Christians will recognize “Am I my brother’s keeper?” as a question Cain asked the Lord in the beginning of the scriptures (Genesis 4). As the Christians continue to study, they learn throughout the scriptures, we are indeed our brother’s keeper and are to look after one another, especially those widowed, orphaned or poor.
This theme carries on from Genesis into James. In Matthew, Jesus states, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these, you did it unto me”.
In Santa Fe, our community has a church, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, whose members are doing just that. Recently honored by the Santa Fe ISD School Board, Aldersgate was recognized for its implementation and ongoing community service project “RJW Backpack Buddies.”
This program is staffed by members of the congregation and is solely funded through extra mile giving. The church’s general budget funds are no used in this effort.
Each school week, 65 backpacks are delivered to R.J. Wollam Elementary counselor’s office for distribution to 65 underprivileged students.
The students then return them the following week to be refilled. Typically these students are on the free lunch program and often do not have food to eat at home. Some of these students are even regarded as homeless, having no permanent, long-term place to stay.
The refillable backpacks Aldersgate provides contain simple nonperishable meals and snacks that will feed the child over the weekend. According to the school counselors, the kids are so excited when “Backpack Buddies” are called to report for pick up each Friday, that they must constantly be reminded not to run in the halls.
For the congregation of Aldersgate, members are simply following the scriptures by showing this act of kindness and Love and literally are becoming their brother’s keeper.
If you would like to contribute to the RJW project you may do so by mail or in person by Aug. 1.
Be sure to specify “RJW” on your gift.
Aldersgate is at 13217 FM 1764, Santa Fe, TX 77510. Donations to the project through Aldersgate United Methodist Church are tax deductible donation.
If you would like additional information please email your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg N. Seay is finance chair at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Santa Fe.