Service That Changes Lives

April 15th, 2015

Sunshine in Chattanooga

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."

Matthew 5:16

Last week, five women who call themselves the "Sunshine Girls" made a huge impact on the city of Chattanooga when they spent the week giving back to the children and staff of the Bethlehem Center in South Chattanooga.

The Sunshine Girls helped Beth Center teachers grade tests and engage the first through eighth graders in the classroom.

I commend them for doing this and pouring out of their pockets and their time, and missing work because they believe in what we're doing here at the Beth."

Brian Allen, Director of Youth & Family Development

After spending time in the classroom with the teachers and students, the Sunshine Girls took the kids outside and planted fruits and vegetables for the spring. 

They also taught the children about nutrition.

Left: Antonio gardening with the sunshine girls.

Right: T'isha showing off her hands after working hard in the garden!

Not only did the children benefit from the Sunshine Girls' visit, but so did the ladies who volunteered.

"I hate that they left," Ms. Appleberry, the first through third grade teacher at The Beth said. "They were so ready to be here- they wanted to be here."

Ms. Appleberry's comment reflects the sentiment of all the teachers in The Bethlehem Center's "Read to Lead" After-School Program. 

The trip to the Bethlehem Center was part of a yearly trip the Girls take to do missions around the world, and chose the Bethlehem Center after learning about it through a United Methodist initiative to connect church members with ministries all over American.

When the Sunshine Girls left on Friday, they left behind a collage to celebrate their friendship with their new friends and family in Alton Park.

Pictured: A mural the Bethlehem Center kids helped the Sunshine Girls make, using their hands.

The children in South Chattanooga need intentional investments not only from the Sunshine Girls, but also from you. Your time allows them to have healthy interactions with new people, and your gifts allow us to offer programs and activities that we couldn't do without you.

Call Brian Allen at (423) 266-1384 x.5, and register to volunteer today.

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