by Osheta Moore
The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. —B.B. King
According to an article on today.com, school supplies are one of the highest expenses for families in August and September:
If the words “school supplies” call to mind a few pencils, a notebook, maybe a Trapper Keeper, get ready for the new math: The average K-12 parent will spend $100 per student on school supplies this year, up 12 percent from last year.
Many families connected to Woodland through our partnerships with the Voice in the Wilderness (our Congolese friends), and the Lift (East Side partner serving young people), are struggling with this need. As outreach pastor, I knew we could rally around these families and show the love of Jesus by creating some breathing room.
In August, I asked you all to help raise $5000 for supplies. Then we found out something amazing. Merrick—an onsite partner—was hosting a back-to-school drive and were able to help us get the backpacks and supplies we needed. Early on a Monday morning, Troy, our facilities director, met with a rep at Merrick to load up his truck with over 140 supply-filled backpacks of all colors and styles for the Voice in the Wilderness. I also received a few backpacks and supplies that I personally delivered to our friends at the Lift.
Kilo Kisongo, one of the co-founders of Voice in the Wilderness, told me many of the families didn’t even realize their children needed supplies and some who are navigating Saint Paul schools for the first time were feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I’m so happy we were able to equip these precious children.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. —Galatians 6:2
Last week, I was out walking my dog and saw two friends on their way to class together. One was carrying two book bags while the other hobbled on crutches. It was a sweet and simple gesture of community—I’ll carry this weight for you because right now, you can’t. This back-to-school season, we carried the weight of financial strain and potential embarrassment for our friends.
For those of us at Woodland who identify as peacemakers, we use everything at our disposal to reflect the love of Jesus: our resources, our time, our energy, our talents, our prayers, and even backpacks and #2 pencils.