Volunteers pack gift packs for homeless, lunch bags for tornado clean up effort.

Erin Hernandez, the Missions Leader at Faith United Methodist Church, is pretty happy with the recent efforts of their Missions Ministry. They completed two special projects thanks to financial donations and helping hands.

First up was a Bags of Grace project. “Due to financial donations and donated items, we were able to package 31 backpacks for the homeless called Bags of Grace. We put a Bible, blanket, bottle of water, food items, and a hygiene kit in each bag,” said Hernandez. “We encouraged each member of our congregation to take one and keep it in their car. When they see someone that needs it, instead of handing someone money, they can give them this Bag of Grace.”

The bags were assembled on Sept. 23 and distributed at church Sept. 30. Before that project was even completed Hernandez found another cause.

“After the recent tornado devastation in southern Minnesota, we also collected donated items as well as financial donations to help with the relief efforts,” said Hernandez. She used to live in Faribault and found out that volunteers in that area would be helping with clean up on Sept. 27.

She put the youth group to work on this project. “We were able to package 100 bag lunches — sandwich, homemade cookies, crackers, and fruit. We also collected 10 cases of water, eight cases of gatorade, and eight $10 gas cards,” said Hernandez. “We delivered them to River Valley Church in Faribault on Sept. 27.” She said the items were a help for people with no power and also went to about 75 volunteers helping with storm clean up in the area.

“It is such an amazing thing to see how God works, and is able to bring things together when you simply say yes, I want to help,” said Hernandez. “It was heart-warming to see the outpouring of support we received for these two projects.”