By Michele McRoy
KINGSPORT, Tenn. (Nov. 4, 2015) -- It's hard to believe that a year has gone since Mafair United Methodist Church began our Kidz Helping Kidz mission project.
Our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders have embraced this project since day one. Last year we served 91 children from Lincoln Elementary School by purchasing food and putting together bags of nonperishable, healthy snacks for the kids to take home one weekend each month from August to April. This was a collaborative partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank. We coordinated our week of service based on Second Harvest's schedule.
Our Mafair children understood that taking on this mission project would require them to raise money for purchasing the food every month. They eagerly participated in several projects throughout the year, including parking cars and selling drinks for the July 4 parade, selling calendars, and preparing and serving Wednesday-night dinners at Mafair.
The nights that we gathered to assemble the snack bags were always a wonderful time of worship and fellowship. We had an average of eight to 10 kids helping with several adults assisting. The bags were delivered to Lincoln on Thursday or Friday prior to the weekend, then distributed to the students at the end of the school day.
Even though assembling the bags was the highlight of the week for the Mafair children, they fully understood the purpose behind it: to show Christ's love to the Lincoln children, even though the process was anonymous to the kids being served. Our children learned firsthand was it's like to be true servants. They were definitely blessed to be a blessing.
The comments from the guidance counselor at Lincoln Elementary were positive and uplifting. I was told the bags were helpful to all students who received them, but especially to those who are home alone or living in hotels. She was asked by certain students on a regular basis when the food bags would arrive. She mentioned one student who would keep her bag under her bed so that she could eat something before bedtime. She said it helped her sleep better.
The whole process was a joy for all participants at Mafair. The entire congregation was behind the ministry from the start. I pray it will continue for many years to come.
Mafair "Kidz Helping Kidz" project is a recipient of a 2015 Hunger and Poverty Grant from the Outreach/Advocacy Team.
To learn more about Holston Conference's mission focus on local children in poverty, visit WaytoGive.Holston.org.