I’ve been watching with joy and a bit of awe over the last few weeks as so many people from our church prepared and then served a meal to Edwards Elementary students and their families. Five different families came and left with a full stomach, a bag of food for their homes, and free books for the kids. We didn’t know how many to expect. Since it was a new idea, our team was ready for more. To me, this is just right at the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus: ready to serve, not sure of the results, trusting that being willing was the true measure of obedience.
Days before the cooking started, Susan Hampton shopped in bulk for the meal’s ingredients. On Monday, December 29, I watched from the sidelines (not wanting to infect anyone with my Christmas cold) as Susan Ankeny took the lead, serving with many volunteers in the kitchen. Di Murphy and Debbie Doolin gave books away. Fairlight Morelli, Ginny Birky, Elizabeth Sherwood, Nancy Fawver, Elyse Fawver, Aubrey Koskela, Scott Ankeny, Don and Jane Huwe, Sharon Hubbell, and Kirsti Doolin served and cooked and cleaned.
The whole thing started with a request weeks ago from Edwards Elementary, wondering if a church in the area might be willing to offer a meal during the Christmas Break when regular systems of help weren’t available. Elizabeth Sherwood met with several at the school and in the community, figured out a plan, and then mobilized the many willing volunteers. People such as Lori Allen took charge of various parts: collecting oatmeal or books or canned food. For a couple of weeks in the office, we watched countless people drop things off in Barclay C. On Sunday, December 28, Erinn and Ron Hampton’s and Bethany and Brian Lee’s families stayed after church to organize all the donations into bags to be distributed.
All of the meal leftovers went to Zion Lutheran Church, to serve at the warming shelter they are hosting this week. The extra (non-perishable) food bags will be distributed next Friday at Edwards Elementary via YCAP.
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed! I don’t mean to minimize the ones I haven’t mentioned…each person who donated or gave time or money made a difference, and we are grateful! Perhaps the best part of this experience is that we now have open doors with the principal and the counselor at Edwards…and who knows what future opportunities to serve this will bring?