Wednesday Word: A Case of Both/And
Throughout the pandemic, Saint John's has continued to look for ways to reach out to those in need. Community Cafe was necessarily suspended, but that didn't stop us from looking for ways to reach out; in fact, it may have prompted us to look for new and different ways to do this.
One way we've offered support was through Kim Halsey's efforts at bringing a food giveaway to our parking lot. There have been three of these events (if I remember correctly) over the past year, and there are three more coming up fairly soon: June 11, and July 10 & 17.
We continue to support Micah's Backpack and Bester Elementary through food and supply donations designed to assist hungry and needy children in the south end of Hagerstown.
Most recently we've added the Blessings Box to this list. The Blessings Box (an idea put forth by Dcn. Sue Wert) is really a set of three lockers sitting on the front porch of the office that stocks food and other supplies. These items are freely donated and are free for the taking. “Give What You Can; Take What You Need” is its motto. Not only has this been stocked by parishioners, but the United Way of Washington County recently got into the act by donating food.
I wrote about this somewhere, but we also received a $1000 donation to be used to purchase supplies for the box. That money went into my Discretionary Fund and is earmarked for that specific purpose.
So on Monday, Dcn. Sue and I took a trip to Target and did some shopping.
We came out of Target with $343 worth of personal hygiene items, diapers, hand sanitizer, baby food, and other items. Some of those items went directly into the box, others went into storage to be put in at a later time.
As we were shopping, or maybe as we were loading the car, Dcn. Sue said, “I hope the recent focus on the Blessings Box doesn't take away from Micah's Backpack.”
I think that's a fair question. But I also think, and as I told Dcn. Sue, Micah's Backpack and the Blessings Box serve two different purposes. Micah's is designed to help ensure school children whose families are living at or below the poverty line have enough food after school and over the weekend. The Blessings Box is designed to provide immediate, short-term relief for people of all ages who find themselves in a difficult situation.
As you donate from your abundance to these two programs that serve people in need, please remember that this is not an Either/Or situation, but a Both/And. One does not take the place of another, but both are needed and both are necessary. So keep the two lists handy on whatever tablet you use to make a grocery list and alternate between Micah and the Box. Or maybe do a little of each and mark your donation Micah or Box so we know how to divide it up. These two things are both needed, and these two things will continue to be generously supported by the people of Saint John's.
In our abundance, may we never neglect to do good and share what we have.