The Christian Service Center (CSC), owned and operated by the Granbury Church of Christ, serves as the base for the church’s outreach to the Granbury community. The mission of the CSC is to “practice the presence of Christ through ministries of mercy.” Many of you have helped fulfill that mission this past year. Here are a few of the specific ways we have assisted our neighbors in the name of Jesus. Even Santa Claus visited the CSC the week before Christmas. Several elves worked in the back to provide books and other goodies for the kids. One child stated, “I told you there was a Santa Claus, and there he is!”
Ladies from the congregation organized the Practicing Hands ministry to demonstrate practical home skills with people that visit our food pantry. For instance, our ladies conducted a cooking class so guests could learn to prepare food at home using crockpots. Two classes were conducted, and each guest who attended received a new crockpot. Recently, a 92 year-old man told us, “I use my crockpot every day because I am too old to be trusted with a stove.”
Weekend Food for Kids
School teachers tell us that if children do not get adequate food on the weekend, it is Tuesday before they are able to concentrate again on their studies. So we asked school counselors at Baccus Elementary School and Granbury Middle School to identify their students who most need assistance in this area, and we deliver about 80 bags of food each Friday to these two schools to be distributed to those students. Each bag contains food that the kids can prepare for themselves. Upon receiving a bag of food, one homeless first grader who is living with a friend smiled and said, “I don’t get food like this where I live.” H-E-B awarded us a $2,000 grant to help with this ministry in 2013.
Just before Christmas, the students who receive weekend food were given a special treat. Ladies from our congregation prepared Christmas stockings full of goodies for the children at Baccus and bags of toiletry items for the kids at GMS.
Granbury Middle School
Two years ago, Granbury Church of Christ ‘adopted’ Granbury Middle School to help provide for the needs of the students, faculty, and staff at that campus. We furnish bottles of water and snacks for the students who stay after school for tutoring. Last year, 80 coats and an equal number of backpacks were purchased and distributed to those in need. We assisted the teachers with their annual Christmas shoe drive for impoverished children. One teacher reported that a student stopped her in the hall and with a big smile exclaimed, “Look at my new shoes!” Another child said, “I have always wanted a pair of shoes just like this. GMS rocks!”
We also honor those who excel by providing a $10 credit at the school’s canteen for each Student of the Month and a gift card to the Teacher of the Month. Every three weeks we provide goodies to show our appreciation to the teachers at GMS. The Wednesday morning ladies’ class provided a Christmas lunch for approximately 80 staff members at the school to express appreciation for their dedication in helping students prepare for life as adults.
The CSC is a beehive of activity. A limited amount of money is set aside each month and distributed to assist with emergency needs. Conference rooms are used by various community groups such as the child advocacy program and the Mobile Food Pantry Board.
The Food Pantry is open from 1:00pm to 3:00pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. The number of neighbors who visit our food pantry has steadily grown. We now serve 300 – 400 families each month. Over 100 volunteers work at the pantry every month for a combined total of 400 man hours per month. The week before Thanksgiving, we set a new record. In one day, 92 people came for food assistance. We usually average about 80 families per week.