Gratitude Day 289
Thurs., June 20, 2019
Ephesians 6:7 – Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,
Mother Teresa said, “The Lord likes small things best, especially those done with love.”
In our local community, the school year is over. Nearly ever Friday during the school year, I help coordinate a food program through our local school called, “Blessings in a Backpack.” Each week, about 60 kids in our small, local school district receive a bag of food with two breakfast items, 2 meal items and at least 6 snack items. During the 2018-2019 school year, we were able to provide students with shelf-stable milk every week as one of those snack items.
The food bags are made available to any student who might be struggling with food insecurity. For some students, this bag of food maybe the only food they receive all weekend. For others, the food bag helps stretch other food resources. Our goal is to provide food for students who might not otherwise have all the food that they need.
This is the third year we have partnered with our local school district to make food bags available for students. Each year, the program has grown more, and we’ve impacted more kids and families. During summer school, we also provide free bag lunches for any student. Between what we provide during the school year and through the summer school program, our little program provided over 3,000 meal bags to students in our local school district.
This is amazing in our little community.
What is even more amazing? The support we’ve received for this program. We have about 30 volunteers who provide time to the program. Most of these volunteers help pack the food bags. We also have volunteers who order and bring the food to our packing site, organize our volunteers, oversee our finances, keep the lines of communication with the school, provide administrative roles, write grants, send thank you’s and a whole host of other roles.
Yet, the program would not be successful without donors. Our Blessings program has received so much support. Local businesses, organizations and individuals provide resources so we can offer great food bags for the kids. Honestly, we’ve done very little promotion because we have received such generous donations.
Why do we do this? Because every kid deserves to have food. Sometimes, people ask why we are providing for a child when their parents are making poor choices. My response? The kids have very little say in how family resources are used. Our goal is to ensure kids have access to food. Period. Nothing else.
This week our volunteers and some donors gathered for an appreciation night. When people heard the number of bags we’ve distributed in our small school district during the last school year and summer, they are flabbergasted.
Sometimes, as volunteers, it’s natural to wonder if your role made a difference. Let’s go back to what Mother Teresa said, “The Lord likes small things done best, especially those done with great love.” It doesn’t matter how big or small a contribution is. When it is done with great love, God smiles. God rejoices. God celebrates that we are willing to help those around us, even in a very small but meaningful way. What we may consider a simple way to serve may make a huge difference in someone else’s life.
I pray that we can remember that serving someone else is serving God. And God loves a faithful servant.
How might you do some small thing today and make a different in someone’s life today? Look for something. Anticipate it. And then, do it.
For opportunities to do small things and make a difference, I am grateful.
Lord God – It is amazing the way you can orchestrate opportunities for people to make a difference in someone else’s life. I pray we accept those opportunities and welcome them in our lives. May we remember that serving is not for our benefit. No, it’s a way to worship You and serve another. Amen.
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