June’s Collection Saturday

We had a lot to show for our two hours in the cool shade for our first Collection Saturday.

For MetMin, you brought us 144 rolls of toilet paper, plus 3 family-sized jars of peanut butter. Ben and Ginger Sanzo delivered the donations last Monday, and the folks at MetMin were thrilled to receive them, reporting that the needs in our community continue in their upward spiral.

For the Bethlehem Center, you shared 19 huge boxes of cereal plus $50 for milk money. Camp for 60 school-age kids will be in session next month, and they will arrive hungry. Thank you for helping to be sure they can start the day with breakfast. Ray Barney and Reginald Bedford delivered for us, and the folks at the Beth were delighted.

For our own walk-up pantry, we received 59 items in cans or packages–with a lot of them being rich in protein–plus 40 packs of peanut butter crackers. Before we left on Saturday, we added a few things to the shelves, and by Monday they were gone. Your generosity gives us a base supply, and we can refill the pantry with that donated food.

Donation total: 265 items plus $50 for milk. Outreach thanks you for participating!

In June, we focus our attention on one of our two public school ministry opportunities: The Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence. CCSE has two campuses–one for elementary and the other for the expanding middle-high. Both are on Willow Street, near the 4th Avenue exit. We work with the middle-high school; ninth grade will be added this fall. The student body is 60% African American and 40% Hispanic. 

So far, we have helped meet their needs with board games for their club (for practice in strategic thinking) and snacks for students during TCAPs (state-mandated achievement tests). Dr. Seay, school principal, attended our May Outreach meeting to thank us for those gifts, telling us that our contributions make a huge positive difference in the lives of the students.

Right now, news of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, is painfully fresh. Nineteen Hispanic children in grades two through four, and two of their teachers, are dead. This marks the 27th school shooting in America this year. You may be contemplating how you will respond to this. One way might be taking action to do something positive for a similar school.

On Saturday, June 11, we will be collecting transparent mesh backpacks. At CCSE, see-through backpacks are not only safer, but also required. Unfortunately, they wear out faster than bags made of sturdier materials and need to be replaced yearly if not sooner. Families of students at this school are largely low-income, and for some of them, backpack replacement is a financial burden. Use this link to get a RED or BLACK mesh backpack for only $14. Shopping in-person or elsewhere is fine, but be sure what you buy resembles these. School colors are RED, WHITE, and BLUE, so stick to those colors or BLACK.

The students also need reusable water bottles. They like to personalize them with markers and stickers. We will be collecting new and used plastic bottles in good condition. If you are shopping, look for BPA free products.

We’re also collecting water bottles for the local homeless community, and we’ll take some of what you bring to the Community Kitchen. Staying hydrated while living outside can be challenging, so bottles that can be filled at a water fountain or from a sink will be helpful.  Hats and caps have also been requested by members of the community.

As for our own porch pantry, we need soups, canned meats (chicken and tuna are popular), and small jars of peanut butter–right now, we are seeking items in humidity-resistant packaging, and pop-tops are helpful. Everything we put in the pantry is taken quickly. Choose something you would like to receive!

All our Outreach meetings are held first Thursdays at 4:30 pm on Zoom, and you are welcome to attend. Find the link on our parish website calendar.

LOOKING AHEAD, we are planning to focus on school uniforms in July. CCSE’s principal has given us names of about a dozen students in great need of our help. The store that sells CCSE’s uniforms (embroidered logos on polos) is having a sale through the end of June, so to act on that, we need donations now. Please give to Christ Church and designate your gift to Outreach–uniforms.

Shopping List for June

For Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence:

  • Transparent mesh backpacks like this in Black, Red, White, or Blue. Buy anywhere, but stick to those colors.
  • Reusable water bottles

For the Community Kitchen:

  • Reusable water bottles
  • Hats and caps

For Christ Church’s Porch Pantry:

  • Pop-top stew or soup
  • Canned meats and beans (chicken and tuna are popular)
  • Single-serving canned fruit
  • Small jars of peanut butter