“‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.” Matthew 25:40

If I would ask what destination holds special memories for your family, how would you respond?

Maybe it would be the location of a special family reunion, endearing visits to grandparents’ homes, the location of that fabulous “once in a lifetime” vacation, or just a frequent treasured destination.

For my family, the Gulf side of Florida, especially the Fort Meyers, Sanibel, Captiva areas, holds many precious memories. Our travels to these destinations began when my children were small enough to require car seats and continued throughout the years to now include adult children and grandchildren. Viewing the continuous news reports of the catastrophic devastation of Hurricane Ian that hundreds of thousands of Floridians experienced two weeks ago is extremely agonizing, but knowing these areas and seeing it in utter ruins just intensifies heartbreak for these residents.

After viewing all of the horrific destruction, some may ask, “Where is God?” The answer is… He is always present, He is our anchor in any type of storm, and He is ready to help. In addition, He also wants His children to help those in need.

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s Disaster Response is one of many organizations that immediately sent teams to Florida. Currently, they are setting up response stations, serving meals to those in need, providing shelter, and helping residents rebuild their lives.

One of the top priorities of St. Matthew Lutheran School is to provide our young disciples with opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus and help those who are in significant need.  As a result, we have two ways in which we plan to raise funds for LCMS Disaster Response as they directly serve the hurricane victims.

Thrivent Financial is a non-profit organization that has a heart for servant hood and the Lord. Currently, they are willing to match $1 for every $2 donated to LCMS Disaster Response. Since the window of this opportunity is very short, St. Matthew Lutheran Church and School will host a Bake Sale on Friday, October 21st, during our school’s dismissal process as well as after church services on Sunday, October 23rd. With the assistance of Miss Toman’s fifth grade class, pans of the famous Mrs. Colby brownies as well as half loaves of cinnamon chip bread from the Commerce Great Harvest Bread company will be available for a free will donation. Students will roll up carts to cars waiting in the parking lot, and for a free will donation, you will receive a pan of either brownies or cinnamon chip bread.

In addition, since the need is so great, this year’s Turkey Trot, which will be held on Friday, November 17th, will also be designated to Hurricane Relief efforts. More information regarding our traditional Turkey Trot will be sent home in the near future.

It is our prayer that these two projects will be a HUGE blessing for those who are in need as we ask God to bless these efforts to “Spread “SON”-Shine Over Florida!

Have so much fun letting the “Son” shine through your all of your efforts!

In Jesus’ Love,

Mrs. Palka

Ready To Learn More?