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Church’s Christmas Eve offering funds Backpack Buddies ministry through end of school year

HAMPTON—More than $10,000 in gifts to the Christmas Eve Miracle Offering at Hampton and Varnville United Methodist churches has allowed the church to fully fund its Backpack Buddies ministry through the end of the school year.

“Backpack Buddies is a ministry we believe will become a gateway ministry for our county,” said pastor the Rev. Tyler Strange.

Strange said in 2017-2018, they received a $25,000 grant for this ministry. In 2018-2019, Hampton and Varnville UMC committed to fully funding this ministry because the grant was for only one year.

“We gather on a Sunday afternoon at the beginning of the month and pack grocery bags with enough meal items to feed a child for an entire weekend for the whole month,” Strange explained.

Currently, they provide weekend meals for 175 elementary and primary school students in Hampton School District One. There are about 1,100 elementary and primary students in the district, Strange said, and this ministry makes sure 16 percent of these children have food on the weekend.

“When Christians see people in need we don’t just pray about it. We jump in and we do something about it,” he said.

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