by: Deborah Jones
October 31st offers a great opportunity for outreach in the Brandywine Pointe community of Old Hickory, Tennessee. John and Nicole Levoy wanted something for their four children to be involved in that would be a positive influence rather than the “darkness” generally associated with Halloween. October 31st marked the fourth annual Cans and Coins Drive.
During the week prior to October 31st, flyers were placed into each mailbox stating the children would be collecting “Cans and Coins” on the 31st which would go to help feed the hungry in the Nashville area. This gave neighbors the opportunity to be prepared with their contribution. The flyers began with the scripture “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure…meditate on these things”.
Children from the 3rd and 4th grades at Madison Campus Elementary, along with their families, were invited to help with the event. After everyone ate a quick meal, Pastor Nacho Silverio gave a short devotion telling the children that it was on October 31st that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church beginning the Reformation which is part of our Christian heritage. Then groups were formed and given a map of their section of the neighborhood.
Since many neighbors are home expecting trick or treaters, it’s a great time to collect. This year $242.24 in cash and coins and 363 cans were collected and donated to the 403 Center (Adventist Community Services). After delivering the money and goods, the children were given a tour of the 403 Center and saw shoppers and workers in action.
The end result: a community is pointed to scripture and giving, children will remember Halloween as other-centered, the hungry are fed, and everyone is blessed!