It takes a village
“It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb that means an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.
In the new normal furnished by COVID-19, social distancing, masks and reduced activities and opportunities create barriers to our pre-COVID life - a former life that included hugs, handshakes and high-fives with youngsters.
However, where there is a will, there is a way to show concern and compassion for kids.
In the spirit of that African proverb, the missions committee of St. John’s United Church of Christ, 575 Grape St. Fullerton, held a backpack and school supplies collection event July 23. The church has been doing this for three years, according to Paul and Carol Raszler, members of the missions committee and organizers of the event.
“We collect backpacks and school supplies and take them to the Whitehall (-Coplay School District) superintendent’s secretary,” Carol Raszler said.
She and her husband were in the church parking lot 10 a.m.-noon and 6-8 p.m. to make it happen.
Carol Raszler, satisfied with the participation and donation level, said they were busier in the morning than later at night.
Both Paul and Carol Raszler were sporting trendy, attractive cloth masks. They noted the masks are made by a church member and come in sizes for youth, men and women. About 100 masks have been made and sold for donations.
About $600 has been raised so far from the mask sales. The effort to make, market and sell the masks is called the missions committee’s mask ministry. If anyone wants a mask, they can be purchased by donation of any sum.
Although struggling with COVID-19, the Whitehall-Coplay village, which includes St. John’s UCC, is alive and motivated to help its kids experience success in school and a happy, healthy life in the community.