting items, and/or coming for a day of service. We have many needs and opportunities and welcome the chance to share with others the wonderful things that are happening within our ministry to make a lasting and positive impact in the lives of young children through the love of Jesus Christ.
As you do your Christmas gift giving and celebrating, consider making a gift that will help a child at Cornerstone...

In the News...
Latoria Grinder and her son Benjamin
Click Here To Watch:  WTVT Faith In Action - September 11, 2016

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