Christmas in August: Preschool

Little girl in front of christmas tree

Involve preschoolers in sharing with others through Christmas in August. Encourage preschoolers to bring items listed below for a missionary to be used within his or her ministry.

  1. Select one missionary from the list.
  2. Send home a note to parents to remind them to encourage their child to participate. List items the missionary requests. Remind parents that these are to be new items.
  3. Do not wrap the items. Send only the items requested because storage can be a problem.
  4. Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard or email address for the missionary to acknowledge receipt of your gifts.
  5. If Mission Friends make cards for the missionary, remind them that, other than the postcard, they may not hear from that person because correspondence is time consuming and expensive.

The missionaries expressed gratitude for your support when they sent their requests. They are excited about receiving these items.


Preschool Christmas in August 2020

Bill Pursel
110 East Vine Street
Mount Vernon, OH 43050
Lifepoint Church’s Backpacks of Hope

Facebook page: Lifepoint Church Backpacks of Hope

The Ministry: “Hunger does not take the weekend off!”  In 2016, Pastor Adam Pursel and Nick Zarley had a conversation with an elementary principal about a new program: “Lifepoint Church’s Backpacks of Hope”.  The principal indicated that she had students (kindergarten through fifth grade) whose Friday noon meal was their last meal until they returned back to school on Monday morning.  So, 17 elementary students began receiving backpacks of food for the weekend at this school.  For this past school year 2019-20, 85 students at three elementary schools received benefits from our program.

The principals, teachers and guidance counselors select the students and parents must agree to be a part of our program.  We use three nutritionally balanced rotating menus for the students.  On a typical weekend, a Backpack Bag packed with Care and Prayer will include two breakfasts, two main meals with vegetables, fresh fruit and a snack.  For longer weekends, we increase portions as much as possible without becoming too heavy to carry. 

We rely upon grant funding to determine how many students we can serve in a school year.  In 2020-2021, we hope to increase the number of students/schools and to eventually follow students into the middle and high schools since we know that hunger does not disappear at the middle school.

Items that would be beneficial for our ministry and help determine how many students we can serve for the 2020-2021 school year:

  • Krogers Gift Cards – We would use to purchase the bulk of the food for our program
  • Marshalls $25.00 Gift Cards – Given to students at Christmas break
  • Aldi’s Gift Cards – We would use to purchase canned vegetables and soup
  • Walmart Gift Cards – We would use to purchase canned vegetables
  • Lowe’s Gift Cards – We will use to purchase additional storage shelving and totes for transporting the food.


Resources for Improving Birth and Health Outcomes (RIBHO)
10216 Browns Mill Road
Vienna, VA, 22182 OR

These are the items we can use in our ministry:

  • First aid kits (home visiting nurse bag)
  • Blood-pressure monitors, omron
  • Blood glucose monitors, reli-on
  • Thermometers

Our Witness: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,

I was a stranger and you welcomed me. – Matthew 25:35

Our Firm Beliefs: 1) The world is constantly full of the love of God. 2) God richly provides for daily bread for all His creatures, and they all look to Him for the type, amount, and time of their feeding. 3) The earth He has well adorned to produce enough food for everyone. 4) Our sisters and brothers going hungry, is not a reflection of God’s surplus, but our poor administration of His Grace. 5) There is not a single problem known to man for which God did not provide a solution, way before the problem manifested. 6) Giving and sharing our sacred and divine gifts, inspired, executed and valued only by the Holy Spirit.

Our Calling: As RIBHO, we know we are called to respond to those who are ill, living in poverty and experiencing hunger. Working with and through local congregations, local and international health professionals, and other types of local volunteers, we are uniquely blesses to reach those in need, and often un-captured in the conventional health, social and congregational safety service/care networks.

Our Work: From running a food pantry, mobile health clinics, home-health care, training local congregations in health ministry, mentoring youth, growing our own food, to community meals, we are constantly working together to generate and share solutions that restore God’s people to health, hope and purpose, in Christ Jesus.

Our Brothers and Sister’s Experience: We focus on several vulnerable sub-groups of those who can't access the food they need to live active, healthy lives:

  1. The 60+ elderly, isolated, unwell and unsure where their next medication refill or meal might come from
  2. The chronically food insecure households with malnourished children under 5 years and whose families are living in poverty
  3. Those with unmanaged infectious and chronic diseases, because they lacking access consistent and quality healthcare (HIV/AIDS, TB, diabetes, hypertension, sickle cell anemia).

Our Approach: We start by providing immediate relief to those who are sick, hungry, in need of spiritual care or all three. Beyond relieving hunger, sickness, and isolation, we connect patients/clients to spiritual resources; for example, a local church Pastor who commits to a monthly home visit for Bible study and holy sacraments. Next, we work at maintaining a connection with the clients, their local church and community through our resources which include health education, health promotion, food production, annual access to annual community health clinics and supporting church-hosted community food social gatherings.

Our Partners: Local and international volunteers – to include churches, healthcare providers, farmers, school teacher, women, men, youth and children are our true partners who continue to make Christ visible – as each one reaches one with the love of Jesus

God’s Results: We as a non-profit play the simplest role, of developing material resources and facilitating the logistics of materials distribution that make the love of God a tangible reality in response to His children’s desire of His love. Only God is able to take a single meal shared in expressed love, care and concern to draw a lone lost soul to Himself for all eternity.

Our Gain: To be given the invitation by Our Heavenly Father God, to walk alongside Him at work in the hearts, households, churches and communities of His children is an honor that fills our hearts, and our every effort to believe on God and His great love for us all.


Chaplain Evelyn Wiedner                   
c/o-  Sierra Baptist Church
26355 Buckhorn Ridge Rd.
Pioneer, California   95666

Items that can be used in ministry:

  1. Wal-Mart gift cards for personal items, diapers, food, clothing, etc.
  2. Save Mart or Safeway gift cards for food:  fresh meat, eggs, milk, produce, etc.
  3. Lowe’s gift cards for materials to refurbish housing, flooring, storage, kitchen, shelving, etc.
  4. Staples gift cards for computer needs, storage, ink, desk supplies, etc.

The community ministry provided by Victory Village, Inc. and Amador Pregnancy & Family Resource Center serve the needs of veterans, veteran’s families, pregnant women, and children of families served who are shelter or food insecure.  Housing, education, counseling, Life-skill training, spiritual and physical wellness and training for an abundant life through God’s provision and love of Christ through the generosity of others is provided in our community and county.  The agencies work through donations and with volunteers to bridge the gaps created from personal crisis of pregnancy, homelessness, viable shelter, and transition from military to civilian life.  Capital projects for the remodel/repair of living quarters in a local motel for veterans and expanding working space of the pregnancy center are all projects supported by donations and volunteers.  The use of gift cards will help with all of the projects.  Monetary donations for building improvements are also needed.

The gift cards received through WMU-Christmas in August, 2020, shall help those with whom I serve and also help those providing the assistance.  The ability for clients to shop for what they need and in the quantities needed with gift cards will be such a blessing.  The two agencies shall be accountable and monitor the distribution of gift cards.  With postage and packaging being what it can be, receiving gift cards for the local businesses shall be the most convenient for everyone-donors and receivers.  Solutions for limitations of storage for diapers, clothing, etc. have been discussed and gift cards are the most viable solution for those needs.  Personal items for the veterans and capital expenditures at Lowe’s and Staples for facility improvements and computer needs can also be secured via the use of gift cards.  Being a very small community, the local businesses of Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Staples, Safeway and Save Mart were selected to obtain the needed items.  The distances to larger areas for shopping are prohibitive for the clients being served.  All gift cards shall be most appreciated.

As a CSBC Disaster Relief and NAMB Endorsed Disaster Relief Chaplain, I have found my ministry is not solely for major disasters or deployments.  Chaplain ministry is to minister to everyday situations causing crisis needs in moments of major disasters and crisis needs in everyday situations.  No matter the situation, a personal crisis for someone is just that…a crisis.  As a Disaster Relief chaplain, my ministry is to bring hope through the love of Christ to situations in which clients often feel or find no hope.  With Christ, all things are possible and serving others through disasters or community ministry is a way in which hope, love and Christ may be found.  Whether serving through large and small disasters or through community projects, it is a blessing to bring hope and the love of Christ to others.  For those of you supporting WMU’s Christmas in August-2020, I say thank you on behalf of those I serve and thank you in the Name of Jesus Christ for your generosity and prayers!

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