Current Status: Alumni
Graduation Year: BS '93, MBA '02, MA '16
Carol Matthews’ (BS ’93, MBA ’02, MA ’16) passion for fulfilling the Great Commission has manifested in her life as Bestowing Hope Ministries (BHM), which serves incarcerated women, underserved individuals and families throughout the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding counties. Carol founded BHM in 2011 as an outreach ministry in partnership with a South African nonprofit to provide funds which helped build a preschool for children whose parents live with HIV-AIDS. Six years later, BHM became an approved 501c3 nonprofit, and expanded its mission to include those in need right here in California.
Through BHM, financial supporters and volunteers work to reach those who may feel hopeless. One of their primary outreaches is a local prison ministry, specifically the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Chino, CA. As a result of generous contributions, Bestowing Hope Ministries was able to provide Bibles and other materials to the entire inmate population at CIW.
“It is the responsibility of those of us that enjoy our freedom to take the Gospel to those who are unlikely to hear of God’s grace without volunteers who take the time, effort, and expense of being God’s hands and feet on earth,” shares Carol. “We minister to incarcerated women to help them establish a relationship with Jesus for themselves. So many of the women in prison are just like our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, and friends and they also need guidance, love, support, and above all they need Jesus just like we do.”
Bestowing Hope Ministries also partners with other organizations to help the homeless population and local senior citizens with food and other necessities, particularly during the holidays.
One of the local beneficiaries is Patricia who lives alone, aside from her furry companion. "I am so very grateful for the food that has been provided, because I live on Social Security alone. All the food provided, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has been a blessing from our Heavenly Father. In fact, the food in the Thanksgiving basket lasted for two months! I am so very grateful that Bestowing Hope Ministries has continually given to me without the expectation of anything in return; it truly has been a blessing,” Patricia shared of her experience with BHM.
Carol embodies her statement, “I believe that we, as God’s people, are the Church. It is not a building or place that people go to on a weekly basis. We are responsible for taking the Gospel to everyone in our sphere of influence!”