Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bond deepens between Lakewood Ranch's Harvest United Methodist Church and Samoset Elementary

Andrew Rivera, Liliana Hernandez and Emilia Bravo of Samoset Elementary School. (Herald photo by Jim Jones)
Pastor Steven Price of Lakewood Ranch's Harvest United Methodist Church says Tuesday is the highlight of his week. That's when he gets to read to students at Samoset Elementary School.

It must be a highlight for the students, too, to have this genial, very tall visitor who has genuine affection for them in their midst.

The relationship between Harvest, a super successful church that Price co-pastors with his wife Catherine, and Samoset, which has a huge number of disadvantaged students, is one of my favorite feel good stories.

The school and the church are miles apart, but have developed close bonds in recent years.

It started with a pack-a-sack program, where the church supplied 95 bags of food a week that children could take home on weekends to ensure they had something to eat. Recognizing that the kids could be home alone, the sack contained food the children could easily open themselves.

Tuesday, church members presented a gift of more than $40,000 to the school, where there are so many needs, and the staff, faculty and children are so thankful for any help they receive.

Spending just a little time with the Samoset children on Tuesday, I could see why the Harvest folks are so taken with them.

For more, read Erica Earl's story:

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