I love every day at All Saints, but Thursdays are extra special because this is the day that our “Sandwich Squad” students make and deliver 75 bagged lunches to the St. Matthew’s Lunchtime Ministry Program around the corner from our school. I love the happy, productive buzz that is created when the First Grade hallway is turned into an assembly line so that students can make sandwiches and create portion-size bags of chips or pretzels to be placed into brown bags with cookies and/or a piece of fruit. On special occasions they also include student-created cards or notes. What’s really special about this activity is that students in Grades 2-8 give up their recess time to serve others and the guests at St. Matt’s are always extremely appreciative – giving the students a round of applause when they arrive with the 50-75 bagged lunches.
For those of you who haven’t had the experience of handing a hungry person a bagged lunch, let me tell you – it’s a powerful experience! As you look the person in the eye and hand them their lunch, the “thank you” and smile you receive will give you goosebumps. Like our students, you’ll have the experience of knowing that you might not be able to solve world hunger, but you can, for today, make sure that a fellow human being has a meal prepared just for them by a relative stranger; you’ll experience the irony that happens with meaningful service projects – you’ll enter with the goal of giving to others, but you’ll receive more than you give in feeling a sense of spiritual connection with others.
Sandwich Squad supplies are all donated by families at All Saints. Parents who contribute items tell me that they enjoy the experience of shopping with their children and talking about the need to pick up something for others. What a wonderful, concrete way to engage your children in the act of giving. Children certainly understand the feeling of being hungry and can imagine how hard it would be to not have enough to eat, and they develop a sense of self-worth and purpose when they share their shopping “spoils” with others.
Sandwich Squad needs your help! With our open call for donations, we are finding that it’s either feast or famine, so we are organizing a way for parents to sign up to sponsor a day or part of a day. It costs about $1 for each bagged lunch we make, and we aim to have enough supplies to make 50-75 bagged lunches each week. Here’s how you can help: 1) Shop for the items for a given week (we’ll assign the week and give you a shopping list), or 2) make a financial contribution for a week or part of a week and we’ll do the shopping for you!
As we teach our students, there are times in our lives when we will be in a position to give support, and there will be times when we need to gracefully receive help. Please support the continued work of the Sandwich Squad if you are able so that our students can benefit from the joy of giving, and the guests at St. Matt’s can know that someone at All Saints cares about them. Who knows what you might receive in return for your kindness?
To sign up to help, or for further questions about Sandwich Squad, please contact Stephanie Karian: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions, comments, thoughts? I’d love to hear them! Email me: email@example.com