Times Square, synonymous with New York City, got a special visit from Metro World Child Sunday School Program on June 9, 2021. As part of celebrations for the reopening of New York City, the New York Police Department invited Metro World Child (Metro) to bring good fun and joy to the streets.
Metro's staff members dressed in bright neon T-shirts, distributed candies and fliers and had several highly engaging sessions from their iconic yellow Metro sidewalk truck at the center of Times Square. There were interactive games, Bible stories, prayer and raffles for a TV, a laptop and a hoverboard as part of the celebration. Several hundred children and adults from all over the world participated in their programs.
Some former Metro kids joined the celebration. Veronica Jimenez, now a women's conference speaker, who attended Metro's program 40 years ago when she was 12 years old, said, "Attending Metro's program was the only happy memory I had growing up in an abusive environment in Brooklyn. I can't imagine how my life would have turned out without it. I am so thrilled to see Metro is still serving the city today after 40 years." Quite a few locals came to the staff members to share their Metro stories from when they were children, including a security guard in Times Square.
The Rev. Dr. Bill Wilson, founder of Metro World Child, told the crowd in his opening address with the NYPD, "Metro continued to serve New York City during the pandemic through food pantry and online children's program. We are excited to celebrate the city reopening and ready to go back to the street to serve the kids!"
At 72 years old, still driving the school bus to pick up kids for Sunday school, Wilson said, "Out of my own painful experiences as a child, one man made a difference in my life, putting me on the path to do the same thing for children all over the world who are just like I was. That's what I've spent my entire adult life doing. I am grateful that I can continue to serve New York City and this great country I love."
About Metro World Child
Metro World Child is a global, faith-based humanitarian organization dedicated to serving children throughout New York City, various urban centers and rural communities around the world.
Metro World Child was founded in 1980 in Brooklyn, New York, by Wilson. His original passion when he moved to New York was to reach at-risk, inner-city children exposed to violence, crime, drugs, gangs, neglect and poverty. As someone who was abandoned himself at age 12 by his alcoholic mom on a street corner in St Petersburg, Florida, he knows the desperation of hopelessness at the young age. His heart was to reach children through high-impact, fun and exciting Sunday school services.
Now, 40 years later, Metro World Child is still headquartered in the heart of Brooklyn, reaching thousands of inner-city children and their families through fun and engaging Sunday school services, personal visitation and mentorship programs in the five boroughs of New York City. Before COVID, Metro served on average over 20,000 children in New York each week. Its global outreach now is much greater, though; Metro World is currently in a total of 13 countries, reaching over 250,000 children weekly. Metro World Child is now the largest Sunday school in the world.
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