Stowe Mission Starts the School Year Right
On what may otherwise have been a lazy weekend morning, a group of volunteers, parents and soon-to-be students were busy at Stowe Mission. With kids already beginning to lament the impending end of summer and parents looking forward to the relief of the school year, Stowe held its annual School Supply Give-Away.
As the community of families within the 43206 and 43207 area codes awaited the start time, a line quickly began to form outside the doors of the mission. Inside, a mix of over 20 volunteers and staff, including a mission team visiting from Houston’s First Baptist Church, went through last minute organizational checks, confirmed roles and got in their final sips of coffee. Finally, just before the doors opened, the group inside gathered into a circle and prayed for God’s blessing on the work they were about to do.
That day’s work, however, was far from all that went into a successful and impactful Saturday morning. Throughout the summer, churches and individuals around central Ohio collected and delivered the supplies. On two previous days, volunteers came together to sort through the donations. Supplies were organized and packed into brand-new book bags, each with a specific set based on the age ranges of the children to which they would be going. Among the supplies found in the bags were crayons, pens, pencils, notebooks, erasers, scissors, highlighters, and more.
When the Give-Away officially began and the doors opened, parents and children poured into the building and were quickly organized, verified, and presented with all the supplies a young student would need to get the school year started off on the right foot.
While families waited to get through the line that had formed, Stowe also offered a handful of other services to the community. There was a kids room full of volunteers armed with activities and cheerful hearts, and for the parents, there was plenty of coffee and snacks to go around. There were Bibles being passed out to all who wanted one.
Volunteers also passed around sign-up sheets for parents to get their children involved in Stowe Mission’s year-long one-on-one tutoring program. Starting September 19, students in grades K-12 will be coming in once a week for an hour and a half of character building, Bible study, and activities such as parties and picnics, and, of course, the actual tutoring and homework help itself.
Lastly, and most importantly, volunteers stood by in an adjacent room to pray with anyone who wanted to. Many parents went in to pray with a neighbor for a successful and fruitful school year for their children, and a number of whole families went in to pray together. It was here, especially, that God’s presence was felt, and many people left sensing the good work that had been done through the staff and volunteers at Stowe Mission.
Among them was one local mom, Ashley, whose five children range in age from eight to 14. After spending time in prayer with a volunteer, she left Stowe Mission in high spirits, excited to know that her kids would getting the start to the school year they deserved.
“I’m ecstatic,” she said. “The school supplies are really helpful, just with getting them ready for school and trying to pay the bills.”
“And of course,” she added, “prayer is always good.”
Click photo see more from the School Supply Give-Away.