DOWNEY – Over the last few years the Downey United Methodist Church has worked to help the homeless and the less fortunate of our community. At the beginning of this year several members of our congregation were attending an Appreciation Night given by the First Christian Church which was honoring those groups and individuals who helped with the Food Bank. When it was our time to acknowledge our award we made a pledge of 1 ton of rice and beans to be delivered, bagged and ready for distribution, by the end of the year. It seemed like a daunting task and there was a little trepidation as to whether we could even do this. It turned out that our congregation responded overwhelmingly and contributions came in which covered the cost of purchasing the half ton of rice and the half ton of pinto beans. We worked on half ton lots which we bagged and distributed to the Food Bank at around 125 pounds per week.
We involved Girl Scouts from Downey Girl Scout Troop 17155. The girls in the troop are Emilia DiPiazza, Alyssa Estrada, Cassandra Neff, Isabella Ponce, Mariana Prado, Celeste Recendez, Isabella Rodriguez, Madeline Saldana, Sydney Skersick and Caitlyn Yoon.
The Boy Scout Troop #2 sponsored by the Downey United Methodist Church also helped with this project. These young people, as well as our church members bagged up everything in about 3000 baggies which we delivered to the food bank.
At a time when you feel that our youth are only interested in their computer games and cell phones, it was a breath of fresh air to see the girls and boys jump in and bag up thousands of pounds of rice and beans. They really had fun and knew they were providing a community service. Our goal was one ton of rice and beans to the food bank. We will be almost at two tons by the end of the year.
The Boy Scouts as well as our church members have prepared and delivered hundreds of food bags to the homeless. Each bag is filled with a bottle of water, a band aid or two, a razor and easy-to-open items like pop-top cans of Vienna Sausages, tuna and crackers, raisins, fruit bars, peanut butter and cheese cracker packages, etc. Or anything you feel the homeless need.
Our pastor refers to these as your little bag of love. In some bags we inserted a deck of cards or a flash light or even a small first aid kit. All in all the homeless are extremely grateful that we cared enough to help them. Each one of these food bags cost around $5 to assemble. You can see our rice and beans thermometer on the wall. We are well past the goal of one ton and we are still working at it.
It is a good feeling that we have provided food to the less fortunate and food bags to the homeless.
We have contributed thousands of dollars in donations to disasters and charities around the U.S. and the world. The Downey United Methodist Church has been under the spiritual guidance and leadership of Pastor Jon Whestley Waterson for the last three years.
Published: Oct. 9, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 26