The Summerland United Church congregation has once again set a new record locally by sewing and filling with school supplies, 238 school kit bags. They are ready now for shipment to needy children in Haiti and Ukraine.
This is only one of many programs sponsored by the Mennonite Central Committee.
The school kits are sent to their facility in Abbotsford and distributed from there.
In 2010, from Canada and the United States, more than 142,000 kits were prepared and sent to Afghanistan, Bosnia, Burundi, Burkino Faso, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nicaragua, North Korea, Serbia and Tanzania.
The shopping for strong cotton, or rayon, material, and the preparation of the bags is now a yearly project, and those heading it have reached out to members of the local quilters and stitchers groups for making of the bags.
This could become a community project.
The Mission and Service Committee of Summerland United Church is hoping to visit other congregations and groups in Summerland, and spread the word about this very worthwhile service.
Summerland Thrift Shop often has fabrics, inexpensive, suitable for the bags.
Of those participating, some are experienced in cutting, some do the sewing, others either donate for the supplies or do the shopping.
This is the 16th year for Penticton, Summerland and other communities. The children whose lives have been interrupted by wars, disease, poverty floods, famine, will value these school kits.
They offer an opportunity for a better future, and the knowledge that people far away care about them.
Marilyn Topham appreciates very much indeed the work of all those who cut out fabric, sewed the kits, donated to buy the school supplies, and those who filled the bags.
If you would like to participate in this compassionate service, you can either provide fabric or sew the bags.
The pattern is available from the United Church office, Tuesday through Thursday mornings 8 a.m. to noon at 250-494-1514 or from Marilyn Topham, 250-494-6434.
If you enjoy shopping, the pattern sheets contain a list of supplies.
A few weeks before school starts, many stores make it easy to find the right supplies.
For those who do not enjoy sewing, or this kind of shopping, a small cash donation will enable someone to obtain the materials, and perhaps, help fill some bags.
Participants do not need to have an affiliation with Summerland United to get involved.