Oak Grove UMC Delivers Easter Joy

April 7, 2021

By: Aimee Yeager, WNCC Communications Ministry Assistant

Like so many churches, Oak Grove UMC in Ellenboro has two beloved mission projects they participate in year after year. For Oak Grove, these include a Blessing Box outside the church and a yearly Christmas mission trip to deliver presents, toys, food, and supplies to families in need.

In 2021, however, the congregation had the opportunity to expand their ministry outreach to include a feeding ministry for families who are living in a local motel. The church collects food that can easily be prepared in a motel room with limited appliances. Volunteers box up the food and drop it at local motels in the area. On a normal food drop, the church distributes around 30 boxes of food.

"This food is such a blessing," one of the elderly motel residents says. "I was out of food completely. This sure is a blessing to me."

Around mid-February, the church was informed that one of the motels had several families who were struggling to make ends meet. These families included a total of 40 children. After delivering food to this particular motel several weeks in a row, LouAnne and Jerry Matheson were inspired to bring joy to the children in a special way. 

For three weeks prior to Easter, they asked the congregation to donate toys and treats to fill 40 Easter baskets for each of the children at the motel. The church response was overwhelming! The basket fillers came pouring in - stuffed animals, coloring books, pencils, crayons, candy, snacks, eggs, and more!

Early in the morning of April 3rd, the Oak Grove Outreach Ministry filled each of the Easter baskets and loaded them up to deliver with the regular food drop. 
"I want to make sure they know how much we all appreciate [the members of Oak Grove UMC] and I want them to know how thrilled the kids were," said the manager of the motel. "They were so happy with the baskets! One girl said, 'This is the first time I have had an Easter basket. It has candy and everything!' The little girl was so happy. All of the kids were happy and proud to have their own basket for the Easter egg hunt."