A lesson in helping others can be found in the After School Kids program run by Faye McRorie in Mount Pleasant.
Since 2009, McRorie has offered an after-school program for elementary school-age children whose families can’t afford after-school care. With McRorie, these children get a snack and sometimes food to take home, help with their homework, and time to play, sing and have a Bible lesson.
McRorie, who is part Sunday School teacher and part grandmother to these kids, recently told them the story of Moses parting the Red Sea, and how Pharaoh went back on his promise and pursued the Israelites, only to lose his army in a watery grave. The children’s takeaway from the lesson: don’t be like Pharaoh, you need to be as good as your word.
They are applying that lesson with a new project: sponsoring a child in another country.
Before Christmas, the After School Kids saw a catalog where they could purchase items like water filters, mosquito nets and livestock for poor villages in other parts of the world. They got excited, realizing they could help people in other countries. So they decided to try to raise $400.
Robert, 10, started cutting paper to make bookmarks which he sold to friends and family. Nicole, 11, explained how all the children made and sold Christmas ornaments.
McRorie said the children decided to sell items which had been donated from a church’s bazaar to anyone who stopped by her school. Through all their efforts, they raised $1,200 to help other children.
It feels good to help other people and make them happy, said 9-year-old Kamya. All the After School Kids wanted to continue helping, so they decided to sponsor a child. “We heard about him, and saw a video of where he lives,” said 9-year-old Alex. “So we started to raise money for him to go to school.”
The boy is a second-grader in India named Omkar, and the children must raise $35 each month to pay for his support. So they’re making crafts to sell. This month, the project is grasshopper magnets.
“We have to make things out of what we can afford,” McRorie said. She relies on donations to fund her after-school program, so there’s not a lot of money available to buy craft supplies. Does this concern the children? “Yeah, I’m worried,” said 7-year-old Thomas.
“It would be awesome,” said 11-year-old Aleena, “if people would come by and buy stuff.”
“People need to take a second and think,” she said. “They (children like Omkar) are a lot less fortunate than us. We have fresh water and game consoles… It makes me a little bit angry.”
So that lesson from Aleena and her friends: Think about what’s important and remember that, like Moses, you don’t have to be rich or powerful to do great things.
Marcia Morris is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marcia? Email her at EasternCabarrusWriter@gmail.com.
Want to help?
Send donations to Dove Ministries, 1837 Cline School Road, Concord, NC 28025. The After School Kids program is at 8344 W. Franklin St. in Mount Pleasant to purchase crafts made by the children.