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Zoar reaches out with children’s home gifts, memory boxes, cancer-care bags

No one can say Zoar United Methodist Church in Greer is a small church, for while they might be small in number, they are huge in community and local missions.

This past Christmas, Zoar adopted a project to enable the children at Southeastern Children’s Home in Duncan would have a good Christmas. Zoar member were provided with a wish list from 14 children living there, and they fulfilled every wish and more. Members bought clothing, music players, earbuds, shoes, books and personalized engraved Bibles.

Zoar UMC’s Sunday school class headed up this project beginning in November and completed it by the first week of December thanks to the generosity of the congregation, who donated items from the lists.

Zoar’s men’s group, known as the “Woodchucks,” also handcrafted memory boxes for each child out of specialized wood. Each box contained a New Testament provided by the congregation and a hand-cut cross provided by a friend of the church.

Another ongoing project of Zoar is their Bag Ladies Program. These ladies, along with a woman who is a member of Grace UMC, Greer, hand-paint cartoon characters onto cotton canvas bags. Then the bags are filled with crayons, coloring books, puzzle books and puzzles, writing pads and pencils and Playdoh, as well as small handmade wooden cars, trucks and airplanes made by the Woodchucks.

These bags are then presented to Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas, which gives the bags to children who are in treatment for life threatening cancers. Many times, children who are being treated have siblings who are also given bags.

To date, 1,260 bags have been painted, filled and donated.

Zoar learned of one instance where a child being treated had three brothers, who were triplets. Each child was given a bag, which happened to be on their birthday. The mother told the caseworker that was the only gift they received.

Matthew 19:14 quotes Jesus as saying, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Zoar’s mission is and will continue to be reaching out to young people like these who are caught up in delicate situations, many times through no fault of their own.

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