Tomorrow’s Friendship Friday Popcorn Sale Designated to Purchase Pizza for Guests at Local Homeless Shelter
A few months ago, Mrs. Rupe and I decided to purchase a commercial size popcorn machine and share joint custody of this wonderful new addition. This photo perfectly captured the joy that we felt during the machine’s big reveal party, as we used it for the first time during the Preschool – Grade 2 “Drive-in Movie” experience. As the tantalizing aroma of freshly made popcorn began to flood the hallways, the excitement and anticipation from our potential customers significantly grew as we were quickly learning how to expedite this popping process.

However, minutes after this photo was taken, the smoke from our beloved new popcorn machine set off the fire alarm, and our blissful moment was instantly interrupted by a blaring siren and a mass building evacuation! Sometimes in life, you just need to learn how to quickly pivot and develop a Plan B!

For the past five years, St. Matthew Lutheran School has hosted a family servant event, where those in attendance had the responsibility to make over 400 bagged lunches for the NOAH Project, a homeless shelter located in Detroit. An additional blessing that evolved from this experience always occurred on the following day when our 8th grade had the opportunity to deliver the meals, work in the kitchen, and serve the guests that frequent the NOAH shelter.

As the principal of St. Matthew, I have always had the privilege to chaperone this powerful field trip, and each year, watch the servant hearts of our 8th graders spring into action and do whatever was requested. In addition to watching our students work, some of my fondest memories include watching our students playing UNO with some of the young children at the shelter or listening to our students sing while a guest at the shelter played the piano located in the main dining hall. Upon our return to school, the feedback was always consistent with such comments as "That was so much fun!", "That was such a great field trip!", and "I'll never forget that experience!"

Due to the pandemic, COVID protocols now prevent us from gathering, preparing, delivering, and serving a meal to our friends at the NOAH Project in our traditional manner. However, the reality is that the 400 homeless guests at the shelter still need to eat each day. As a result, we believe that God does not want us to cancel this event, but rather re-design this activity because we know "There Is NO Impossible With God!" So, we quickly developed a Plan B!

This year, we are going to use tomorrow’s “Friendship Friday” event as a means to raise money to purchase and deliver a pizza lunch for the guests of the NOAH homeless shelter. To raise the funds for this pizza lunch, we are going to do so by hosting another “St. Matthew Popcorn Sale” (minus the fire drill!). Typically, St. Matthew sponsors lunch for NOAH on the first Monday of Lutheran Schools Week, so we will have this pizza lunch delivered to NOAH on Monday, January 24th.

We are “ON OUR WAY” to sharing God’s love with the NOAH guests, and we look forward to seeing how the Lord will bless these efforts!

In Jesus,
Mrs. Palka

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