December 26th is a day that is abuzz with activity. The day begins before dawn and ends after the sun sets. This year Jim and I got up around 7:00 in the morning and begin loading and arranging stuff in the 20 foot U-Haul we had rented. We got to Love Christian Center around 8:30 and began unloading supplies from Center Presbyterian Church and school supplies that needed packed. We had taken 2 loads over in the days prior so the tables were arranged with goods to make sorting when the volunteers arrived more organized-okay that is the idea. December 26th once we get started is organized chaos.
As people arrive they need a job to do and I have to figure out where to tell them to go. I am not always confident so much of my confidence is faking it so that no one knows that I am hoping that I make the right decision with where to put someone. Can they sort school supplies? Are they better at helping pack? Do we need help in the kitchen? Where are the tags and scissors? Can you put a sign on the truck? These questions are ones that I have to ask myself repeatedly before I point them in a direction. Many times I feel like I am going to scream not because people are bothering me but because the task is bigger than me. WAY BIGGER!
This year we sorted donations, packed Blessing and School Supply bags and distributed 1,350-1,400 Blessing Bags and another 300-400 school supply bags. The task began on December 26th where we went to Market Street, Malleable, Mesabi, Willow Village and Orange Village. While we stopped at Shenango Park Apartments, we were unable to find anyone willing to open the door and let us bless them. We are praying that God will open doors for us for next year and make it safe to return.
December 27th, Jim and I went to Grove City. We went to trailer parks and apartment buildings in and around Grove City. On the 28th, we went to the northern part of Mercer before heading to Farrell to bless the children around Love Christian Center at Centennial Place. As Jim and I left Farrell, I put one backpack on the door of a young girl who is Sarah’s age.
On Saturday, we blessed West Middlesex, Sharpsville and Mercer. We took a few days off to recharge and on Thursday we went back at it by visiting Fredonia. With the kids in school, we were not able to find too many people home as well as the streets were quite slippery. We decided to wait until Saturday, January 5, 2019, to finish with the bulk of deliveries. We finished Fredonia and went to Transfer.
On January 7, 2019, I delivered the last 60 bags to Mercer Elementary for their Backpack Program. Sixty students in K-6 received a bag from Sarah’s Butterflies on January 11 in their backpack.
Why do we do this year after year? We do this in memory of Sarah. We do this because God has laid on our hearts to care for those in need. Many just need someone to remind them that they matter.