“’Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?  And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?  And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’  And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”

Matthew 25:37-40

Lenten Challenge: Cards For Kids

A few area churches are partnering to raise funds for grocery gift cards for children and their families in the Dennis/Yarmouth School District.   Our congregation, along with Northside United Methodist Church, the Dennis Union Church, and the First Congregational Church of Yarmouth are setting aside a month to invite members and friends to make a financial donation toward purchasing gift cards for families of children in our local schools.

Based on information recently shared with us, food insecurity is on the rise in our nation and in Massachusetts.  It continues to be a major and growing concern even here on the Cape, with 1 in 6 school aged students facing food insecurity issues.  Within two of DY schools, there is a 42% poverty rate.  At one school 60% of the students rely on both the free breakfast and lunch program for their main source of reliable food.

Studies have shown that the impact of food insecurity on students and families produces other health and learning issues like anemia, asthma, depression and anxiety, cognitive and behavioral problems, and abuse issues of various forms.  With COVID-19 there are many additional relevant issues including how to keep online learning a priority when hunger is a primary need.

The Cards for Kids initiative hopes to raise funds to purchase Dennis Yarmouth Ecumenical Council for the Prevention of Homelessness (DYECH) Stop and Shop cards for distribution by school district social workers from a list of most needy families and students.

Dr. Thomas Kerr, a lay leader from the Northside UMC, has met with the Superintendent of Schools and her leadership team.   They are supportive and appreciative of this effort.  Dr. Kerr will be joining with us for worship on Sunday, March 7th to share some additional information about this initiative.

If you would like to participate in this Lenten challenge, simply write a check out to the “South Yarmouth United Methodist Church,” but on the memo line put “DYECH/Cards for Kids.”  When our month-long campaign has ended, we will write one check for the entire amount.  Cards will be purchased and social workers at our local schools will distribute them to families in need.  As a further incentive, the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund will match every dollar up to the first $1000 we raise!  So, if you donate $20 it will be doubled and $40 will go to Cards for Kids!  Please prayerfully consider participating in this opportunity to support our local children and their families.

Pastor John