I saw the cutest metal lunch box the other day in a grocery store and was immediately taken back to my days of back-to-school shopping at the end of each summer. I remember walking down the aisles of the store to pick out new scissors, folders, and crayons. Sitting at the kitchen table, I’d remove the packaging and arrange my supplies for the upcoming school year. Loose leaf paper stored nicely in new binders with my pencil pouch full of freshly sharpened No. 2 pencils and I was ready to go! Then the first day of school arrived. It was always so much fun to place my new school supplies in the desk marked just for me and my new lunch box on the shelf of other new lunch boxes. I never went to school without having exactly what I needed to start the year.

This, however, is not the reality for many children in our area. Over 20 years ago, a group of friends recognized this and decided to take action. Their response birthed the School Supplies (SS) Kids Ministry. Now, thanks to SS Kids Ministry, hundreds of children every year begin their school year with brand new school supplies.

SS Kids, celebrating its 23rd year in ministry, is an interdenominational mission for children from elementary school through middle school in Madison and western Madison County public schools. Their purpose is to provide school supplies to children in our community who would otherwise not have them. These children and students kick off the new school year with a new backpack full of supplies, which gives them the necessary tools they need to have a successful start to their year.

This is a community-driven effort that benefits our community. Area churches, including Asbury, join together to serve the children, youth, and families in our community. But students and their families aren’t the only beneficiaries. We receive the true benefit when we serve others in the name of Jesus. Peter’s words ring true as we seek to use our gifts for God’s Kingdom purposes. “Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11.

If you’d like to learn more about this ministry and ways you can be involved, contact the Missions office at missions@weareasbury.com.