Overwhelming Generosity

By: Mike Sandgren, Justice and Mission Intern

A couple weeks ago, The Well was the beneficiary of a food drive at Mortensen Elementary School.  For the second year in a row, the students at Mortensen collected food to stock our food bank and provide groceries to our homeless friends.

Wow, those kids know how to collect food!  When we went to pick up the items they had collected, the students had gathered all the food in the entryway to the school for us.  As we looked at the amount of food, we had some doubts about whether or not it would all fit in the Wellspring van.  The school had collected over 2,500 food items!  For a moment, I thought the collection might require multiple trips.  Luckily, thanks to the skillful packing technique of our volunteers, we were able to squeeze all the food into the van, utilizing every square inch of space!  When we got it back to church, we did our best to sort all the food and get it stocked.  Several hours later, we realized there was simply too much to sort that day.  If you’ve been down to The Well in the last couple weeks, you’ve probably seen a good portion of the food still waiting to be sorted.  There was so much food, we haven’t had time to sort it all yet!  Talk about overwhelming generosity!

The benefits of such a large donation are multi-dimensional.  Of course, receiving so much food will be a huge financial asset to The Well, since we won’t need to buy as many food items from our regular supplier in the coming weeks.  However, beyond financial considerations, it’s beautiful to see members of the broader community get behind The Well’s mission in such a tangible way.  To think that elementary school students were willing to put such an incredible effort into serving the needs of individuals whom they will likely never meet is inspiring.  From my vantage point, as someone who gets to interact with both the students who collected the food and our homeless friends who receive the food, I am well-positioned to recognize the mutuality of the benefits in the relationship.  While our homeless friends are able to have their physical needs met through the students’ efforts, the students themselves get a practical illustration of Jesus’ words, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).