2016 has the promise of being our largest year yet for Hope Boxes. By God’s blessing, we anticipate going from 8,000 boxes last year to over 17,750 boxes this year reaching students in 47 schools across southeast Kentucky and Wise County, Virginia. We recognize that this is going to be a huge undertaking, but we also know that God would not have opened this door for us without a plan already in place as to how He would accomplish this task. We invite you to join us on this journey by your or your church making Hope Boxes or even planning to be part of a team this year. We will be deploying 11 teams across 8 counties March 21-April 1. If you have any questions about making a box, please contact our deployment coordinator, Tanya Walls, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at (336) 672-1376. Henry Blackaby has stated that to experience God, we should find where He is at work and join Him there. God is at work in Appalachia and we pray that you will join Him there soon.
We have been blessed with additional churches and participants in our Hope Box campaign. If you have boxes to deliver at a collection site, you have until March 14. If you are going to participate, please go ahead and contact either Tanya Walls at (336) 963-2987 or if you are in Virginia, please contact Mike Dodson at (540) 825-6614. Thank you so much for your willingness to bless the children of Appalachia.
To be sure, this has been a winter to remember for those of us across North Carolina. However, this is nothing in comparison with the horrific winter that the folks of eastern Kentucky have had to experience. Several snow storms followed by heavy rain resulted in flooding and now mudslides. The forecast is even less favorable this week as the already hyper-saturated ground is scheduled to receive an additional 3 inches of rainfall. Roads have been washed out, homes have been destroyed, and some are still without water going into a second week. If there has ever been a time when the people of this area need hope it is now. If you have not considered making a Hope Box before, please do so now. There is contact information available on the website as are directions for making a Hope Box. If you would like to read more about the natural disasters currently facing eastern Kentucky, we offer this article concerning a mudslide that has occurred just blocks from where several of our teams will be staying this year. Please pray for the people of Appalachia and for those who are already on the ground serving them. http://harlandaily.com/news/home_top-news/152217324/Mudslide-wreaks-havoc
It is hard to know what to put in a box for an eighth grader if you haven’t had to deal with that age group recently. So, to help you out with that we are including a list of recommended items for Hope Boxes broken down by gender and grade. The lists can be daunting, so we would ask that you first focus on hygiene and school supplies before moving on to the fun stuff. Now, by no means do we ask that you ignore the fun stuff because these children need things to brighten their day as much as anyone. We simply want to insure that we get the necessities in each box. You may not think a tooth brush would be a necessity, but we have continually discovered that when decisions need to be made between dental hygiene and putting food on the table—food wins.