Wednesday, September, 13, 2017 | 3:19 PM | by ashaffer
For The Kids
When I was in elementary school, I thought things were different. Sure, I knew that not every kid had the advantages that I did, I knew that I didn't have the advantages that other kids did... but I didn't think any kids were "poor", "at-risk", or "underprivileged". Of course I now know that's just not how things work, but ideally that's how kids should see things. That's how we should see things, isn't it? People should be seen as people, and some of us just need a little help from time to time.
This is the approach we take with our "Saturday Sacks" program. There are many students in our elementary schools on free or reduced lunch, many of them are provided breakfast as well. This creates a void on the weekends, when these students don't get assistance and are potentially home alone while their parents work to support them. Saturday Sacks aims to eliminate that gap, sending home a few easily prepared meal components to help tide kids over through the weekend. The items in the bags vary, but always include a form of protein, fruit, chips or crackers, and oatmeal or breakfast bars. These are sent home with students in donated grocery bags, allowing students to be cared for in a way that doesn't single them out to other students. At the current time, we prepare about 100 bags biweekly, caring for 50 students at Westwood Elementary.
This isn't our only connection with Westwood, as we have a crew who donates 30 minutes of their time weekly to tutor & mentor students. We don't know anything about these kids until we meet them, but over the semester we'll get to know them and know about them: simple stuff like who they are and what they like, but in doing so we create relationships with kids who may not have that opportunity with anyone outside their own family. In a way this meets needs on so many levels, it's much more than just helping boost a reading grade or fix mistakes on math homework. It's a humbling experience that reminds us how much we can learn from kids.
There's always room for more to get involved. If you're interested contact church office at 706-278-2911