A long standing--and excellent--tradition at All Saints' Church is to gather school supplies for local elementary school students who need them. If you are new at All Saints and you hear someone talking about "the little red school house," which has become short hand for this school supply collection.
To speed your shopping and participation, I have created a wishlist on Amazon.com where you can just click and buy. (Although this is not an endorsement of Amazon, it is meant to make it easy. Please feel free to shop wherever you like! Undoubtedly, all of the big box stores are gearing up for their own sales.) If you buy supplies online, feel free to have them sent directly to All Saints Church, 300 Harrison Ave., Harrison, NY 10528. Additionally, if you prefer, you may give an extra gift in the offering (or by mail); please indicate "school supplies" in the memo line, and we will use your gift to supplement our gathered supplies.
I encourage you to buy name brand supplies. Economically disadvantaged students often have many challenges, and they often stand out in ways they don't want to. Let's make sure their school supplies are the best available, and let's make sure they don't stand out because of having generic supplies.
We will be gathering these supplies starting immediately. We will have a basket for them in the back and another one under the altar. If you need to drop them off during the week, feel free to leave them at the church office or on the rectory porch.
On September 10, when we return to our fall schedule, we will bless all of the school supplies that we gather (although, we may shuttle some of them to the school sooner, if folks are exceedingly generous). Additionally, on September 10, we will bless all of our students and teachers during church. We hope to see lots of students and teachers--please invite your friends.
It is worth noting some information about our local schools. We are blessed to be in a great school district, and we are in a generally affluent town--but that is not the whole story. According to Pro Publica, approximately 233 students in our school district are on free or reduced lunch. I suspect that many more are in families that struggle to make ends meet. Our school supplies help them have a successful school year.
If you have any questions, please let me know. Also feel free to ask Nancy Sherman. Many thanks to her for shepherding this collection over the past several years.
God bless you, and see you in church,
The Rev. JK Melton