he Missions Team has been very busy in the last several months. I would like to give you an update. Aside from our usual
donations of $175 to Our Churches Wider Mission, $100 to Habitat For Humanity, $100 to People Helping People, $100 to Crescent Community Clinic, and $100 to Back Bay Mission, we have also made other donations.
There were two Habitat for Humanity house dedications in March. Each family received a $100 Walmart gift card that was purchased from our gift card program.
We donated $300 ($200 from Missions Funds and $100 from an anonymous person) to the Superintendent's 4th Annual Summer Reading Initiative to encourage children to read over the summer.
The HPH Hospice Youth Bereavement program received $200.
$500 was donated to the One Great Hour of Sharing collection with $349 coming from congregational donations and $151 from Missions Funds.
The Church World Services Kit Program received a $300 check from Missions Funds. School Kits, hygiene kits, and emergency cleanup buckets are at an historic low due to hurricanes and other disasters.
The UCC Annual Fund received $100 from Missions Funds.
Church World Services received $200 toward their tool program to give needy families the tools to build or repair their homes.
The Dawn Center will be receiving Winn-Dixie gift cards totaling $300 from Missions Funds to help them purchase fresh food for their residents.
On Tuesday, May 14, the HeartF.E.L.T. (Feeding Empty Little Tummies) Board of Directors treated all of the volunteers who bring the filled backpacks to several schools each Friday morning to dinner and drinks at The Bistro restaurant in Brooksville. It was a wonderful evening. The food was delicious and was paid for by an anonymous donor. We have been in this program since its beginning almost 10 years ago. Each Friday, two of us drive to Brooksville to pick up over 30 backpacks to deliver to Westside Elementary School. This backpack program gives homeless and economically disadvantaged children and their siblings weekend food. This food is either donated or purchased at reduced prices. During the past year, Big and Rich (a country music group) came to Brooksville and performed in a benefit concert that raised $75,000 for HeartF.E.L.T. Bon Jovi has donated $5,000 and Richard Branson (the billionaire) donated $12,000. I would like to thank Annabelle Gibson, Gloria Bulau, Betsy Schalkham and her friend Judy, Ron and Trish Phillips, and Deb and Paul Whitman for faithfully delivering these backpacks each week along with Dick and me.
On Tuesday, May 21, several members of the team and Pastor Robin were privileged to bring books to the rising second graders at Eastside Elementary School. It was a wonderful morning! Pastor Robin, Ron Phillips, Dick Mattson, Trish Phillips, and Deb Whitman enjoyed sharing one or two of the books we brought with a class. After that, each child received a hardcover book from this church. They were quite excited! One child said something like, "Do you mean I don't have to return this book? It's mine to keep?" Another commented that he just loved the smell of a new book! Now that's an enthusiastic present and future reader!! After receiving bottled water and cookies from us, they returned to their classrooms with their new books. This was such a rewarding day. We want to do whatever we can to encourage children's literacy and have them read over the summer months. Thank you for your support of Missions which allows us to carry on this wonderful mission.
Sue Mattson, Mission Team Leader