Buttons & Backpacks that Bless

By Alyssa Benham, MS Teacher

At Bellingham Christian, our deep hope is for students to engage in a personal relationship with the living God. This hope is reflected in our mission statement which reduces to this: Believe, Grow, Go. The elective program offered at Bellingham Christian Middle School provides students unique opportunities to acquire knowledge and practice skills they will need in life. I have the privilege of teaching “It’s Real Life”; a class designed to equip our students with practical skills and understanding to thrive into adulthood. This year in my class, we’ve focused on three main spheres: cooking, sewing, and personal finance.

This week we had the joy of partnering with members from our local community to use basic sewing skills to bless children in need. “Grandma June” (as we affectionately call her) came in to class to share about the Bellingham Sock Monkey Project and we had the joy to contribute! Grandma June, and many other love-giving hands, make sock monkeys for every child that passes through Skookum House, a safe home that temporarily cares for children in crisis entering the foster care system. Many of these kids enter with nothing, but they leave with something special. They get their own backpack and a new pair of jammies, but also a cuddly sock monkey with a mini backpack of its own. Our students designed and sewed monkey backpacks and prayed for the children who will receive them. Additionally, they also included a personal note of encouragement and hope.

As a parent, I love this opportunity to help teach our kids about struggles that exist in our world.  But more importantly how we can respond as Christ’s hand and feet in love. As an educator, I am excited for students to practice and refine basic skills to help others! Who knew that sewing on a button could be a gesture of love?! The “It’s Real Life” class has provided our kids the unique opportunity to believe that the work they do impacts the world for Christ, grows their skills and understanding of the world, and goes on to be a blessing to those in need of love! To me, this is an example of God’s economy—we offer something so small, but He miraculously multiplies it to bless thousands! Buttons and backpacks that bless. Soli Deo Gloria!