'Blessed forward' meals by Eden schools provide thousands of Thanksgiving dinners for homeless shelter - North Journal

‘Blessed forward’ meals by Eden schools provide thousands of Thanksgiving dinners for homeless shelter

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 | 2:29 PM

When students at Eden Christian Academy gathered for their annual Thanksgiving meal last year, they weren’t necessarily thinking about finding a new way to help the less fortunate.

But discovering pathways to live out their Christian faith can sometimes come when it’s least expected.

Each year students at the school’s three campuses located in Ross, Pine and Ohio townships gather for a Thanksgiving meal prepared by Medure’s Catering, which is owned by an Eden parent, said Julie Lefever, the school’s communications director.

“Last year, parents ordered and paid for their children’s meals,” she said. “The count was in and the caterer was cooking delicious food. But on the night before the luncheon, a storm blew in and we woke to a world of white and a school cancellation.”

Rather than waste the meals that were prepared, a decision was made to “bless them forward” by having them delivered to the Light of Life Rescue Mission in the North Side, Lefever said.

The realization that people need not be at the same table to share a meal prompted school officials this year to give parents the opportunity to buy a second meal when they put their orders in for the Thanksgiving luncheon, with the extra meal going to Light of Life.

When Medure’s Catering heard what was being done, they decided to match each donated meal with a second one for Light of Life, Lefever said.

This year, 600 Thanksgiving meals were ordered for Eden students and 1,693 meals were purchased by parents, faculty and staff for residents at the North Side mission.

“Between the meals bought by parents, faculty and staff and the ones being matched by the caterer, we’ll be delivering about 3,400 meals — between 300 to 400 at a time — to Light of Life during the month of December,” Lefever said.

Eden students also will have the opportunity to participate in a public service project by volunteering at the Mission when the meals are served, she said.

“We’re trying to help them understand their faith and how they can live it out by helping others who might not have the same opportunities they have,” Lefever said. “The idea is to provide them with the tools they need to find a God-directed future and prepare them to have an impact on the world in whatever way that looks like to them.”