WARREN - Members and participants in the annual Hoops for Homework program offered by Mind, Body and Soul thanked Pastor Joe Chinchilla for his more than three years of working with the program.
Hoops for Homework helps provide assistance to Warren City Schools students in various subject areas.
Troy Woods, program director, said the weekly program that meets at North-Mar Church, received a $16,018 community development block grant that helps with funding for supplies, equipment and other needed materials for the program, which is in its fifth year.
The program was started to provide after-school remedial assistance for students.
Chinchilla and his wife, Melanie, will be leaving shortly for missionary work in Berlin, Germany.
Woods said Chinchilla was one of the first to take part and help with the program.
"This will be a challenge for us but we are up to the challenge.We will evangelize and share our faith with those in Germany," Chinchilla said.
Woods said Chinchilla has helped the program to grow.
"I know that his help and experience will help us to continue to grow,'' he said. "It is hard to see him leave, but we appreciate all he has done for the program.''
Chinchilla said he will miss the students. "This program has really made a difference for so many children. It has been very gratifying," he said.
Nancy Beda, a volunteer in the program, said Chinchilla was very inspiring and encouraging.
"For me, I was impressed how he encouraged me to take part in the program," she said.
Woods said a Saturday entrepreneurship program is also offered for children in third grade and older, giving students a chance to apply what they have learned. One program is cake decorating, which includes a bake sale and writing an essay.