Children helping children
Each Friday, ECLC delivers weekend food bags for children at Highlands Elementary School in Edina who would otherwise not have stable access to food over the weekend. Working with Sheridan Story, we are one of dozens of congregations and corporations from across the Twin Cities who deliver meals to a total of 3,900 children every week.
As we serve children, it made perfect sense that our volunteers also be children! Five ECLC families with 0-4 year olds rotate as delivery volunteers every Friday throughout the month. Delivering bags directly to lockers in a school setting is an opportunity to introduce them to responding to God’s call for service and justice in the world. Here’s a story of what this volunteer opportunity means to one ECLC family:
“Sheridan story has been a great way to introduce Sawyer (age 4) to the reality of the world we live in. On the Fridays that we are responsible for delivering food, he often says he doesn't want to because he's tired from preschool and it doesn't sound very fun. I remind him that the kids are counting on us and ask him, “How would you feel if you didn't have a full tummy?” This usually leads us into conversations about homelessness, and income gaps, and all kinds of issues he is generally sheltered from.
By the time we arrive, he is ready to help and serve. He likes to sign-in at the office, wear the visitor lanyard, help to find the correct lockers, etc. He's also getting a really great first look at school and starting to think about what it will be like for him to go to an elementary school. When we deliver during the lunch hour, it is chaos in the hallways and he really takes it all in.
For me as the parent, I really enjoy doing this special service with Sawyer and the opportunity it gives us to start talking about privilege. I was especially touched when a teacher of one of the kids thanked us and told us what a difference it made to her student that he was getting food for the weekend.” ~Janine
You can help, too!
Are your preschool days long gone? Don’t worry, you can help fill empty tummies, too! Folks ages eight and up are invited to a volunteer night packing food bags at Sheridan Story’s warehouse on Thursday, April 28th from 6:00-8:00 pm. Contact Lauren Morse-Wendt to sign up.