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Rainbow gives ‘Blessing Bags’ to Inside-Out

MADISON – Before leaving for their spring break, students at Rainbow Elementary School concentrated more about unhappy circumstances of some people in Madison than they did about their upcoming week of fun away from school.

“Our school participated in a wonderful mission,” Rainbow PTA President Janet Little said. Rainbow families donated food and hygiene items to fill “Blessing Bags.”

“Students, parents and teachers collected food and personal items for the homeless in Madison,” Little said. “We filled 600 gallon-sized bags to make our Blessing Bags and donated the supplies to Inside-Out Ministry in Madison.”

“Inside-Out Ministries serves the homeless in the Madison and Triana area,” Little said about one segment of the various outreach initiatives that the organization provides. “Rainbow students from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade gathered in the cafeteria and packed approximately 11,000 items.”

Each Blessing Bag contained 15 Items, which included Band Aid bandages, bottled water, energy bars, ChapStick lip balm, packs of tuna fish, shampoo, deodorant and beef jerky.

Bonnie Smetzer, a retired teacher, and Deborah Ward, Director of Operations with Inside-Out, arrived at Rainbow to pick up the items. However, students had contributed so many toiletries and so much food that Ward’s truck could not hold all of the Blessing Bags. 

“Luckily, Rainbow Assistant Principal Michael Gunner had a trailer on-hand and helped move the items” to Inside-Out Ministries at 103 Gin Oaks Court, Little said.

“Students were very happy to assist those in need in our community.  It was a valuable lesson on helping our neighbors,” Little said.

Founders of Inside-Out Ministries chose the organization’s name based on scripture, Matthew 3:11-12. The passage states that God can change a person from “the inside out” and make a clean sweep of their lives. (inside-outministries.org).

Inside-Out, an all-volunteer service organization, provides short-term emergency assistance for basic living necessities to people with a demonstrated need. Inside-Out strives for a lasting impact on the community by helping people in need to attain self-sufficiency and eventually raise their standard of living, Ward said.

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