Ministry with Old Orchard Elementary
At Hope we work to create spaces for children (birth – sixth grade) and their families to learn and grow together, step by step in faith. This includes participating in worship as a family, recognizing faith milestones, age-appropriate faith formation, fellowship gatherings, and service opportunities.
Backpacks of Hope
Food insecurity is very real for many students at Old Orchard. While they receive breakfast and lunch during the week, they do not always know where food will come from on the weekend. Working alongside school staff who identify children who are most at risk, Backpacks of Hope supplies a bag of nutritious, child-friendly food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every weekend. Bags are put into the children’s backpacks on Friday so their friends don’t have to know. Backpacks of Hope also supplies holiday food bags for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring breaks along with gift cards.
School Supplies & Stocking the Teacher’s Closet
Every fall, Hope holds a school supply drive to collect items for children and youth at Salem Lutheran along with students at Old Orchard Elementary. Over the years, we have also focused on stocking the teacher supply closet with things like Kleenex, Lysol Wipes, hand sanitizer, and dry erase markers. We have also helped restock items mid-year as needed.
Advent Collections are a tradition at Hope, where we designate a collection of in-kind items for a different mission partner each of the four Sundays in Advent. Each fall, we work with Old Orchard to meet their biggest needs. In the past few years we have collected children’s books, hats & gloves, underwear & socks, and hygiene kits.
Supporting the Old Orchard Staff
Depending on the year, we have helped provide meals for teacher in service days at the beginning or end of the year. The teachers and staff care so much about their students, it’s our small way to support them.
Over the years teachers and staff have looked for ways they can support ministries at Hope as well. While not at all required, they were a huge help in both setting up and cleaning up a Night in Bethlehem. Teacher and staff have also taken over the huge bulletin board outside the sanctuary. Before the pandemic, it was often filled with student artwork or writing prompts. Make sure to take a look at the board the next time you’re in the building.