Newsletters
April 2017
April was a packed month with tons of serving opportunities in West Houston!  We:
  • Made Easter treat bags for the kids at the East Spring Branch Food Pantry
  • Assembled care packages for kids with cancer enduring chemo
  • Put together weekend food bags for the kids at low income elementary schools
  • Made lunches for the homeless
  • Cheered up some senior citizens with a music class in their retirement home
At most of the events last month, I told the story of The Good Samaritan (sometimes using Power Rangers as props!).  We talked about how the good helper had every reason to not stop and give his time and energy on a dangerous road.  The children heard how it's not always fun or the easiest thing to stop and help, but we should always be looking for ways to share God's love with others.
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March 2017

We had a great time in March!  Little Lights:
  • Assembled food bags for the homeless in the First Ward through the MDUMC Soupmobile
  • Organized snack packs for "at-risk" kids through Generation One
  • Assembled weekly food bags for kids who qualify for free or reduced meals at Blackshear and Spring Shadows Elementary Schools through Blessings in a Backpack
A special thanks to Jordan Maedgen for leading the event for Generation One!  At each of our events this month we talked about a story in which kindness cam full circle, spreading from one person to the next until it reached back to the original one who did a kind deed out of love.  We talked about how Jesus came to the earth as the perfect example of love.  While we can never be perfect like him, we can change the world by giving His love to others and watching kindness "catch on" and spread. 

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February 2017

In February, we had a month full of activities!  We:
  • Sang and danced with the seniors at the Parkway Place
  • Filled bags for the homeless and for kids needing weekend meals
  • Assembled dog treat bags for AniMeals to help homebound seniors care for their beloved pets
At each gathering, we talked about Galations 6:2 which says, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."  We talked about how we all have burdens, or problems, and it is so nice when someone walks alongside us to ease our troubles.  I encouraged each of the children to try to memorize this verse if they can...it's such a good one to remember that God is asking us to obey his law by helping other people when they need a helping hand.
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January 2017
In January, the kids:
  • Assembled Valentine treat bags for the kids at Blackshear Elementary School and Spring Shadows Elementary through Blessings in a Backpack
Sweet Melissa Peter read "Plant a Kiss" to the children and explained how one small act of love can bloom into something bigger and bigger.  Kindness is contagious, and it's beautiful to see the kids begin to understand that one small act done by a child can ripple through their world and cause love to spread.

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November 2016
We learned so much this month with some new activities!  In November, the kids:
  • made sandwiches and assembled lunch bags for the homeless in the 1st ward through the MDUMC Soupmoblie
  • gathered supplies and necessities for the Houston Refugees at Family Point Resources
  • cooked dinners for Family Point Resources single parents at Figlia Kitchen
  • sang and danced with the senior citizens at the Treemont with Tina Throckmorton
A special thank you to Michelle Rigo, of Houston Welcomes Refugees, for teaching the kids of Little Lights about the world and other cultures.  Also, thank you to Brooke Daniel for hosting a cooking class so the Little Lights kids could learn to make a meal for others who need a helping hand.

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October 2016
Thanks for being excellent helpers, Little Lights!  In October, the kids:
  • made sandwiches and assembled lunch bags for the homeless in the 1st ward through the MDUMC Soupmobile
  • trick or treated in costume to the senior citizens at the Treemont 
  • packed healthy snack packs for the kids at Generation One
We were so fortunate to have Jordan Maedgen come and speak to the kids about Generation One and organize an entire Little Lights event for 20+ kids!  Thank you, Jordan, for including us in your mission to serve the kids at Generation One!
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August/September 2016
What a great start to the school year!  In August and September we served our Houston community by:
  • assembling school supplies for two local elementary schools, Treasure Forst and Housmann Elementary
  • packaging rice and beans for the East Spring Branch Food Pantry
  • singing and dancing with the senior citizens in a music class taught by the amazing Tina Throckmorton (Music Together) at the Parkway Place
  • putting together Halloween treats bags for the kids at Blackshear and Spring Shadows with Blessings in a Backpack
  • making sandwiches and assembling lunch bags for the homeless in the 1st ward through the MDUMC Soupmobile
  • assembling fun and creative chemo care packages for kids with cancer in honor of "Go Gold" month spotlighting pediatric cancer
The hightlight of this month was having Laura Evans, mother to a child with cancer, speak to a large group of kids at Family Point Resources explaining cancer and how it effects your body and what chemo can do to combat this terrible illness.  She used volunteers to be red blood cells, white blood cells and cancer cells in an educational skit.  Hopefully we can all better understand how cancer works and how chemo can help fight this disease.  Thank you so much, Laura!


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January 2016
What a FUN month!!
In January, Little Lights served the West Houston community by:
  • Singing to the Seniors at a retirement community
  • Packing weekend food bags for the kids at Blackshear and Spring Shadows
  • Making sandwiches for the homeless and assembling snack bags to help
These precious children learned how Jesus washed his disciples' feet and did this as an act of love and serve to them.  He encourages us to do the same and to love and serve those around us.

"I have laid down a pattern for you.  What I've done, you do." John 13:15

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October 2015
  • We dressed up in our Halloween costumes and trick or treated at the Tremont with the senior citizens
  • We packed weekend food bags for the children in the third ward
  • We packed over 20 bulk bags of dog and cat food for aniMeals to give to homebound seniors who have pets
  • We assembled 300 meals for the homeless in the first ward

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September 2015

School kicked off with a bang and we squeezed in all of our Little Lights activities early!  
  • We delivered meals on wheels to homebound seniors
  • We sang to the seniors at the Treemont thru a fun music class put on by Tina Throckmorton (Music Together)
  • We packaged weekend food bags for Blessings in a Backpack
  • We made 175 turkey and cheese sandwiches for the MDUMC Soupmobile to be delivered in the 1st ward
At most of these events, we stop to pray for the food and talk about the importance of WHY we are serving.  Right before Jesus washed a disciple's feet, he said "I have set for you an example that you should do as I do." (John 13:15).  At Blessings in a Backpack, we always talk about how Jesus asks us to "Feed my lambs" (John 21:15)…and how the children are the lambs helping other lambs.  It is a beautiful thing to watch the children put their faith into action.  They have heard these powerful words (Love Your Neighbor) in church and it is so tender and sweet to see them trying to love their neighbors in the best way they know how…hugging a senior citizen, learning about the different food deserts in Houston and packing a meal for a hungry child, making sandwiches for the homeless.   


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Summer 2015
Summer at Little Lights slowed down a little and it was a wonderful time of rest and relaxation.  We did have three events over the summer which included:
  • Serving dinner and dessert to the families at Westside Homeless before a parenting class
  • Assembling school supplies for the kids at Westside Homeless
  • Packed backpacks, sorted rice and beans and made encouragement cards for the kids at Treasure Forest and Housmann Elementary through "Love Your Neighbor" Blessings in a Backpack

MAY
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May 2015
May was jam packed with fun!!!  Little Lights:
  • Prepared PBJ sandwiches and assembled food bags for the MDUMC Soupmobile
  • Delivered meals and encouragement cards to seniors on Meals on Wheels
  • Made summer fun bags for the kids at Westside Homeless
  • Had a music class for the seniors at the Treemont and played all the classic songs and danced along

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APRIL NEWSLETTER
April was a great month for Little Lights!
- we prepared PBJ sandwiches and assembled food bags for the MDUMC Soupmobile
- we did Blessings in a Backpack AT Family Point Resources - this was very cool in that one of the kids at Family Point had received a BIB meal before and he prayed over the food and explained to all of us how much it meant to him that people cared enough to pack the meals for him.  

MARCH NEWSLETTER
The Little Lights were up to BIG things in March!
- we sorted and assembled rice and beans for the East Spring Branch Food Pantry
- we put smiles on the seniors' faces at the Treemont as the little ones participated in a music class by the amazing Tina Throckmorton
- we made 150+ sandwiches and assembled food bags for the children served by the MDUMC Soupmobile
- we raised money for Blessings in a Backpack by hunting eggs filled with coins at the annual Little Lights Egg Hunt!



FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER
We had several fun activities in February:
- we delivered meals to 18 homebound seniors and cheered them up with encouragement cards
- we gathered with our friends at Family Point and made random acts of kindness projects to surprise our friends, family and neighbors
- we assembled bags of weekend food with Blessings in a Backpack



JANUARY NEWSLETTER
We kicked off the year with a sweet group of little people delivering Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors.  They were so excited to see these precious children!

We assembled bags for the homeless for the children to pass out with their families.  We talked about how someone becomes homeless and how God loves each person, no matter of what they look like or where they live.  Thank you to MDUMC for letting us use the Scout Hut!

We went to Holy Spirit Episcopal and did Blessings in a Backpack with Melissa Peter!  Melissa is amazing at explaining to children how hunger feels and how we are helping children and families by giving the gift of a small meal.

We went to the Treemont and Tina Throckmorton with Music Together led an energy-filled music class for the toddlers and the seniors!  Even the staff was on their feet dancing!!!  

We LOVED going to CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection).  The kids made "Adopt Me" bandanas, sorted newspapers and made cat toys.  We received a tour of the shelter and got to pet an iguana!

 
NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER
This event is a favorite for our friends at Family Point Resources!  We loved partnering with them to do an outreach project for the community.  We assembled bags for the homeless and each kid could take several home and hand them out. We talked about how each person, no matter their circumstance in life, MATTERS.  

Little Lights headed to Blessings in Backpack and assembled bags of food for kids who may not have food on the weekends.  Melissa Peter, as always, did a wonderful job of explaining hunger to the children.

On Vetern's Day, the Little Lights came dressed in their red, white and blue and we sang and danced to patriotic songs led by Tina Throckmorton (Music Together).  The kids and the residents of the Treemont had a great time celebrating through music all who served our country.

We had SUCH a fun time delivering Meals on Wheels to a 19 homebound senior citizens.  We were so busy that I didn't get many pictures!  The kids worked hard on sorting the food and getting the delivery just right.  What a light these children were for the seniors!  And, what a great reminder for these little kiddos that life isn't always so easy for everyone and that kindness and remembering others truly matters.

 Finally, we went to the Refuge at MDUMC where we assembled 50 stocking for Westside Homeless kids.  We talked about how love can spread so easily if we try to look for the people who need help.  We talked about our capacity to love (which is so great!) and how we just have to search for ways to be helpers.  



OCTOBER NEWSLETTER
We had a great time at the East Spring Branch Food Pantry sorting rice and beans!  We talked about hunger and how our neighbors need a helping hand sometimes.  The kids took a tour of the pantry and saw how small it was and realized how much food must move through there each day to feed over 2,000 people a month!

Loved this event at Family Point Resources!!!  We talked about our community and maps.  We kicked off the event with a very fun scavenger hunt outside.  The kids formed groups and followed a map to find the right stickers.  We came in and read a book about maps.  And, finally we created our own map booklet with maps of the world, the US, our community, our bodies, our rooms and our hearts.  The older kids made neighborhood maps for the new kids who will be coming to Family Point Resources.  It was a blast and the kids learned so much!

Oh, to see the joy on these seniors' faces!!!  The little ones definitely spread light this day!  The seniors gathered in the lobby and we gave them bowls of candy.  The kids went around (and around again) trick or treating in their costumes and practicing their manners.  They were just precious!  Then, the kids got to walk through the "Spook House"!


SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER
We kicked off the school year with GAME DAY at Family Point Resources!  We played a variety of "get-to-know-you" games and ended the afternoon with our monthly soccer game.

Next, we went to the Spring Branch Food Pantry and had a great time sorting rice and beans and packaging them into individual sized bags for distribution.  The kids were able to go on a tour of the pantry.  We talked about how LOVE can move like dominos.  Showing kindness to one person can turn into a domino effect - love can spread quickly!!

What a crowd we had this month at Blessings in a Backpack!  We packed so many bags for the children at Blackshear Elementary.  Most importantly, hopefully we are showing some kids that by providing food that THEY MATTER to us.  We talked about how these children live in the 3rd ward and have literally no access to a grocery store.  Their food is purchased at a convenience store.  We prayed over the food that it would provide nourishment to these children and support for their families.

This was a beautiful morning at the Treemont Fall Bazaar!  Little Lights was asked to come and sell cookies to the seniors.  The little ones had so much fun interacting with the seniors, even dancing to the piano music at times!  It was a great learning experience for the kiddos and a a bright spot for the seniors to see little ones.  



SUMMER NEWSLETTER
We had a blast this morning dancing to the songs of old!  The amazing Tina Throckmorton, with Memorial Music Together, entertained the kids, moms and seniors alike.  Everyone was singing and smiling the whole time!  We love the residents at the Treemont!

The kids loved learning about CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection) and doing service projects to help the shelter.  We talked about how God created everything and how we should love and take care of animals when we can.  We made blankets for the dogs, cat toys, "Adopt Me" bandanas, signs to decorate the kennels and we sorted newspaper for the cages.  The kids went on a tour and were able to see all kinds of animals…but the favorite from what I hear was the really long iguana!  It was a great afternoon!


One of the most fun events of the year!  We had a great time preparing and serving dinner for the families at Westside Homeless Partnership.  We assembled the salad and passed out pizza.  Our smaller Little Lights handed out plates and napkins and drinks.  Some of the kids even offered to be waiters and go around the tables and ask if anyone needed anything.  We ate dinner together as a group afterwards and Christina Yaya, the Volunteer Coorindator of WHP, talked to the children about the organization and how we can help.  What a fun evening of service!

MAY NEWSLETTER
We kicked off May with a Summer Celebration Party at Family Point Resources.  We had a water balloon fight and then hooked up the water hose to a sprinkler and made a make-shift slip n' slide!  Everyone had the BEST time!!!  Loved getting to hang out with the awesome kids at Family Point!!!

Then, we went to Blessings in a Backpack and packed over a 100 bags of weekend food for Blackshear Elementary.  The kids learned about what a food desert is and how important it is that we are able to help feed these families over the weekend.  We prayed over the food and Melissa talked to the children about John 21:15 where Jesus asks us to "Feed His Lambs".

 We had a GREAT time at CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection).  We talked about how God made us and how he made all of the animals.  The children learned how we need to help take care of these sweet animals that need a home as well as the people who are caring for them.  The kids got to take a tour and see all kinds of animals and learn about the shelter.  They decorated kitty boxes, made colorful bandanas for dogs and cats waiting to be adopted and they unfolded newspapers to be used in the cages.  What a fun morning!!



We had a wonderful time at the East Spring Branch Food Pantry!  We talked about putting God first, others second and ourselves third.  The children learned that some families have empty pantries and don't have enough money to feed their children.  We helped them imagine how tough it would be to learn in school when these children were hungry.  The kids had a great time sorting rice and beans into individual sized bags and they got a tour of the pantry by Mary White.


APRIL NEWSLETTER
Easter was on our minds this April!  We were able to celebrate it in three different ways!  

First, we went to Blessings in a Backpack at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church where Melissa Peters talked to the children about the real meaning of Easter.  We also talked about John 21:16 and how God asks us to "Feed His Sheep".  The children all got to close their eyes and hold a food item and guess what it was by shaking it and smelling it.  We assembled so many food bags for the children at Blackshear Elementary!  We counted the bags for each classroom and prayed over the food.  These Little Lights learned a lot about taking care of others and feeding the hungry.

The Annual Little Lights Egg Hunt at Bendwood Park was a huge success!  The children got to hunt the eggs and then open them up to find some filled with coins and some filled with candy.  Each child got to collect all of their coins and come up to the front and donate their money.  We raised over $130 from parent donations for Westside Homeless Partnership!  This is an amazing organization that identifies and assists families in SBISD who are on the brink of homelessness.  Leslie Pine did a wonderful job leading this event and the children had a really fun time!

We had so much fun celebrating Easter at the Treemont!!!  We set up a table for the residents to make cards for their grandkids and for our Little Lights to make cards for their grandparents.  The Treemont made a beautiful backdrop for a photo booth and the Little Lights took pictures of the residents with a Poloroid camera.  We took over 40 pictures!  They loved it!  



MARCH NEWSLETTER
We had a great time at the East Spring Branch Food Pantry!  We sorted rice and beans into individually sized portions for easier distribution at the pantry.  Sweet Mary White gave a tour to the children and talked to them about the importance of serving this neighborhood because otherwise the families could go hungry.  We talked about how God asks us to love our neighbors and how this is a perfect way to show our neighbors that they matter to us.



We had tons of fun with Tina Throckmorton, of Music Together, at the Treemont!  The children had a blast singing and playing with instruments.  The residents had a wonderful time watching the children and playing along!



Little Lights went to Blessings in a Backpack this month and had a fun time assembling weekend food for the kids at Blackshear elementary.  Melissa Peter gave a wonderful talk to the children about hunger and how some kids don't have food to eat if they do not receive it at school.  She talked about the importance of our service and thanked the children for being "little lights" in the world!



We love our time at Family Point Resources!!!  Stephanie Hruzek brought in some disabled cats and the kids loved hearing about how they were rescued and found their home.  The kids also completed some important projects for CAP.  They decorated kitty boxes to provide a temporary home for the the cats while they are at CAP, they decorated brightly colored bandanas for the animals who are up for adoption and they helped sort newspaper to be used in the bottom of the animal cages.  It was a really fun event!!



FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER
The Seniors at The Treemont were scheduled to have a big Valentine's Day Dance so we went to help them decorate!!!  It was really fun!  We helped to create centerpieces for the tables and the older kids painted a big banner that said "Let's Dance!!"  The little kids made strung heart pipe cleaners with cheerios too!  


We had a great time at Blessings in a Backpack at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church.  Melissa Peter talked to the children about "food deserts" and how the kids at Blackshear Elementary don't have the option to go to a grocery store in their neighborhoods.  Most families purchase their food from a gas station or a convenience store.  We talked about how the school provides food for the kids on the weekdays but what happens on the weekends if we don't send the bags?  The kids either go hungry or eat food from a convenience store.  Hopefully the children learned a lot and realized how important their hard work is when assembling these bags.  


The preschool Little Lights had a great time making kitty boxes and unfolding newspapers for CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection).  They also got to take a tour of the facility and touch an iguana!  We talked to the children about how God makes all things, people and animals, and asks us to help care for all.  

We made homeless bags with the kids at Family Point Resources!  It was a wonderful event!  Jason Roberts, the director of Family Point Resources, talked to the group about how we don't know the circumstances of why someone is on the streets and begging for food or money.  We don't know what path their lives have taken or what hardships they have endured.  But, we can show them, through giving them a decorated bags filled with small shampoos, razors and granola bars, that THEY MATTER.  Someone is going to reach out and extend a helping hand, however small, to show them that they are cared for.  It brought tears to my eyes when I saw a child's decorated bag and on the front, drawn in crayon, was the words - "You matter to me!  God Bless you."  Beautiful.  The children each got to take 3-4 bags home to put in their car to give out when the right time arises.
  
JANUARY NEWSLETTER
We kicked off the New Year by heading to the East Spring Branch Food Pantry.  The kids sorted rice and beans into individual portions, they went on a tour of the pantry and they had a great time running around playing tag too!  It was a great time had by all!


Blessings in a Backpack was our next event!  The kids learned about how important the weekend meals were for some of their neighbors and how important it is for us to be thinking of others and helping as much as we can.  Melissa Peter does such a wonderful job of engaging the children and making this event new and different each time we go!  The kids prayed over the food and packed tons of bags to be delivered.  


Our last event in January was at Family Point Resources.  We played board games with the FPR kids and even made up a game of "Balloon Baseball"!  The event was fun....but my favorite part was when we were about to leave and my kids and their friends just had to play a few minutes of soccer on their small field.  Well, 5 minutes turned into an hour.  It was a perfect picture of a blended community and a blessing for all.  The kids laughed and formed friendships and learned from one another.  It was just a beautiful thing.  




DECEMBER NEWSLETTER


It's Music Class Time!  Tina Throckmorton, with Music Together, led the children in an interactive and fun music class at the Treemont, a retirement home.  The seniors participated and were engaged in the class as well!  The children had a great time and it meant the world to the residents to see these young and precious faces.

We had so many kids at the Blessing in a Backpack event!!!  Melissa Peter did a great job of explaining hunger to the children and talking about how so many of these kids don't have a meal to eat after school gets out on Friday afternoon.  We worked hard to stuff bags of food to be placed in their backpacks for the weekend.  We prayed over the food and had a great time being Little Lights!


NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER
Thanks to the DeLoach family for helping to organize the craft room at Family Point Resources!!!  Lizzie, Nate and Ben tested all the markers, sorted all the sports clothes and sorted crafts into the appropriate bins.  These children worked so hard for an hour and then they wanted to help clean up after so the boys swept the room!

These precious children had so much fun stuffing stockings for the children of Westside Homeless!  We talked about why God asks us to love other people and serve other people.  We talked about how Christmas is a time when we sometimes think a lot about ourselves...but how God asks us to think about others and share our hearts with them.  The kids grabbed a stocking and began down an assembly line until each one was full.  We stuffed over 40 stockings!  Thanks to Westside Homeless for letting us use their conference room and have this wonderful opportunity!

We had such a great time at Blessings in a Backpack this month!!!  Thank you again to Melissa Peter who generously gives of her time to teach the Little Lights about how to share food with those who are hungry.  We assembled so many bags of food that will be placed in a child's backpack and serve as weekend food for their family.  The bigger kids were able to serve as helpers, tying the bags shut and helping Melissa with the counting and bag openings.  Thank you to all who participated.  We have such a wonderful, loving community!

It's time to decorate for Christmas!!!  We had eight stations where the children of our community came together at Family Point Resources to decorate the library with their crafts for Christmas.  Reindeer, garland, ornaments and Christmas cards were made.  The children could donate their craft to Family Point or they could take home some too.  It was amazing to see these children part ways with some of their hard work to help make the library festive.  For some, it was a true sacrifice and it was sweet to watch.  Thanks to Stephanie Hruzek of Family Point Resources for welcoming in Little Lights and helping us organize a very fun afternoon for all!

OCTOBER NEWSLETTER
Thanks again to the East Spring Branch Food Pantry for welcoming the smallest Little Lights to help sort rice, beans and toiletry items for those in need.  First we gathered the kids and had a bible lesson sharing the importance of loving our neighbors and reaching out to those who may need it the most.  Then, we put the kids to work!  They had a great time measuring and assembling - job well done!  Robin Harger led the families on a tour right before it opened and the kids got to see the inside of the small pantry that so many people rely on for food.  Thank you for the donations and for supporting this wonderful organization in our community!


Thank you to MDUMC for opening your doors to Little Lights and partnering with Blessings in a Backpack and Holy Spirit Episcopal!  Melissa Peter once again gathered the children around and explained how the kids at Blackshear Elementary need food for the weekends.  We are helping them fill their tummies so that they can come to school on Mondays ready to learn and able to concentrate.  We learned that in the "food desert" (3rd Ward) that most families live in government housing and buy their food from gas stations because there are not grocery stores in the neighborhoods.  We assembled bags of food, prayed over the food and then counted each bag and packaged them into classroom sized bags for distribution.  


We visited the Treemont retirement community and had the best time!!!  Sweet Tina Throckmorton led the children in a music class that everyone enjoyed!  She played music that the kids AND the senior citizens enjoyed and involved everyone with musical instruments, shakers and scarves.  The seniors had big smiles as the children passed out instruments to them and gave hugs.  What a precious sight to see!





SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER
The kids had the best time at Shear Blessings in a Backpack!  Melissa Peter is just an amazing and gifted teacher.  She explained how it felt to be hungry and why we were trying to help our friends at another school.  We assembled over 100 bags of food and then prayed over the food with a Superman prayer (so cool)!  Then, we used our math skills and counted every small bag and put them into larger bags.  Thank you, Melissa, for inviting Little Lights Houston to be a part of your ministry.  And, thank you Holy Spirit Episcopal Church for letting us use the room.  The kids learned so much about serving and loving others.

Thanks to all who braved the rain to come and serve!!!  We made cards to put in bags filled with toiletry items to give as gifts for the clients of the East Spring Branch Food Pantry.  We also sorted rice and beans into individual sized portions.  Sweet Robin Harger led the families in a tour of the pantry.  We talked about how God asks us to love and serve those around us, especially our very own neighbors.  Matthew 22:36-40

We went to Bendwood Park and had a "Wrapping Party!" for the babies at LifeHouse (www.lifehousehouston.org).  We talked about how God made each child exactly how He wanted them to be....from their eyes, to their nose and ear and toes!  God even knows how many hairs are on their heads!  We tried to explain just how much God adores His children and how he asks of us TWO big things - to Love Him and to serve others.  So, we had a wrapping party and wrapped 30+ gifts for the babies at LifeHouse.  Hoping some of the hand-picked gifts can make another little child happy.


AUGUST NEWSLETTER

In August, WHAM (West Houston Area Ministries) welcomed Little Lights into their facility.  They were so kind to let us use their lunchroom and they printed out the story of "Whammie" - he is a fictional cartoon character representing the pantry that illustrates when the pantry is happy and when it is sad based on when it is full of food.  We talked about how a pantry operates and how they truly need our help (time and donations) to feed hundreds of hungry people a week!  

The children made cards and homemade snack packs and were able to deliver them to the clients in the waiting room.  It was so special because all of the clients clapped for the children in appreciation.  The children were able to talk with the clients and spread a little love to those who need it most.

Ella Clark and Diana Siefert kindly gave all of us a tour of the facility and the pantry so the children could see it.  Thank you to WHAM for allowing us into your special organization!

 
Blessings in a Backpack is an wonderful organization!  Melissa Peter organized an event for the younger Little Lights where they decorated and stuffed over 120 bags full of peanut butter and other supplies to give to underpriviledged children!  It's is amazing the amount of work these little hands can do!  Thank you to Holy Spirit Episcopal Church for welcoming us in!

At the same event, Holy Spirit let us use another room to help Westside Homeless!  The bigger Little Lights helped to stuff backpacks for elementary, middle and highschool children.  The children used their math skills by counting how many items and followed a detailed list of what items were required.  We had so much fun doing this event - thank you to Christina Yaya from Westside Homeless for letting us be a part of their special Back to School event.



Thank you again to East Spring Branch Food Pantry and Mary White for helping us organize another trip to sort rice and beans.  We gathered at the beginning for a bible lesson on what God tells us about loving our neighbor.  We talked about how kindness and loving others, because of how Christ loved us, is something that can change the world!

We sorted rice and beans into individual size portions and hauled them to the pantry.  Robin Harger, once again, donated her time to give tours of the pantry and assist with this great event.  



JULY NEWSLETTER

Dinner and a Cupcake Celebration helped us kick off July!  The children served pizza, salad, fruit, cupcakes and drinks to over 80 people as the Westside Homeless group attended their final parenting class.

We met at John Knox Presbyterian Church for Lunchtime with the Kiddos!  The children made turkey and cheese sandwiches and decorated bags and assembled lunches for the children of Westside Homeless as they attended camp.  Christina Yaya, the Volunteer Coordinator of Westside Homeless, came and talked to the children about the importance of serving and giving back.  



Sweet Tina Throckmorton, with Music Together, led our children and the seniors in an interactive music class that brought smiles to everyone's faces.  A 97 year old woman told us at the end that she has not had that much fun in 5 years!  Spreading joy is a blast!


JUNE NEWSLETTER

In June, we went to Family Point Resources (www.familypointresources.com) and played with the kids!  We assembled homemade Chex Mix bags for Family Point to give to the kids while they attend classes and camps during the summer.  We also played Twister, darts and games.  Lots of laughter and cheers filled the room!




MAY NEWSLETTER

What a fun and fantastic month it’s been for Little Lights!

In early May, Captain Andy Meador came to speak to the kids at Wilchester Elementary.  He told the children about his childhood in Hunter’s Creek and Memorial and what made him decide to fly planes and how ROTC lead him to the Air Force.  He explained the different categories of the military and told the children about the sacrifices that the men and women who serve in the military make to protect our country.  He even let the children try on his uniform!!  It was so sweet of Andy to take his time to come and educate us!!!

The children made cards for the wounded veterans who are returning home as support and encouragement for all they have sacrificed.  They will be distributed through www.helpingahero.org.


The kids used their math and measuring skills to measure, sort and assemble bags of rice and beans for East Spring Branch Food Pantry.  Sweet Robin Harger also led the families on a tour of the pantry.  We tried to explain to the children how hunger feels and supporting this organization is truly helping children and families that are your neighbors and possibly your classmates.




The young Little Lights had a blast at The Treemont with Tina Throckmorton (Music Together).  Once again, she led a fun-filled music class that everyone enjoyed!  Singing, dancing and laughter filled the room as the children learned about music and tempo while the seniors kept the beat by clapping and dancing when they could!  The joy that children can bring to these sweet senior citizens is priceless!


The Little Lights of Houston “shared their hearts” with the clients of WHAM (West Houston Area Ministries) in late May.  We met and Diana Siefert led the children in the story of “Wham-O” which explained the food pantry at WHAM.  The children were very interested and each got a copy of the Wham-O book to take home!  Each children cut out a heart and colored it and they each made a homemade snack pack made up of Chex Mix, raisins and M&Ms to hand out to the clients in the waiting room.  Each child was able to find a client and give them these gifts…but the greatest gift was walking into a room where many had heavy hearts and seeing them smile at the children.  While the actions from these children did not ease any burdens they were facing (hunger, homelessness, joblessness)…at least for a brief moment they smiled and knew that someone cared for them.   

We received a great tour of Second Blessings store, the food pantry and the counseling center at WHAM.  Thank you, WHAM, for inviting us in – you have an amazing ministry!!!  




APRIL NEWSLETTER 

Little Lights had such a fun April!  We had three events and all were a total blast!

Darling Miss Meg led a group of kids in interactive games at Family Point Resources.  Kids of all ages had fun doing team building activities and making friendships through games and sports.  Meg guided the kids into two teams and challenged the children to problem solve together and find their way out of tricky situations.  The kids all participated in a balloon toss game that had everyone cheering at the end when they finally achieved the goal together of 40 hits without touching the ground. 

Thank you, Miss Meg, for being such a wonderful teacher and volunteering your time to help our children forge beautiful friendships!



A youngest Little Lights went to East Spring Branch Food Pantry to help sort rice and beans.  Sweet Robin Harger led the families on a tour of the pantry and explained hunger and how mommies, daddies and kids, just like us, may need a helping hand sometimes.  We then talked about how kindness and hope are things that can help to change the world and each child has those gifts that they can give to others.  It was precious to see these little ones helping serve our community.

Finally, the amazing and talented Tina Throckmorton held a Music Together class for our Little Lights at the Treemont.  She involved our children in singing, dancing, laughing and sharing with the residents of the Treemont.  The kids had a great time, as did the moms and the seniors! 

Thank you, Tina, for sharing your love of music with others!!!  






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MARCH NEWSLETTER

The Little Lights of Houston have been quite busy!  We had a great time planning a cookie decorating party for the kids at Family Point Resources.  We played bingo and a sweetheart stacking game too.  The kids all had a fabulous time and were filled with plenty of sugar before we left!

The Little Lights used their math and measuring skills at the East Spring Branch Food Pantry.  We sorted rice and beans, and grits too, and measured and bagged them into individual sized portions.   Each family received a tour of the pantry from the director, Mary White, during operating hours.



The youngest Little Lights had an egg hunt at Bendwood Park in which half of the eggs were filled with coins and half of the eggs were filled with candy.  We hunted the eggs and then talked about the Greatest Commandment and how we should love others, especially those in need.  The children were able to shake their eggs to determine if they thought they contained coins or candy and then open them.  The little ones collected the coins and brought them forward to donate to the East Spring Branch Food Pantry.  In all, the families who attended the egg hunt donated $122!



Finally, we had a Popsicle Park Play date for ALL!  Many children, including those with special needs, came to play in a kickball game and just have fun at the park.  We had a lemonade stand AND one of our sweet children, Ella Crabtree, made bracelets!  We collected $24 for Social Motion Skills, a Houston organization that provides social integration classes and activities for children, teens and adults with autism spectrum disorders and learning differences.  







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