Orphan Grain Train (OGT)

Malawi Load – March 2023

Our 4th container to Malawi is on its way:  The team was ‘put to the test,’ challenged with loading 204 metal-framed semi-upholstered chairs that required strength and coordination, to say nothing of all the walkers, canes, commodes, and bicycles! (Packed boxes were the easy part.) Everyone worked so hard the donuts were all eaten – a first for MAB

Recent Warehouse Service

Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center



Taking Measurements

What do mathematics, emotions, and homemade playdough have in common?  Last month they were the center of discussion at the Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center.  Center Youth Services Coordinator, Teresa Allen, says some elementary school scholars began their math studies with money. “Our 2nd and 3rd grade learners got to work with money, learning the names of coins and their value. They learned to add, subtract, and compare greater and less than concepts through fun engaging games and activities.”  

Meanwhile, Teresa says older learners concentrated on social learning and their emotions.  “We talked thru and played games, so that the youth would be able to identify consequences of their actions and understand how people can have opposing opinions about the same topic or incident.” Sounds like an excellent exercise for adults too!  

Lastly all the youth used play dough to learn about measurements.  “The children worked in small groups using various sizes of measurements such as cup, tablespoon, & teaspoon.  They customized their dough with food coloring and glitter.  What a fun month!”

Also last month, Hilltop welcomed two new staff members. Center Deputy Director, Brandon Furrowh says “the onboarding process has begun for our new Early Childhood Education Coordinator, Ms. Annette Fletcher. Ms. Fletcher stood out as an enthusiastic candidate who expressed high expectations for lesson plans and for providing care for our families. In addition to filling the Coordinator position,” Brandon says, “interviews took place and a candidate was chosen to fill the Family Service Worker vacancy. Ms. Cindi Turner returned to Hilltop as the Family Service Worker for New Directions Early Head Start.” A hearty Hilltop welcome to all!


Eric F. Mease

Member, Board of Directors

Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center.

Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center Annual Report 2022

In 2022, Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center marked its sixty-first year of operation. The Center has been providing programs and services to the community for over 6 decades! Despite remnants of the Covid-19 pandemic still creating challenges, we were able to maintain enrollment, retain staff, increase pay and offer bonuses for staff. In addition, we were able to provide bonuses for staff who retired with 20 years or more of service. I would like to personally thank Gordon and Fran Fisher for their vision for the Reverend Clarence and Helen Pettit Scholarship, for entrusting Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center to be good stewards of the funds, and for their continuous efforts in getting the word out to potential donors on the importance of contributing to the scholarship. The Scholarship Program supports student’s educational endeavors in accredited institutions, including four year and community colleges, trade schools, and secondary schools. Eight scholarships totaling $11,500 were awarded to this year’s recipients who attend Delaware State University, Neumann University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Delaware, University of Pittsburgh, and Villanova University.

In an effort to try to get back to where things were before the pandemic, programs and services were offered to more children and families in 2022! Participants were able to get out of the building to attend outings and to go on field trips! New collaborations were formed, and many partnerships were re-established. New partnerships included, Delaware Diagnostic Labs, University of Delaware Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), and Avi I.T. Inc. (STEM). We welcomed back the Foster Grandparent Program, Read-A-Loud, Scouts, and Stand By Me after Covid-19 forced us to limit the number of people entering the building. 

We would not have been able to achieve the success we did without the ongoing and increased support that we received from various donors and sponsors. The State of Delaware through Purchase of Care, Delaware Stars for Early Success, the Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) continued to be major contributors to agency operations. Our long-standing partnership with New Directions Early Head Start (NDEHS) allowed us to continue to provide comprehensive services to infants, toddlers, and their families. With additional funding from NDEHS, we were able to make enhancements to our infant/toddler playground to not only promote their health and safety, but to also assist with their coordination, motor skills, cognitive abilities, and social awareness. The United Way of Delaware and Grant in Aid also increased its support to enhance our learning pod and after-school programs and services for youth. 

Consistent with our founding and history, the Lutheran Churches continued to be the backbone of the center. Local Lutheran churches continued to provide financial support and active and diligent Board members. Funding from the Lutheran churches continued to enable us to provide medical benefits for full-time staff. Members of the local Lutheran churches provided over three hundred Thanksgiving baskets for Hilltop staff, families, and members of the greater community. They also continued an agency tradition of ensuring that every Hilltop participant receives clothing and a toy for Christmas. Funding from City of Wilmington’s Councilwoman Bregetta A. Fields and Herb and Marie Bollman was vital to the activities, programs and special events that were offered to Hilltop participants in 2022.   

We look forward to continued success in 2023. Some of our goals include continuity of program, staffing and funding. We will begin to obtain funding for the final addition on our existing property that will be completed during the 2024-2025 school year. The new addition will include additional classrooms and a very much needed full-size gym. Hilltop has operated with a half-sized gym since 1988.


Best Wishes,

Michelle J. Williams

Executive Director

Ministry of Caring, Inc. logo

Emmanuel Dining Room