Middle School Students Donate to the Homeless
“When I Was Hungry, You Gave Me Something to Eat…”
In Matthew 25, Jesus was teaching love – He wanted His followers to be known and recognized by the care and love that they poured out into the world around them. He spoke of helping when someone is hungry, sick, in jail or without basic necessities like clothes. This is the very mission Ministry Village at Olive endeavors to reach every day – to express the love of Christ to all people through acts of service. Tender Hearts Caring Hands (THCH) is a vital part of realizing this mission.
Students from OBC Fusion, the middle school ministry at Olive Baptist Church, recently took action on these words of Jesus, by assembling and donating more than 100 bags of provisions to the Tender Hearts Caring Hands ministry of Ministry Village.
Kathie Schuster, the coordinator of Tender Hearts Caring Hands, spoke to the middle schoolers and shared some of the specific ways that THCH meets the needs of those less fortunate in our community. Students learned about the need for hygiene bags and day bags to help the homeless in Pensacola.
One 8th grader learning about the work of Tender Hearts for the first time said, “I didn’t realize there were so many people living around us that didn’t have these basic things, like bandaids, clean socks or toothbrushes. I see homeless people around town, but I never thought about how many people really need our help. I’m glad we could help even a little bit by building these bags. I’m going to start looking for other ways I can help.”
Day bags are designed to feed one person for at least 2 days and contain easy-open food items that require no cooking like beanie weenies, Vienna sausage, cup o noodles, crackers, Little Debbie snacks, trail mix, and fruit cups as well as bottled water, Bible tracts, and information on area food banks, shelters and showers. Hygiene bags contain toothbrushes and toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, shampoo/conditioner, lotion, baby wipes, soap, q-tips, bandaids and a new pair of socks.
A homeless patron can come in to THCH for a day bag once every 7 days, and usually receives a hygiene bag on the same visit. Tender Hearts distributes 10 bags on average each week. In 2017, they distributed 373 food bags and 298 hygiene bags to the homeless.
“We have our regular patrons that we see every week,” says Kathie. “We are always happy to see them, because we can see how they are doing and keep tabs on their needs. We honestly look forward to them walking in the door –they cheer us up with their gratitude.”
“Striving to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus in the community is the daily goal of Tender Hearts Caring Hands and Ministry Village at Olive. We are always happy to have such enthusiastic helpers as these middle school students from OBC Fusion.”
How can you help? Donate items, donate funding, or donate your time.
♥ Donations of non-perishable food are accepted at the Ministry Village office at 1830 E. Olive Road, Monday through Friday from 8am to 2pm. Specific food items that are always in demand include canned beans, canned meats (including tuna and spam), canned vegetables, crackers, peanut butter and 1 pound packages of rice, grits and spaghetti noodles.
♥ Staying at a hotel but packing your own toiletries? THCH would happily accept your unused hotel travel-size items! Drop them off at the Ministry Village office at 1830 E. Olive Road, Monday through Friday from 8am to 2pm.
♥ The average cost of a day bag of ready-to-eat food items is $7 and a hygiene bag costs $3. To donate financially to the Tender Hearts Caring Hands ministry, click here. Every dollar donated to Ministry Village at Olive makes a difference in someone’s life.
♥ We have an immediate need for volunteers in the Tender Hearts Caring Hands ministry. Volunteers may serve by transporting donated food items from area stores and businesses, organizing the food pantry, or answering phones and assessing callers for financial assistance opportunities. If you would like to be of service to others in our community through Tender Hearts Caring Hands, please call 850-475-1118 or click here. We would be honored to have your help!
To learn more about Tender Hearts Caring Hands, part of Ministry Village at Olive, click here.