Givers, Giving and Gifts
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House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Oakdale has a long history of partnering with Cowern School, which is located less than a mile from our church. It’s not only our local elementary school, but it’s also the location where we held our first services over 50 years ago, before our church building was built.
One of the ways the church supports the school is by its involvement in The Sheridan Story, which works to combat hunger in our community by filling the gaps to food access that children face: primarily weekends and summers.
House of Prayer supports the Sheridan project at Cowern in three ways:
House of Prayer has been providing food for kids at Cowern Elementary for the past two years. Our prior relationship with Cowern made this transition into bringing food weekly a very easy task. We are blessed to also be supported by some fabulous staff at Cowern. Our main contact, Sari Maltrud, was a great resource for our project. Because Sari had experience running this program at another school, she made it very easy for us to begin the project at Cowern. She does much of the harder work for us. She is responsible for signing kids up for the project, tracking how many packages she wants us to deliver each week (which changes often), creating the system to “mark” backpacks so that we know which ones get the packages, and reporting back to The Sheridan Story.
This ministry has brought our congregation a lot of joy with pretty minimal work on our end. We’ve learned a few tricks throughout the two years, both in how we coordinate and manage our volunteers and also in how Cowern manages the project to keep it easy for our volunteers. In the end, because of the great support we received from Cowern Elementary, beginning this ministry was really a matter of fundraising the money, finding people who were strong enough to move the cases around, and ensuring we had enough storage space. We would highly encourage other congregations to look into creating a partnership with The Sheridan Story and the local elementary school.
House of Prayer Lutheran Church, Oakdale
The Sheridan Story is seeking additional churches and community organizations to sponsor other schools. It also welcomes financial donations, fundraising efforts and volunteers. The Sheridan Story, headquartered in Roseville, distributes more than 23,000 meals to kids in our community each week. Learn more at www.thesheridanstory.org/.