Dayton, Ohio (PRWEB) December 14, 2012
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s effect on West Virginia, students at United Theological Seminary made a pledge themselves and issued a challenge to the faculty and staff to help raise funds to go toward filling food pantries in West Virginia that serve the area of its sister campus in Buckhannon, WV.
United Theological Seminary Master of Divinity student Heather Rutherford organized the food drive, participated in buying the items and traveled to West Virginia to deliver the food.
“There was pure joy and thankfulness that I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed before, just the look on their faces when the van opened up and it was fuller than they thought it would be,” Rutherford said of the delivery day.
The United Theological Seminary Student Council pledged $300 to this effort, and their challenge to the faculty and staff (together) was to match that amount of giving with cash donations. The Student Council further challenged the Miami Valley District of the UMC to match the collective goal of the United community, and they agreed to do so. Working together, they had the goal of raising $1,200 in relief funding for food pantries in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Through the donations, they were able to surpass their goal and raised $1,220 to go toward the purchase of food and personal items.
Rutherford and United’s Student Council corresponded with Julie Dean, a United Master of Divinity student in West Virginia, to research the greatest food pantry needs in the Randolph County, WVa., area where Dean lives and serves in ministry. Five food pantries received the donations: Tyrand Cooperative Ministries (serves 60 families per month), The Rock Ministries (serves 85 families per month), The Blessing Basket (serves 150 families per month), Beverly UMC Food Pantry (serves 30 families per month) and Catholic Charities of West Virginia (serves more than 350 families per month).
"On an average month we have about 50 to 60 families coming in for food from our regular pantry,” said Belinda Toms, director of Tyrand. “During the 12 days of the disaster we served 2,640 hot meals."
Dean thanked those in the Dayton area who helped fill their pantries’ shelves.
“I am deeply grateful to all of the brothers and sisters at United and in the Miami Valley District, who contributed to helping our area of West Virginia recover from Superstorm Sandy,” she said. “Your generosity and compassion have warmed our hearts and encouraged our spirits, and you have assisted us in tangible and practical ways during a time of great need. Christmas is surely going to be merrier for many because our food pantries, due to your contributions, are once again able to meet the needs of those who would otherwise go without. We are thankful to God for you and for your expression of the love of Christ to us!”
United Theological Seminary, now in its 142nd year, is one of the fastest growing theological schools in the United States. It was founded in 1871 by Milton Wright, a Bishop in The United Brethren Church and father of Wilbur, Orville and Katherine Wright. United offers accredited, innovative graduate and non-degree education programs for both clergy and laity. See http://www.united.edu for more information.