By Candice Lee
(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) — Jan. 15, 2016 — The WMU Foundation will grant a greater number of college scholarships to missionary kids (MKs) this year, thanks to two estate gifts totaling $65,000. The Foundation recently received the gifts and will add them to the endowments that support MK scholarships. The WMU Foundation currently offers scholarships for International Mission Board and North American Mission Board MKs.
“We know college tuition can be a real challenge for missionary families,” explains David George, WMU Foundation president. “WMU has a long history of supporting MKs, and we will do everything in our power to provide as much scholarship support to as many qualified applicants as possible.”
Over the past 20 years, the WMU Foundation has granted scholarships to more than 400 MKs. The number of applicants has increased in recent years, and many MKs who apply are turned down only because the funding is not available.
“If people knew our MKs were in need, they would step up to the plate and give. I just don’t think they’re aware,” said Kerri Johnson, NAMB missionary and WMU Foundation board member.
In an October 2015 meeting, WMU Foundation board members affirmed their support for MKs by committing to raise additional funding for scholarships. The board also made the decision to accept scholarship applications from MKs whose parents accepted IMB’s voluntary retirement incentive (VRI).
“Our board made it clear that we will accept applications from MKs whose families took the VRI,” explains George. “We still consider these children MKs.”
While the estate gifts provide a needed boost, additional funding is needed. “I am so grateful for the estate gifts that will provide additional scholarship support, but we’ll still have to turn down some deserving MKs who apply this year for no other reason than lack of funds,” says George.
While the WMU Foundation offers a variety of scholarships for MKs, the Julia C. Pugh scholarship is the most widely used because it can support both IMB and NAMB MKs.
“When people want to support MK scholarships but aren’t sure where to give, I usually direct them to the Pugh scholarship because it’s a great way to help international and North American missionary families,” says Linda Lucas who administers the WMU Foundation’s scholarship program.
To learn more about making a gift to MK scholarships or for scholarship applications, visit wmufoundation.com.