Our church has a long history of involvement with the children of Fort Worth, starting at least 100 years ago when First Church women saw the need for children of working moms to have care and education. These early efforts became the United Community Centers, which now strongly serves in three locations in our city and has become its own non-profit organization.
For many years the church and/or the First Street Methodist Mission has collected school supplies or uniforms with the intention of helping give kids a good start to the school year. However, In the summer of 2017, FUMCFW Community Advocate Charme Robarts called Fort Worth Independent School District administration to confirm her hunch — that while lots of groups provide school supplies, the greater need in our district is for uniforms.
So, a new ministry was born once again in response to a demonstrated need in our community.
This year marks the third annual School Uniform Drive at FUMCFW in which we’ve collected the district-required pants and shirts to help each child start the school year off right. Charme says that in our first two years of this specially-focused back-to-school program, we distributed many of the items we collected through the clothing United Community Center and T.A. Sims Elementary. T.A. Sims is one of the two schools where our KidsHope volunteers serve. “This year we’ve opted to divide our donations between the two KidsHope schools we now serve —Nash Elementary and T.A. Sims,” she adds. “Lots of organizations collect school supplies, but not many collect school uniforms — so FUMCFW is stepping in to fill the gap!” What can you do to become part of a strong start to the school year for a Fort Worth child in need? On Sundays July 28, August 4, and August 11 between 7:00 am and noon, bring all sizes of khakis or jeans and white or navy collared shirts for children in K – 5th grade to the designated tables by the Main Office and Library.
“We might all question the adage ‘clothes makes the man,’ Charme quips, “but at the same time we know that new clothing can help a child get into the groove of a new year, a new start, and maybe add to the positive feelings we hope will surround these kids at the beginning of the year.”
Charme says that last year we collected more than 500 items of clothing during this drive. Then she throws down a friendly gauntlet: “Can we surpass that goal? Let’s see if we can!”