Fifty Ways #40 — Collaborating and Ministering to All Kinds of Needs

Collaborate with other churches to minister to both the literacy and nutritional needs of children in the community.

Do you remember the story last summer about Agape Baptist Church in Cleburne ?  Pastor Julio Robles stepped up to the plate when he learned of an opportunity to provide breakfast and lunch for hungry children in Cleburne.  The church partnered with others to address educational and spiritual needs of children as well as the physical need for food.


The emphasis today is planning.

From a FaceBook post yesterday:   Literacy ConneXus has offered to work with Summer Meals Sponsors to get them books that they can use for activities at their summer meals sites. The goal is to create a Summer Reading Club at the meal sites, help children with their reading skills and increase program participation. Literacy ConneXus book banks provide books for programs that share books with children and youth. Thank you Literacy ConneXus for your partnership and support. If you would like to get more info please contact Marty Otero, Child Hunger Outreach Specialist at:

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The Texas Hunger Initiative  has twelve regional sites.  Literacy Connexus has three book banks.  Do the math, friends.  We need help!  More books.  More book banks.  Ten planners signed up yesterday for books in Fort Worth.  We’ll need donations by June 1. 

Confident that God will provide.


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Fifty Ways #38 — Honor, celebrate, and support teachers at a local school

My first thought on this way your church can bless your community through literacy:  “It takes one to know one.”  And not a playground retort.  Rather, it takes a retired educator (teacher) to know how to honor, celebrate and support teachers at a local school.

Case in point – Caroline Bell – retired three years ago after teaching for 36 years in Fort Worth and Crowley–mostly Kindergarten.  As you might guess, Books for the Border and Beyond is a special passion for Caroline.  But this week we’re taking a look at how your church can make a difference in the lives of teachers at a local school:  Put a smile on their faces.  Help them know that they are not alone.  Assure them that their work is appreciated.

Caroline Bell

In the past two years Caroline has led her church, Western Hills Baptist of Fort Worth, to celebrate the teachers of their adopted public school on special occasions like Valentine’s Day.  She has made sure that teachers have special food items on teacher workdays, and has brightened their faces with encouraging notes.  Next week, New Year’s resolutions will be severely tested by the arrival of cinnamon rolls from a famous local bakery.

Caroline has also lightened the load for teachers by encouraging her church to devote funds to special projects chosen by the principal.  She has been reading to first graders on a weekly basis through the Fort Worth ISD’s Read 2 Win program.  Working with a local food pantry, Caroline helps prepare  “snack packs” for children who lack food at home.  Her compassion for the children is evidenced by what she does—and leads others to do—as well as how she blesses the teachers and administration in this adopted school.

Caroline reading to girl

The principal put it like this, “The amount of support that Western Hills Baptist provides to our campus is so meaningful and makes such a huge impact.”

Literacy Connexus seeks to be a catalyst for change in communities.  As a board member, Caroline Bell sets a great example by leading her church to honor, celebrate, and support teachers.

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