Savannah, a sixth grader, came to serve on a Saturday when we were challenged for volunteers to cover every area. She manned the canned food shelf alone and did a good job. Her zeal to serve was beautiful. We were giving away backpacks to the children that day and Savannah loved helping other children pick out the perfect backpack for them. Marvin is a handful to minister to. He takes a long time to make his choices and always tries to figure out a way to get something extra. He lingers and watches to see if something being stocked is better than what he already has. He has a very grumpy exterior. Savannah was not at all affected. She smiled and looked for ways to serve him. He asked if we had clam chowder. She went through every soup in stock to see if we had some. Nothing was there. Then she found a can of minced clams and asked me if she could give it to him. He was thankful for a young girl caring about his shopping. I watched as he reached checkout and carried him a can of evaporated milk as an extra. I explained how he could use it to add to his clams and make chowder. He was pleased. Savannah challenged me to rise up. I too was blessed.

Some asked why we gave away backpacks with the schools being primarily online. Children still need their own place to keep their supplies, but even more importantly, they need the fun of receiving a new backpack and something normal in their young lives. This season is scary for many children whose families we serve. It is a blessing for us to minister to these children as well as their parents. I’m not sure who enjoyed the backpack give away more–the children receiving them, their parents, or me and Savannah! It was a great day.