Submitted by Janet Mulroy
Pastor, Polson United Methodist Church, Polson, Montana
Polson United Methodist Church (UMC) of Polson, Montana was a recipient of the 2018 Joint Annual Conference Bridge of Love offering. The church conducted a needs survey in their community, and used the $5,000 offering to host a wellness fair. This back-to-school event took place Aug. 25 at Linderman High School in Polson, and provided free health screenings, safety demonstrations, and school supplies. The goal of this event was to provide resources to promote education and healthy lives in the community.
Over 100 school-age children and their parents attended, receiving 60 backpacks and school supplies, more than 60 bicycle helmets, nine bicycles, 100 snack bags, 17 baby blankets, and about 15 personal care bags. The Polson UMC congregation went to work for the event, and put in more than 100 volunteer hours on Aug. 25 alone.
For a few hours, we had the privilege to support, encourage, and experience the delightful joy of children. There were plenty of stories shared at the event, those happy, sad, and heartwarming. One of the latter included the story of a little boy who won a bicycle, but picked out one for his mother instead. He already had a bike, but she didn’t, and now they could ride together.
Multiple families were new to Polson and anxious about fitting into a new community were welcomed and felt accepted.