Sunday, July 15, 2012

Food Drive and Energy Express

Sharing Mercy in Morgan County, WV

For this morning's church service, I had two very important, super cool, totally awesome announcements to share with the church community.  And I blew it!

So, here I go, needing to send out an apology to the folks at FUMC for arriving late for service...again!  Seriously, we Hott's are attempting to join the 8:15 a.m. service celebration and bring our family to a unique worship event.  Sadly to admit, I got "caught" sneaking up the back steps to the balcony, late,...again!  (quack, quack,...LOL! - inside joke)  Again, I need to ask forgiveness for being an interruption as we were earlier this month (see tomorrow's column: "Hott Flashes" for more about that.)

As I waddled in with my crew, I realized that I had missed an important opportunity to share a chance for us to show mercy with other folks in Morgan County, WV.  You see, a teacher had contacted me earlier in the week and asked me to make an announcement to our congregation.  Here is what's going on:

Tomorrow, June 16th, there will be a Canned Food Drive to benefit the Backpack Program.  The Energy Express Team will be collecting food outside of the Family Dollar next to Food Lion.  Matt Tolliver, Warm Springs Intermediate School Guidance Counselor and Director for Energy Express, is coordinating this effort to generate food supply for the Backpack Program.  Have you heard of it?  Morgan County has approximately 200 identified students county wide that are at risk.  These kids have little source of food when they are at home.  The Backpack Program is an effort to provide kids with easy to prepare meals when they are away from school and over the weekend.  This Food Drive will help the supply throughout the  year.

In case you were wondering, hunger is real in W.Va.!  As a substitute teacher part-time in our county, I have seen first hand the effect this program has had on students.  At the end of a Friday, I saw a backpack full of food go home with a six year old.  With huge eyes, the student said to me, "Yeah!  Mrs. Hott!  Now I won't be hungry this weekend!"  A piece of my heart cracked as I felt like I was in one of those Compassion International videos.  Believe it or not, there are kids in our county that go home from school with nothing to eat until the following day, or over a weekend, when they return to school.  Hungry kids produce poor learners and can, quite possibly, be a source of behavior issues in the classroom.  Feed the tummy and we also feed the minds too!  Believe me, these hungry students could be sitting right across from your child at school.

While I have your attention, Matt also needs volunteers to assist students with reading at Energy Express.  You are welcome to drop by Warm Springs Middle School anytime, Monday - Friday, until July 26th.  If Matt has enough volunteers to read, he is hoping to also introduce a writing program.  Both reading and writing have been identified a critical areas of need among elementary age students in Morgan County.

Want to share some mercy in Morgan County tomorrow?  Just as God has shown us mercy, let us also share the same in our community.  Thanks Pastor Rob, for helping me understand more about mercy this morning.  And if you find yourself late, like I usually am, I am sure that Matt can accept food donations at Energy Express (WSMS), or at several of the drop off locations, including First Church.

"Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."  Luke 6:36

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