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Community Combined Ministries & Kidz Power Pacs Posts

Summer Distribution 2021 – UPDATE

Why do we do summers and how does summer distribution work?

We as a ministry saw the need to continue providing food through the summer as a result of listening and learning the needs of the recipients and getting feedback from school staff. A little listening, leads to a lot more caring and caring leads to asking questions and digging deeper into seeking the true needs of those in food insecure circumstances.

Year after year of providing food has taught CCM to dig, adapt, to always stretch and strive to do the most we can to ensure that a child does not go hungry. Every year we ask the counselors at each school to send a summer application home that includes dates and location options to the students that receive the weekend and break bags during the school year. Upon completing the applications, the counselors forward the information to us with the parent’s approval. We divide the forms based off of the location of choice and have the distribution team leaders of each location contact the families at their location. This enables us to send reminders out. The distribution teams load up their food boxes either the evening before or the day of distribution and drive out to their site. The families meet each team out there and receive. This is an extremely humbling time filled with lots of gratitude and lots of encouragement and can also lead to directing the families to additional resources.

For those that distribute, they have the blessing of meeting the families face to face, and have the opportunity to truly listen and connect. The distribution teams also have the blessing of having their faith in the ministry renewed and their determination to continue caring for others deepen. Year after year when we distribute, we remember why we do what we do and we are grateful that we get the honor of serving those who need a little help. We are reminded that God’s truest calling is to help those in need and to offer His hope.

Each site has testimonies to share. One testimony was a mother showing up in her work uniform, gratefully receive her food, and even followed up by showing us before and after pictures of her refrigerator. That fridge went from completely bare to stocked up. Another testimony is that of a mother of two children who found herself in Berkeley County, going through divorce to escape an unhealthy relationship, living in a shelter and started receiving KPP. Through the summer distribution she met a KPP board member who was heading up that particular distribution site. She was given not only food but words of encouragement, hope and an invite to CCM Community Day in the Park. She and her children attended the event all day plus came to the private KPP swim party after the event. While there, they were able to swim, play, and build relationships with CCM. At the end of the night the mother explained with happy tears that this day was the best day they had had in well over a year.

One by one the recipients accept their food while shyly smiling with tears in their eyes stating that they would not know what they would have done without CCM! Many grandparents, many working families, many persons with very limited income, simply in an unexpected season of difficulty not only receive food, but receive kindness, care, and hope. These families nor their children are ever treated as numbers, but treated as we would like to be treated if our situation was reversed. We are reminded to never grow weary in doing good and we are blessed beyond measure as our hearts grow for our community.

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Schools Served By Kidz Power Pacs

Serving on average 1025 hungry school-aged children (42 schools) in Berkeley and Jefferson County for 14 years

BERKELEY COUNTY:  20 SCHOOLS

Bedington Elementary
Berkeley Heights Head Start
Bunker Hill Elementary
Burke St. Elementary
Eagle School Intermediate
Inwood Primary
Inwood Family Worship
Center Head Start
James Rumsey Head Start
Marlowe Elementary
Marlowe Head Start
Mountain Ridge Middle
Opequon Elementary
Potomack Intermediate
Rocky Knoll Elementary
Rosemont Elementary
Spring Mills Head Start
Spring Mills Primary
St. Leo’s Head Start
VA Epic Head Start

Winchester Ave. Elementary

JEFFERSON COUNTY:  20 SCHOOLS

Blue Ridge Elementary
Blue Ridge Primary
Blue Ridge Head Start
Charles Town Middle
CW Shipley
Driswood Elementary
Driswood Head Start
Harpers Ferry Middle
Jefferson High School
North Jefferson Elementary
Opportunity Learning Center
Page Jackson Elementary
Ranson Elementary

Shepherdstown Elementary

Shepherdstown Middle

South Jefferson Elementary
South Jefferson Head Start
T.A. Lowery Elementary
T.A. Lowery Head Start
Washington High School
Wildwood Middle
Wright Denny Intermediate

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Make a Difference in Our Community: Delivery Teams Needed for the Fall

We will be in need of several delivery teams for both counties come the fall. Through the past year and a half we have double and tripled up on delivery teams. This fall we need to get back to our regular schedule and we need your help! This is a once a week commitment during school hours. You must be able to lift semi heavy boxes of food. The boxes are picked up at the KPP location in each county and delivered weekly to your designated school. Weekly communication with your school and KPP will be required as well. It is a wonderful way to help the children and the ministry. If the food doesn’t make it to the schools to be passed out to the children then the children will go hungry. Interested? Email communitycombinedwv@gmail.com

Join our team: be part a part of our story
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Local Businesses Help Us When They Sponsor a Food Drive!

Recently, Panhandle Homes of Berkeley County, Countertop Solutions, Earth Art Kitchen and Bath, Spring Mills Apartments and Storage, ABC Supply Co. Inc., and Advocates Insurance Group LLO hosted a “Kidz Power Pacs” food drive by collecting easy-open child friendly food items for this weekend feeding ministry. Kidz Power Pacs / KPP serves an average of 1025+ children at 42 schools in Berkeley and Jefferson County, WV. Please reach out to us if you, your business, or church would like to help through a drive or donation:

Easy open foods for donation

CONTACT US:

Email: communitycombinedwv@gmail.com

Phone: (304) 268-8778

Connect with us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CommunityCombinedMinistries

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Hold a donation or food drive to help KPP!

Kidz Power Pacs serves on average 1025 children weekly.

Like to hold a donation or food drive let us know! Monetary donations can be made out to: Community Combined Ministries PO BOX 2805 Martinsburg, WV 25402 Thank you all for your continue prayers, love and support!!!

Schools KPP Serves in Berkely and Jefferson Counties
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Boyscout Brady Masters Collects 1600 Cans of Food for KPP!

Boyscout Brady Masters and his family would like to thank all of the following donors and volunteers who helped him achieve and surpass his goal of collecting 500 cans for his Eagle Scout project. The total amount of cans he collected for Kidz Power Pacs was…1600! We couldn’t have done it without you!
Thank you to Brady’s family, his Boyscout troop, members of Bunker Hill United Methodist Church (his Boyscout church), KPP volunteers, Pizza Oven, Food Lion, Weis, Martin’s and the Journal.
Brady’s Eagle Scout project truly involved the “Community Combined,” with individuals, businesses and the church coming together in community to help feed hungry school children in our area!
Above all, we would like to thank God for blessing Brady’s Eagle Scout project and for blessing Kidz Power Pacs!!!
Blessings to all,The Masters Family

Thank you. Words on a orange background
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Kidz Power Pacs Feeds Hungry Children

January 22, 2018
Tabitha Johnston, Journal Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG — Kidz Power Pacs volunteers held hands and prayed in a giant circle Saturday morning, before beginning to pack food for over 900 children in Berkeley and Jefferson County.

Kidz Power Pacs connects with Berkeley and Jefferson County school counselors and teachers to find and feed children who are going without food over weekends and school breaks throughout the year. This initiative is one of many led by Community Combined Ministries, Inc., founded by Diana Wall after a mission trip showed her the needs in El Salvador were similar to those in the Eastern Panhandle.

“All of this is from donations around the county from individuals and businesses,” said volunteer of eight years Bev Yebernetsky. She said her husband, Greg, helps unload the trucks full of groceries into Eagle School Intermediate’s cafeteria every Friday night before the monthly event.

“It’s a great way to help a child who would otherwise be hungry on the weekend,” Yebernetsky said, mentioning her church, New Life Community Church, is one of about 35 who support the ministry. “A child from five years and up can do the packing. It’s only two hours on a Saturday morning once a month, or three hours on a Friday night once a month.”

“Our main focus is a community effort. We do it on Saturday specifically to encourage families to participate,” said CCM secretary and marketing coordinator Becky Fauble, mentioning none of the food is taken from food banks. “We keep consistent with kid-friendly foods, so a lot of our soups and raviolis are easy-open, because some kids don’t have a lot of parent help.”

“Our biggest need right now is prayer. We’re also seeking sponsors, volunteers or anyone who wants to hold a fundraiser,” said Valley View Chapel member Fauble, who has helped with the organization since it was founded 10 years ago. “Teaching our next generation the needs of others and getting them involved in our community is really important. Plus, when you serve you feel a lot of self-worth–children need that.”

“I asked around and put fliers up at school,” said Hedgesville High School senior and volunteer of five years Skyler Morrow, who packed boxes at the event with his mom, Barbara Morrow. He said his efforts seemed to have paid off, because he saw a few of his classmates helping at the event.

“If you can’t come Saturday, Fridays are phenomenal. We have a blast,” said Martinsburg Seventh-day Adventist Church member Melissa Clapper, who, with her husband Terry Clapper, has volunteered with KPP for two years. “We feel this is a very much-needed ministry in our community.

“Just get involved in the community. That helps everybody,” said Automated Mulching & Total Lawn Care owner Terry Clapper.

To learn how you can help, visit https://communitycombined.org/.

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Kidz Power Pacs to Hold Monthly Food Packing Event

January 13, 2018

Tabitha Johnson  — tjohnston@journal-news.net

ARTICLE LINK

Volunteers can help the 501(c)3 nonprofit unload food that Friday at 4:30 p.m. and pack that food the next morning at 9 a.m.

“We’ve been doing this for 10 years now,” said Kidz Power Pacs Director Diana Wall, who founded the nonprofit with her husband in 2007. “My husband and I were in El Salvador helping other missionaries with feeding children and building churches and different things, and when we came back home, I talked with some local teachers who said the same needs were in our own backyard.”

“Many of the teachers were going in and feeding the children out of their own pockets,” Wall said, mentioning that all 39 public schools in Berkeley and Jefferson County are covered by CCM. “We feed an average of over 900 children now because of the love of the community.”

“We buy food that’s easy to open and prepare. Many of the children have to fix it for themselves, because the parents are at work and the kids have to look after themselves and their younger siblings,” Wall said, explaining CCM buys everything in bulk from local grocery stores and doesn’t take food from Mountaineer Food Bank, to avoid taking food away from the area’s other nonprofits.

“We have a lot of kids whose parents are in the home and still working to provide but falling short, and also single parents,” added Wall, mentioning that each monthly packing prepares about 4,000 packages. “Sadly, yes, we don’t try to focus on it because it is not the situation for all the kids we feed, but the opioid epidemic has increased the number of students as well.”

“We added several more schools this year, and one school instantly had 62 children identified, so we are searching for sponsors for each of those children,” Wall said, explaining that each sponsor gives $20 per month, which is enough to feed the child during weekends, holiday breaks and summer vacation.

CCM was accepted into West Virginia’s Neighborhood Investment Program last year, which allows the organization to give a $250 tax credit to every business or individual who donates $500 to the organization.

CCM recently started another ministry, King Foods, that accepts food stamps and allows people to order and buy discounted food through the organization online, over the phone or by mail. For more information about CCM, visit https://communitycombined.org/ or email communitycombinedwv@gmail.com.

ARTICLE EDIT:

Community Combined Ministries, Inc.

Thank you for writing an article on the ministry. One correction: CCM covers 39 schools total between Berkeley and Jefferson County. CCM does not cover all the schools in both counties. 2 Shepherdtown schools are covered by caring cubcards and some in Berkeley County are covered by Backpack. No school is duplicated. A list of CCM schools can be found on their website.

 

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KPP In the News!

Food stock sent to local hungry children “an awesome act of kindness.”

view of food ready to pack for children's 'Power Pacs"By Jeff McCoy, Special to The Journal

MARTINSBURG – After witnessing the hardships of children in El Salvador in 2004 and 2005, Diana Wall and her husband Danny returned to Martinsburg with a heavy burden on their hearts for children that were hungry and in poverty.

Diana went into Burke Street School to see if there was a need there.

“I spoke with a couple of teachers there, and the stories they told me were the exact same thing that we were

[witnessing]

in El Salvador,” she said. Diana said she was moved by a story of one little girl that cut the liner of the pockets of her coat to slip in additional rolls of bread to take home.

The Walls decided to take matters into their own hands. They started by feeding 20 children at just one school in 2007. Today, they help more than 900 children per month in 30 schools located in Berkeley and Jefferson counties through Community Combined Ministries with a program called Kidz Power Pacs.

Many children in Berkeley and Jefferson counties receive food each Friday to take home to eat over the weekend. Then they return to school Monday for breakfast and lunch. Just in the last month, 30 new children were added to the roster for weekend food.

Teachers and staff at the schools identify children and families that are in need. This ensures that the food is going to those that would most benefit from it. After the parents sign a form, agreeing to receive it, the food is given out in a discreet way in order to not draw attention, or cause embarrassment to the students.

“If a family is really struggling, this is just something that we offer, another way of helping. Our poverty numbers are high here, so all students receive free lunch and free breakfast,” said Stephanie Schminkey a counselor at Eagle School Intermediate.

According to the federal poverty guidelines, a family of four making less than $24,250 is below the poverty line. In some cases, grandparents are now rising their grandchildren on a limited, retirement income. Other families, working two jobs, struggle with high rent and a raising cost of living. This sometimes affects a family’s food budget. In other cases, children are abused or neglected.

Moroe than 40 local churches help by sending volunteers or money or both. Other individual and business sponsors have also stepped in to help out financially. Kay Lewis, of State Farm Insurance, a long-term supporter, said: “Basically children are a passion of mine; and,knowing that children are out there, going hungry, is a little bit more than I can stand. And, this is one way I can affect the community. To think that a child is going to go home, all weekend, and not get a meal is unthinkable. I don’t think people realize how bad it is in this area. This is something I can impact and make a difference.”

The logistics for such an operation requires hundreds of volunteers, sponsors and donors, a 20- foot U-Haul truck, storage, countless bags and boxes, help from school teachers and counselors, thousands of man-hours and, of course, money.

Every detail is planned out. The ways in which the food is purchased, picked up, laid out, packed, counted, sorted and distributed have all been tested for the most efficiency. All food is purchased in bulk to make every penny count. Volunteers from Berkeley Community Pride recycle even the waste that is generated from all of the food’s cardboard packaging. The waste is hauled to Quad Graphics where it is shredded; and a check from the sale of the cardboard is sent back to Kidz Power Pacs. Over 100 people showed up to help on processing day.

Food is also distributed throughout the summer months to the same children. Diana Wall said that sometimes parents send a note in stating: “Please stop sending the bags home. We’re okay. Bless another child” at which point the food stops going to that family.

Schminkey added, “I think it’s a wonderful program. At this age level, the kids are very happy to receive, and are very thankful and appreciative. We are thankful for people like Diana and her organization to take the time to do this. That’s what I like. Here it is, if you want it, it’s here for you, it’s coming out of love and concern and care. We’re a school about kindness; that’s our theme this year, and this is such an awesome act of kindness.”

They not only help with food, but also are planning a Christmas party for Dec. 11. Wall said they are expecting as many as 300 children and are looking for volunteers and sponsor gifts. Community Combined Ministries can be reached at 304-268-8778.

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