Shoebox ministry had its best response yet

Published 9:55 am Thursday, December 7, 2017

Shawmut News By Janice Dallas

A GROUP FROM First Baptist Church Shawmut met on November 5th at the church to organize and put together Samaritan Purse shoe boxes that would be filled on Monday the 6th. There was an abundance of goodies to fill the boxes and Elaine Breedlove, Mary Ann Fuller, Linda Tolbert and Terry and Liz Landreth had a great time sorting the items on shelves to make their task easier.

On November 6th, the Baptist Women group met at the church and assembled and filled 70 shoeboxes. Items were donated by members of Shawmut First Baptist Church and the Baptist Women wish to thank everyone who had a part in making this the best year yet for our shoebox ministry.

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Those meeting and filling the boxes were: Janice Sorrell, Linda Tolbert, Elaine Breedlove, Lois Passmore, Mary Ann Fuller, Shirley Bills, Sally Veale, Nita Abney and Liz Landreth joined them for the business part of the afternoon after working at the Christian Service Center’s First Annual Christmas Store.

During the business session Linda Tolbert welcomed everyone and Janice Sorrell opened the meeting with prayer. Nita Abney gave the prayer calendar using scripture from Genesis 18:16-23. She read the names of  missionaries having birthdays that day and Lois Passmore led in prayer for these and other needs. It was announced that the December meeting will be at the home of Becky Guinn on the 5th at 3:00.  The church van will be available for transportation to the Guinn home and will be ready to leave from the church at 2:30.

Linda expressed appreciation to all who brought items for the shoeboxes, worked to put them together and filled all70 of them. She announced that we already have enough money to cover the cost for shipping. The boxes would be taken to a local drop off location at West End Baptist Church.

Monday, November 6th, Bobby and Linda Tolbert, Terry and Liz Landreth, Mary Ann Fuller and Nita Abney met at the church again and loaded the shoeboxes into their vehicles to deliver them to the drop off location. They stayed for the ribbon cutting held by West End Baptist as they officially opened the center.

Beverly Story welcomed everyone and Rev. Floyd Akins opened the ribbon cutting ceremony with prayer. Rev. Stephen Grubbs led the prayer of dedication on all the shoeboxes that will come in and as they are distributed to children all over the world.  Beverly  cut the ribbon and the group sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children”.  Refreshments were served afterwards.

The Golden Heirs of First Baptist Church Shawmut met November 14th in the Family Life Center for their monthly meeting.  Billie Jean Clem welcomed everyone and Mark Richey opened the meeting with prayer. Liz Landreth read the minutes of the previous meeting and Bill Spears gave the treasurer’s report. Those with birthdays or anniversaries were recognized with Lois Passmore having a birthday and the group sang “Happy Birthday” to her.  Nita Abney brought up the goodie bags the Golden Heirs give to the shut-ins and elderly of the church each year during the Christmas season. It was decided that gift suggestions for items to go in the bags would be listed in the bulletin and they will be assembled at the next meeting.

Nita introduced Dan Harriger who gave the program on his work to help feed the girls at the Girls Ranch. The Boys and Girls Ranch was started by a group of sheriffs who saw the need to rescue boys and girls, give them a loving home to grown up in and support for every facet of their lives. The motto of the Girls Ranch is “It is easier to build boys and girls than to repair men and women”.

Mr. Harriger said he moved here from Pennsylvania and found a need that he is helping to meet.  The group homes are allowed $60 per month to feed each girl and since this is set in the budget, monetary donations for food are not accepted, but money is accepted to help with the general budget and food items are accepted, however, budgeted amounts will not be changed.

Mr. Harriger had volunteered for the Society of Saint Andrews who gathers food left behind in fields to feed the hungry and also food left from farmers’ markets. He told of  truck loads of potatoes being dumped in a parking lot where volunteers could bag them up to be delivered to food banks and non- profit agencies to feed the hungry. Some in the group had helped sort and bag potatoes and delivered them to the Christian Service Center several years ago.

Mr. Harriger decided to start a garden to grow vegetables for the Girls Ranch but didn’t have the land and that wasn’t a problem long since land to be used was donated and the work of putting fresh vegetables on the tables to feed these beautiful girls was started.

The garden is organic and everything in it is used. After the harvest, the cornstalks, bean vines, etc. are ground up for food for the cattle and other items are composted for fertilizer. He noted that last year 13,000 gallons of vegetables were canned or frozen plus what was used fresh. Now Mr. Harriger is farming 8,000 square feet and says he could use help as he plants spring, summer and fall crops. If anyone would be interested in volunteering, Dan Harriger can be reached at 706-586-8434.  Tax deductible contributions are: food items, organic pesticides, canning supplies and vacuum pack sealed systems. He would also welcome speaking opportunities.

Following a period of questions and answers, the meeting was closed with a blessing on the food by Bobby Tolbert.  After the meal, the canning supplies donated by the members of Golden Heirs were given to Mr. Harriger.

Those attending were: Bobby and Linda Tolbert, Bill Spears, Carolyn Oliver, Terry and Liz Landreth, Jody Colley, Billie Jean Clem, Sally Breedlove, Nita Abney, Norman and Lois Passmore, Mark Richey, Billy Tolbert, Sara Richey, Gail White and the speaker and his lovely wife, Dan and Pat Harriger.

The home of  Terry and Liz Landreth in Huguley was beautifully decorated inside and out for their annual family Christmas luncheon on December 2nd. Robin, Liz and Terry had been very busy preparing all the goodies for everyone to enjoy and were thrilled at the number coming to celebrate Jesus’ birthday with them. Everyone enjoyed eating, snacking, stuffing their face and generally having a good time as they visited with family members they had not seen since this time last year.

The kids enjoyed riding bikes, playing in the pond and playing with the toys inside. God blessed this day with almost unbelievable good weather, especially when the first of the week it was supposed to be cloudy and raining and  when Saturday arrived, it came with lots of sunshine and warm weather. Our God is so Good! The kids enjoyed the goodie bags filled with candy plus a toy they selected.

Those enjoying this day were: Gene Joiner from Jackson’s Gap, Linda Browning, Bud and Bobbie Dye, Virginia Nolen and Lisa Williams from Alexander City, Bobby, Bree and Crayton Walton and Kelvin, Carolyn and Drake Brown  from New Site, LaShay Robinson, Monica Wesler, Kayley Norton and Donna and Jerry Paul Norton from Heflin, Karen Brown from Huntsville, Thomas, Cole and Casey Joiner and Jon, Stormy, Aurora and Rylee Joiner from Carrollton, GA, Steven, Jessica, Malloree and Haley Joiner from Waco, GA, Robin Landreth, Hermon, Cheryl, James, Jeff and Tony Myers from Shawmut and the hosts, Terry and Liz Landreth. From all of us, to all of you, may you have a blessed Christmas season.

The Baptist Women of Shawmut First Baptist Church met December 5, 2017 at the home of Becky Guinn for their monthly meeting.  Linda Tolbert welcomed everyone and Shirley Bills gave the blessing on the refreshments.  Becky also welcomed everyone and thanked her daughter and granddaughter, Amanda and Lexi, for preparing the refreshments.

Following the delicious refreshments, Linda called on Elizabeth Hall to read the minutes of the previous meeting.  Mary Ann Fuller gave the treasurer’s report stating that the money was donated to pay shipping for the 70 Samaritan Purse shoebox. The  Lottie Moon Christmas offering is off to a good start and will go through January.  Linda stated that the year-long project for 2018 will be food items for the Christian Service Center and any other projects needed.

They will also be doing a baby shower for Sav-A-Life during the year. The items left from the shoeboxes and the stockings made for the widows and shut ins, were donated to Chattahoochee Hospice for the veterans. She passed around a thank you card from Hilda Jones at Chattahoochee Hospice for previously donated items. Linda turned the program over to Becky Guinn who had written “Nine Lessons and Carols” especially for this Baptist Women group. The ladies read scripture and Wanda Phipps led them in singing carols that fleshed out the message of the scripture in songs. Our hearts were made glad as songs were sung about our Savior’s birth. “We could see God’s love for each of us as He sent His Son to be born in a stable to show us the Way.” At the conclusion of the program, a time of prayer requests was made. Becky prayed for the request made and for the missionaries having birthdays today to close the meeting.

Those attending were: Sallie Breedlove, Mae Thompson, Wanda Phipps, Elizabeth Hall, Liz Landreth, Janice Sorrells, Lois Passmore, Carolyn Oliver, Shirley Bills, Mary Ann Fuller, Linda Tolbert and the hostess Becky Guinn.