We’re used to seeing the big semi-truck pull up to East Bethlehem and roll up its trailer to reveal Christmas gifts packed to the ceiling—hundreds of gifts to be dropped off around Southeast Michigan for God’s children. But that’s not all that Gifts for All God’s Children (GFAGC) does.
The Connecting Kids to Christ tutoring and the Sunday School program are a couple other ways in which GFAGC has impacted kids’ lives for Christ. Of course, during the pandemic these two programs were immediately shut down because people couldn’t gather. Cormellon Dixon, who runs the Sunday School at East Bethlehem said, “We had to figure something out, a way to communicate with them. We were able to join in on what the schools were doing by having a virtual Sunday School program.”
In 2021, the program has taken off with as many as 20–30 kids joining in on the fun online every Sunday. They do it over Zoom with lesson plans, Bible messages, songs, and crafts. Dixon is happy to once again pray with and connect with the kids she saw in person every Sunday. And now that they are online, they’ve been able to reach even more kids. They invite anyone who wants to join in on Sunday to reach out and take part by contacting email@example.com.
The CKC tutoring program, which was done in person, has also switched to an online format. This makes it more convenient for volunteers, while still offering the personal touch of one-on-one tutoring.
Devon McCaffrey, a student at Lutheran High Northwest, is one of the tutors who give of his time and his knowledge to help. He works with a 4th grader from Detroit, helping him with language arts once a week.
“He’s learning really quicky and he definitely develops a lot of new skills when we do this,” said McCaffrey.
McCaffrey takes a lot of pride in tutoring. The main reason for this is that he himself was once helped by a tutor when he was younger. Susan Gawencki, who runs the tutoring program, helped Devon when he was in 4th grade. Now, Devon sees this as his chance to give back and help someone who needs a hand.
Gawencki is proud of Devon and grateful to all the tutors in the program. However, she says they can always use more people teaching. Now that this program is online, it is more accessible, and tutors can come from anywhere across the state or even the world.
“When you can share the love of the Lord with somebody else, whether it’s academics or spiritually or crazy pop-up books or programs, they know that there is something in people out there who care about them,” said Gawencki “and they will be able to do that for someone else.”
To find out more about Gift’s for All God’s Children or get involved in the Sunday School or tutoring program, visit giftsforallgodschildren.org.
Photo and video by Jeff Heisner/Michigan District, LCMS