Written by Daniel Hazard
Synod volunteers assemble thousands of school kits
More than 4,300 school kits were assembled by General Synod delegates and visitors to help children in Atlanta — and around the world — with much-needed, back-to-school supplies.
This year’s service project not only provided an opportunity for Synod goers to participate in a hands-on mission effort, but hundreds of UCC churches and individuals joined in as well by answering the advance call for donated items.
"Churches from across the UCC gathered school supplies and lovingly sewed school kit bags," says Susan M. Sanders, the UCC’s minister for the global sharing of resources.
"Many donations came through the mail and were received and cared for by Central Congregational UCC in Atlanta. Other donations were carried in suitcases of Synod delegates and also came by van load," says Sanders.
About 3,200 school kits and 99 health kits were shipped to Church World Service for distribution to children around the world, including the United States.
An additional 1,110 kits and five large boxes of extra supplies will be distributed throughout greater Atlanta area thanks to First Congregational UCC in Atlanta and several community organizations.
Moreover, nearly 700 kit bags were shipped to Cleveland where they will be filled and distributed by churches of the Western Reserve Association in the Ohio Conference.
"For a child who has little, a pencil is a precious gift," the Rev. Mary Schaller Blaufuss, the UCC’s executive for volunteer ministries and coordinator of the Synod’s service project. "Thanks to all across the UCC who participated in this mission project."
Kevin McCoy, regional director of Church World Service, offered appreciation for the UCC’s gift, saying, "A school kit can open the door to education for children around the world."