DI church youth groups join together to collect food for the needy
On a recent soggy Friday morning, a group of almost three dozen middle schoolers sat in the Church of the Holy Cross worship area on Daniel Island. Amidst the eager socializing from the troop of adolescents were a number of adults handing out bags to put groceries in. As the group members exited the church, they headed off to knock on doors in hopes of procuring food items for the less fortunate.
The morning’s events were in support of Mt. Pleasant non-profit East Cooper Community Outreach’s Wellness Pantry. ECCO is a local group that provides basic necessities, such as food and clothing, to families in need. The Church of the Holy Cross collaborated with youth groups from Daniel Island Fellowship and Saint Clare of Assisi on the project. According Pastor Jonathan Bennett, this is the first time the three churches have worked together on a service initiative.
During the food drive, participating youths distributed bags to island residents who expressed an interest in giving food. The citizens that chose to donate returned those bags to the Church of the Holy Cross late last week.
“It’s a great learning opportunity for the students,” said Holy Cross Associate Youth Pastor Melissa Bennett. “[They] see that there are lots of people out there that don’t have it as good as they do, and can’t just go into their house and look in their pantry and grab food anytime that they want.”
“My mom does this project that helps out with people, so I kind of have a vision with helping out people, too,” said food collector Nana Akosua Yeboah.
“They just have a heart to serve. We have a lot of compassionate kids,” said Bennett. “…We distributed 400 bags around the island. We probably should have asked for more because a lot of our groups actually ran out.”
Holy Cross collects food for ECCO four times a year, Bennett said, but this is the first time the church has gone out into the community to ask for aid. Other branches of the church regularly practice this style of food drive, though.
“Our church did this on Sullivan’s Island earlier in the year and so much food was collected for the food pantry,” Bennett commented. “It really blessed ECCO and the people they serve.”
In the end, the Daniel Island group collected 1,540 pounds of food for the cause.
Holy Cross hopes to host similar, collaborative events again in their Daniel Island service area.
“We’re hoping that in the future, it can become an annual thing, and that more and more churches in the area would join us so that we can cover all of Daniel Island,” Bennett added.