The effects of the Last Minute School Supply Store

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We had a good day last weekend. The Last Minute School Supply Store (LMSSS) was held in the Fellowship Hall. You remember last year that Lily Wilson, one of our terrific youth, created the LMSSS as her “Gold Award” (think Eagle Scout for a girl) project and decided that it was worthy of becoming an ongoing mission. The Church Missions Council agreed.

And so for the past few weeks we have been encouraged to donate school supplies of all kinds to help support families that live in our neighborhoods. Last Saturday morning a group of volunteers assembled to serve as “hosts” for our visiting families. At 9:00 a.m. we opened the doors and welcomed some 150 children and their parents. They moved throughout the Fellowship Hall from one table to another collecting notebooks, markers, pens and pencils, glue sticks, even backpacks.

Here’s the best part--the part you will never see unless you are there. One lady came to my section and with tears in her eyes thanked our church and said, “I didn’t have one school supply for my child--you saved my life today and I am so thankful.”

When we think of “salvation” in the church we typically mean the saving of one’s “soul”. To be sure that is still our primary business, but salvation comes in other ways, too. On Saturday we were in a different kind of saving business by opening our doors to our community and providing what they NEEDED for their families. We don’t mark that down in any book (maybe we should).

Many of those 150 people may never think about that day again. But I promise you some of them will remember how they were treated and received when they came to Belle Meade UMC on a bright, August Saturday morning. As one wise preacher once said, “they may never remember a word you say, but they WILL remember how you treated them.”

We need to thank Lily for her vision and determination. And the youth who assisted as part of an overnight lock-in to put it all together. And to those volunteers who came to serve as ambassadors for the church. And all of you who made a donation of any kind to the LMSSS. This is what the church looks like at her best.

Ready to jump in? Many of our guests were students at H.G. Hill Middle School. We are just underway with a new partnership with them--a real one in which we send not only supplies, but also people who can serve as tutors. Do you have an hour a week during the day that you could offer? Talk to Melissa Vickroy or with me. We’ll get you hooked up.

PEACE

JIM