Loida Spiro is grateful for her mother and The United Methodist Church (UMC). Her mother was a hardworking waitress who dreamed that her daughter would attend college. The UMC provided a scholarship through the Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) that made her dreams of higher education a reality.
Loida's mother, who is 97 years old and still living, worked hard all of her life. Her waitress salary allowed the family to get by, but a degree seemed out of reach. The $500 Gift of Hope scholarship funded by the United Methodist Student Day Sunday offering, Loida received from the UMC actually paid for both semesters of her tuition at the time. Her mom scrimped to send Loida $15 a week for food and other expenses.
"The first year I was able to work, but as the nursing classes got more difficult and practicums were expected, it became difficult to also work. There were times my roommate and I were hungry, but we managed," said Loida. "Not long ago, my mom told me that one month she didn't have $15 to send to me, so mom tried to hock her watch. When the person found out why, they gave her the money and told her to keep the watch. Words can't describe how much I appreciate my mom and how grateful I am to the church."
Recently, Loida made a point to give back to the organization that helped her make her dreams a reality. She decided to make a donation to the Gift of Hope scholarship, provided through the Office of Loans and Scholarships at GBHEM. "My husband had a successful construction business, and I have been so blessed. I just knew I needed to return the blessing that I'd received years ago as a way to thank The United Methodist Church for believing in me."
Providing scholarship funding is one of the best ways The United Methodist Church can show its commitment to preparing global leaders for a global church and world. The Rev. Dr. Karen Layman Gift of Hope Endowment fund provides scholarships to undergraduate students who are already leaders in the UMC, and who will continue to lead once they graduate.
The United Methodist Scholarship and Loan Programs are a churchwide educational service providing scholarships and loans to help supplement the financial needs of today's students. Funding for these scholarships and loans are provided through offerings, wills, annuities, and other designated gifts.
Loida served as a nurse, then went on to obtain master's and doctorate degrees and later taught nursing at a university. She is now retired and is in the process of publishing a children's book entitled, "And All The Wild Animals Play."
You can help make dreams possible for others by making a gift or establishing an endowment fund to live on through others.
Bruce Blumer, Executive Director of Development, UMC Development Center
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Student Day calls the church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. The special offering provides scholarships for qualified United Methodist applicants.
When you give generously on United Methodist Student Day, you support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. Give now.