By Missy Wright
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 4, 2016) -- At Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, the children’s director, Christa Wagstaff, and the director of discipleship, Missy Wright, were collaborating on a mission project. Their goal was to create something for the children and congregation to do during Jesus' birthday party.
When they saw a Facebook post about "blessing bags" for homeless people, an idea was born. Christa and Missy decided to look into making blessing bags for homeless children in the community. They contacted the homeless coordinator for Johnson City schools to learn what items would be helpful for these children.
An appeal was made to the congregation to bring in items for the Wesley Memorial children to assemble at the party. "Thirty bags would be great!" said Christa and Missy. The whole church got behind the idea, and children along with adults brought in many, many items for the bags.
In the end, the children completed a total 83 bags. Some were stuffed at the party and the rest were stuffed on Sunday mornings throughout the month of December.
The blessing bags included kids' toiletries, washcloths, hairbrushes, combs, tissues, hand sanitizers, and toys. Items were placed in a zip-lock bag and delivered to Johnson City Schools' homeless coordinator to give to children as needed.
The homeless coordinator was thrilled! Wesley Memorial children learned the a lot from this experience and were excited to help assemble the blessing bags. One parent told of how she took her kids shopping with the suggested list of items and how excited they were to select gifts for other children.
This is one way that Wesley Memorial is working to "bring it home, Holston."
To learn more about Holston Conference's mission for local children in poverty, visit WaytoGive.Holston.org.