New Life Church Bristow Provides 10,000 Meals to Prince William Children

| April 1, 2014 | 0 Comments | Community

New Life Christian Church in Bristow met its goal of raising $10,000 to provide 10,000 nutritious meals through Generosity Feeds for needy children in Prince William County, and on Sunday afternoon at Piney Branch Elementary School, 200 volunteers spent several hours compiling and packing those 10,000 meals for delivery.

Community members join together at Piney Branch Elementary on Mar. 30 to package soup mix.

New Life Minister Stan Rodda and event organizer Jodi Nevin worked with Prince William County School counselors and social workers over the previous months to identify students who were in need of healthy meals. Rodda said they were so successful raising money for the causes, they were able to raise enough money to even help children living in Woodbridge and Dale City.

Sunday afternoon, the cafeteria at Piney Branch in Gainesville was organized into assembly lines of community members working tirelessly but efficiently, taking powdered vegetables, spices and broth and combining them into a small bag. At the other end of the table, volunteers sealed and packaged 25 bags to a box.

Megan Eno (shown with Jackie Thomson to her R) said it was great to see so many new faces coming together for a common cause.

Seventy percent of volunteers were not New Life church members, but community volunteers who heard about the church’s efforts mainly through social media; New Life parishioners said that is a good thing.

“Getting to meet new people from the community – that’s really fun,” said Megan Eno, wife of Worship Minister Dan Eno. “We’re automatically connected because we’re all here and we’re all willing to help people.”

Eno said that from New Life’s point of view, it’s “awesome to show the community that this is something really important to New Life, and [this kind of community service] makes us what we are.”

Children were an integral part of the packing operation. “What I really like is many of these kids are bagging meals, and it’s going to kids that they may go to school with,” New Life church member Misty Rodda said.

Taylor Wolfe, 10, said it feels good “to help children who don’t get dinner or lunch.”

Children of all ages packed bags and boxes to go to other children in the county. Brendon Shaw with Jeslyn Hunter and Taylor Wolfe.

Parents and children alike got to know each other as families teamed up with other families, groups and individuals to form their small assembly units.

Volunteer Michelle Peavie said she was surprised how much could be accomplished in just one afternoon of volunteerism.

“Doing all this [and] feeding so many children is surprising to me. Being able to pack 10,000 meals in a few hours to feed all these kids throughout the county is really incredible,” she said.

Scott Jacobs, one of the Republican candidates planning to run for Brentsville Supervisor, said he wanted to participate in the important cause.

“This is not my home church, but I have a friend who came out and invited me to help,” Jacobs said.

He acknowledged that charity should begin within one’s own community.

Families came together to volunteer working along side friends and neighbors. Front: L-R Jonovan Peavie and Lydia Fredericks; Back row: L-R Barrett, Sydni and Michelle Peavie

“To feed children in foreign countries is one thing; to feed them in our back yard is another. I think this is a very good cause,” he said.

Church member Kim Irving said she hopes that other local churches will follow New Life’s lead and also work with Generosity Feeds.

“A lot of people said they were interested in hosting events. If all of the churches would do so, we could really make an impact on the schools,” she said. “Ten thousand is a start, but I’m not sure that will get them through Spring break.”

Organizers said that guidance counselors and social workers worked to provide enough lunches and dinners to get children through all school holidays, but not enough to get them through the entire summer. However, Mrs. Rodda said the church is already thinking about hosting a second event to keep those meals coming.

School children in need will receive a box of nutritional soup mix. Volunteer Annabel Frederick shows off what the finished packets look like.

New Life Christian Church is a nondenominational Christian church with two locations in Chantilly and Bristow. Readers can find more information about the service-oriented church at newlife4me.com. 

© 2014, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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