Pleasant Valley Community Church has given a Christmas gift to the families of 551 students in the Daviess County, Kentucky school system.
The church has paid the current student lunch debt for 17 schools for the fall semester. The donation amounted to about $4,500 for students in grades K-12.
Jamus Edwards, lead pastor of preaching and vision, said the Owensboro church wanted to help families during the Christmas season.
“The holidays are the best of times and worst of times,” Edwards said. “For a lot of families, the holidays come with all kinds of financial stress and burden and anxiety. We thought this is a small way of relieving some of that financial burden to free parents up and bless their children. We wanted to have a practical way to display the love of Jesus.”
Edwards added, “We love children because Jesus loves children, and we want all the children in Owensboro to know that they are loved and cared for deeply. If this is a small way we can show the love of Jesus and the holiday season, that’s what we want to do, and it’s our great joy.”
In addition to paying the outstanding student lunch debt, Edwards said a personal letter is being sent to every family affected with “a note of love from Pleasant Valley Community Church, saying in Jesus’ name, this is our gift to you.”
Edwards said he encourages other Kentucky Baptist Convention churches to consider taking similar action.
“There are parents who are struggling to pay for their children’s lunches,” Edwards said. “This is a practical way for churches to come alongside and bless those families.”
Hilary Patterson, director of mercy ministries at Pleasant Valley, said the funds came from the Next Spirit-led initiative that the church recently launched publicly.
“We just felt led to bless the school system. We’ve wanted to do this for a little while now,” Patterson said.