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Local Sunday school children deliver Blessing bags to children in Moorhead

First Presbyterian Church of Moorhead's Sunday school program delivered 60 Blessing Bags filled with kid-friendly food items and homemade cards to Bright Sky Apartments.

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Pastor Robert Drake from First Presbyterian Church of Moorhead is shown items included in Blessing Bags being given to Bright Sky Apartment residents by Sunday school children Leander Wheeler, 6, and Graem Stevens, 8.
David Samson / The Forum
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MOORHEAD — Children from First Presbyterian Church of Moorhead's Sunday school program delivered 60 Blessing Bags filled with kid-friendly food items and homemade cards to Bright Sky Apartments here on Tuesday, April 12, enough for every child staying at the complex.

Because of privacy issues, the children delivered the bags to Hannah Gilbery, chief operations officer at Churches United, which operates the Bright Sky Apartments. The apartment complex is permanent supportive housing for adults and families who have experienced homelessness, according to the organization's website.

Megan Wheeler, a volunteer with the Sunday school program her 6-year-old son is enrolled in, helped spearhead the project as an outreach of a weekly lesson. She had had prior experience with Bright Sky residents and knew the donations would be welcomed and appreciated there, she said. Six children and three church members helped assemble the bags with donations provided by the entire congregation.

"The idea for the bags started as a way to help cover the needs of children, and the needs the kids picked were food and water," Wheeler explained in an email. "We wanted a mix of good-for-them foods but also foods that kids thought were fun."

The bags contained Mac-n-Cheese, granola bars, fruit cups, applesauce, microwave popcorn, raisins, a juice box and either jello or pudding mix, Wheeler said. Reusable water bottles were also included.

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The project organizers wanted to make sure the items were provided in a reuseable bag, so Wheeler reached out to Gate City Bank about donating bags; she said within hours, she had the 60 bags needed for the project. "It was the easiest part of organizing the whole thing," she said.

Wheeler said the program has only 13 children enrolled with about 8 consistently attending every week, so assembling 60 bags was a tall order. However, the kids rose to the challenge and worked hard to make sure the bags were ready to go.

The project was originally intended as a one-time event, but the children who assembled and delivered the bags were so excited about it that they may continue to do it every year, Wheeler said.

Danielle Teigen has a bachelor's degree in journalism and management communication as well as a master's degree in mass communication from North Dakota State University. She has worked for Forum Communications since May 2015, first as a digital content manager before becoming the Life section editor and then deputy editor. She recently moved back to her hometown in South Dakota, where she works remotely for Forum Communications as managing editor of On the Minds of Moms.
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