The cloudy day began with the reality that the rains from Hurricane Delta would produce their full effect in the early afternoon of Saturday, October 10th. However, members of the Collierville community and surrounding areas were experiencing unprecedented difficulties due to the impact of COVID-19 and they needed help. Undaunted by the incoming storms, approximately 35 volunteers from Collierville Connected, in partnership with the Resource Redistribution Ministry of Collierville United Methodist Church (CUMC), gathered at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church to sort donations of perishable and non-perishable food.
“All who came were fed”– Matthew 25:35.
This was the first attempt at a food distribution event by Collierville Connected, a faith-based non-profit founded in 2016 as a group of churches working in partnership with Collierville neighborhoods to capitalize on community and individual assets for the betterment of the common good of children and families. They aim to create opportunities, inspire hope and equip and mobilize persons toward a brighter future all while sharing Christ’s love.
The Resource Redistribution Ministry of CUMC unloaded two vans packed with perishable food items — fruits, vegetables, meats, breads, dairy products, pies and cakes! The church coalition partners of Collierville Connected responded to the need providing non-perishable foods such as pasta, peanut butter, cereal, packaged crackers, cookies, canned soups, meats and vegetables. Empty bags waiting to be filled were provided by Trader Joe’s©.
Those wonderful offerings soon became more than 140 bags of perishable and non-perishable food packed by the volunteers. The bags also contained a prayer of thanks and blessing for the food, a reminder about the availability and location of the 17 Little Free Libraries and an announcement about the re-opening of the two Neighborhood Resource Centers, which help with life assistance, job placement and provide a preschool readiness series.
The food was ready, the volunteers were eager and then came the torrential rain of Hurricane Delta! So too, came the cars lined on Sycamore Drive waiting for the 1 pm distribution time. The rains came in relentless sheets. Undeterred from the mission of providing for our neighbors, rain ponchos and boots were donned, umbrellas were opened and the volunteers brought the sunshine of smiles to every car in the driveway of St. Mark MB Church.
From 1 pm to 2 pm, each vehicle was given 2 bags of perishable and 1 bag of non-perishable food. The plan of God was visible when at 1:58 pm, the final bags of food were given to the final car in line. This ministry served community members from 5 zip codes including the Shelby County, Fayette County, and North Mississippi areas.
Reverend Deborah Suddarth, Jeannie Stevens Jones & Lisa Bryson
For more information about the events and services of Collierville Connected, please visit www.ColliervilleConnected.com, Facebook: @ColliervilleConnected or email ColliervilleConnected@gmail.com.