On Saturday, Oct. 8, more than 100 volunteers met at Boone United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Churches (UMC) of Watauga County sponsored the event, but a substantial percentage of the volunteers were not members of any Methodist church in the county.
“We had lots of community support and coverage by local media,” said Reverend Marianne Romanat of FaithBridge UMC in Blowing Rock, coordinator for the event. “We had a good showing of volunteers from all the local churches and the ASU Wesley Foundation. We also had participation from members of churches of other denominations. All in all, we were blessed in every way.”
A quarter of the volunteers assembled and delivered 154 craft kits to children staying at the Hospitality House and OASIS shelters.
Another group encouraged people shopping at local grocery stores to donate food. The collected food went to the Backpack program, which gives food to children who qualify for reduced or free lunch programs. Impact Kids Day was able to collect enough food to feed 370 children.
A third group helped local kids by chopping and delivering firewood to families with children, with guidance from Boone Area Ministries, which regularly coordinates deliveries of firewood to local families. A total of 20 people will stay warm this winter thanks to Impact Kids Day.
Most of the volunteers helped with the final event, which was a children’s festival at the Hospitality House. More than 50 children and adults from the Hospitality House and nearby Bradford Park Trailer Park attended the festival. Activities included an air walk (provided by Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue), face painting, jewelry making, a clown with balloons, bean bag toss, sack races, a basketball game, and refreshments.
Impact Kids Day is part of an evangelistic outreach called “Impact Community,” a larger effort of the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. Impact Community aims to put into action the philosophy of the “Rethink Church“ campaign, which inspires United Methodists to look at church as being a verb, rather than a noun. For more information, visit www.rethinkchurch.org.