Tummy Totes started two years ago at Myrtle Attendance Center in Union County. The program sends food home with hungry students every weekend of the school year.

In the first year, we doubled the number of students who receive food. One of the sad things that means is that we have lots of hungry households in our part of the world. One of the hopeful things is that folks want to help.

This month, the program quickly expanded again by sending a week’s worth of food to students’ homes. Before the CDC put the clamps on most public meetings, a group of us gathered to bag and deliver food, and, in some manner, we will probably do the same thing again and again in the coming weeks. My comment at the end of our afternoon’s efforts: “It sure felt nice to make a difference.”

You have probably read it before, but it bears repeating. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” (Fred Rogers). For those wondering, here is a big way we will all get through this together: Helping, being helped, and yes, even witnessing others helping.

It is not the only way, of course. “Praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing, chatting to our friends not huddled together like frightened sheep.” C.S. Lewis wrote that during the atomic scare of a previous generation, but as one writer pointed out, it applies directly to our current crisis.

A prayer for us? May we find ourselves occupied as creatively, as compassionately and as trustingly as we possibly can. “Make the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:16). Grace and peace.

The Rev. Eugene Stockstill is pastor of Ebenezer United Methodist Church and Myrtle United Methodist Church in Union County.

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