A few weeks ago, I talked about our mission of loving the people of the West Clermont district and surrounding area with “no strings attached.” I reminded us all that we don’t just view WT Elementary as a meeting place, but as a mission place. We view this school system as a staging ground for amazing ministry.
We’ve already been given opportunities to do some very cool stuff to serve the district. For example, we gave a substantial amount of money to help a student who had a heart for hosting a huge Thanksgiving dinner for families in the school system who couldn’t afford their own. We’ve been able to show love and appreciation to some teachers by providing a free lunch from Chipotle. And those are just a couple of examples.
Now, we’re going to take things to the next level. Many of us don’t realize the size and scope of the poverty problem in the West Clermont district. There is no school in the district with a poverty rate below 26%. That means that at any school in this district, at least ¼ of the students live in poverty. But at many schools, the problem is much worse than that. At WT Elementary (where our church meets), the poverty rate is 43%. At Amelia Middle School, 44%. At Brantner Elementary, 56%. At Holly Hill Elementary, 65%.
There are students in this district who don’t have the most basic necessities. There have been instances where a student has literally asked if they could take a roll of toilet paper from school, because they didn’t have any at home.
We are NOT ok with this! That’s why we’re launching a project called Connect Cares. Starting this Sunday, we will be collecting the following items at Connect so we can begin passing them along to the schools for distribution.
- Body wash/Soap
- Dental floss
- Toilet paper
- Feminine hygiene products
(Keep in mind, none of these items are covered by food stamps or other assistance.)
Our goal is to collect at least 100 of each item. You can start bringing them with you to church this Sunday. We will be collecting these items through Sunday, April 10.
For many of us, these items don’t get a second thought. If you run out of shampoo, you go buy another bottle. Your house is never without toothpaste. It’s just basic necessities to keep a household going. Many of us never think about this stuff because we’ve never gone without it. But there are many students in this school district who absolutely think about these things, because they don’t always have them. And I can’t think of a better way to love them with no strings attached than by providing some of these most basic necessities.
Connect is a church whose heart beats with generosity. Every time we are challenged to step up and be generous, we do it. And I can’t wait to see what happens when we do it again!
God is so generous with us. He loves us with no strings attached. Let’s flip it around and show that same love to the folks around us who need a helping hand. Let’s show them that Connect really does care!
Mike Edmisten is Senior Pastor at Connect Christian Church, a portable church that meets on the eastside of Cincinnati at Withamsville-Tobasco Elementary near Ohio 125 and I-275. Join us at 10:30 a.m. this Sunday.