Trinity United Methodist Church in Durham is now well into its third year of partnership with Eastway Elementary School, a high-poverty school just a few blocks from Trinity. In the fall of 2016 and based on input from the school’s leadership, we decided to provide non-perishable food boxes at Thanksgiving and then in December, new warm winter outer clothing for the children in greatest need.
In February each year, when school supplies have been depleted, Trinity holds a school supplies mission project to help teachers complete the academic year without having to use their own funds to buy needed supplies. In May, we collect new backpacks for rising kindergarten children and fill them with the supplies needed to get children off to a good start in school. As students enroll in Eastway over the summer, they are given backpacks.
Now the school has begun to reach out to us as needs arrive. In January, when Eastway teachers returned to school from their break, they learned that one of their own had suffered a house fire over Christmas. The teacher and her young son lost everything, including their Christmas presents. The school counselor immediately contacted Trinity, and Trinity responded quickly and generously. On Friday morning, Jan. 18, 2019, C4C committee members delivered a truck bed full of many needed items, including clothing, housewares, books, toys, a child’s bicycle, and even a Starbucks gift card. We also presented the teacher a check for more than $2,200, all from the many donations we received from Trinity in less than two weeks. We were met with smiles, tears of joy, and heartfelt expressions of gratitude from the individual teacher, the faculty, and the administration. In return, Trinity members feel both humble and joyful that God has called us to this ministry.
We are grateful that such an amount of trust has been established between Trinity and Eastway. We genuinely love the administrators, teachers, staff, and students there and try our best to live out that love in special ways that meet their unique and critical needs. Serving Eastway is one of the important ways that Trinity lives into its vision: By grace, we are called by God to be steeped in the faith, overflowing with gratitude and motivated by love.
Submitted by Mary Beth Markham, The Rev. Susanne Priddy, the Trinity UMC C4C Committee