Crossroads Community Church believes the best way to strengthen the community is by supporting its students and families. So, for the past several years they’ve made it a priority to form strong relationships with the schools closest to the church. These include Columbia High School, East Valley Middle School, Greenhurst Elementary, Park Ridge Elementary, and Endeavor Elementary.
Their robust outreach efforts began about 15 years ago with the donation of backpacks full of school supplies collected by members of the congregation.
“Park Ridge was right in our backyard,” said Michele Powell, Crossroads’ school partnership liaison. “We’d host a fun event complete with bounce houses, and the kids would take home a backpack.
The church still donates school supplies every year, but their work has shifted to include more schools and a variety of services. Church staff and members strive to meet with and develop relationships with each school. Powell often shows up at schools with granola bars or other snacks as a means to prompt discussion about a school’s focus for the year and how Crossroads can provide resources to help them succeed.
Armed with a list of needs, she then meets with a subgroup of the congregation to problem solve solutions. Sometimes they’re able to provide help quickly.
“One year we learned a family desperately needed a refrigerator. Within hours we had one delivered and installed,” she said.
Crossroads also provides meals for staff before parent-teacher conferences, Thanksgiving and Christmas gift cards for families in need, new and gently used clothing for kids who need to change during the school day, and fun snacks to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week. Earlier this year, volunteers painted two classrooms that were being converted into sensory rooms.
In Their Own Words
Endeavor Elementary normally receives a large donation of shoes from realtors every year. Last year they were unable to do it, so someone called Crossroads. An announcement was made in church and we got the funds for that, then coordinated everything with the school. The result was that every kid at Endeavor got a new pair of shoes in the spring.
How to Connect?
To reach out to Crossroads or get involved as a volunteer, contact [email protected].