Community Ministries Sponsored by St. Michael Lutheran Church

And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

Micah 6:8 is the inspiration that drives St. Michael Lutheran Church’s desire to help and serve others. For over twenty years, reaching out and feeding the hungry of our community through acts both large and small. This page describes the ministries we call “Micah’s Caring Initiative”. Our hope is that you will find one that speaks to you. You are welcome to use your gifts to make a difference through any of the Micah’s Caring Initiative projects.

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Micah's Backpack
Micah’s Backpack is a weekend meals program for students on free meal plans in Blacksburg Public Schools. The goal of the program is to provide weekend meals and snacks to these children and ensure that they have a steady and nutritious source of food over the weekends when school is not in session. Sadly, for some families, the meals provided by the schools are the only guaranteed source of nutrition that these students have. Providing meals for the weekends helps extend this guarantee.

Each backpack contains two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, as well as snacks. Participants receive items such as oatmeal, juice, tuna, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, soup, apple sauce, fruit cups, ravioli, vegetables, milk, and other nutritious food. The food is sorted and packed on Thursday evenings by volunteers and then distributed on Friday afternoons to the participants. Through the generous support of our funders, we are proudly able to provide a bag of food to every student that needs one at all five Blacksburg Elementary schools, Blacksburg Middle School, Blacksburg High School, the Headstart Preschools, and Valley Interfaith Child Care Center; currently this means providing for over 300 children each week.

For more information on Micah’s Backpack you can contact the program’s director, Susan Verbrugge (hope@micahsbackpack.org) or Pastor John Wertz (pastorjohn@stmlc.us).

Micah's GardenMicah’s Garden is a seasonal food initiative that provides fresh produce to local food banks. People who rely on food banks do not often have affordable or easy access to fresh produce. Micah’s garden works to provide a steady stream of fresh, healthy, produce to our local food banks.

Micah’s garden is set up as a community garden with both private and community (food bank) space. Those with private plots agree to volunteer at the garden to take care of the community crops. The 2012 growing season was our first season, and as of mid-August, we have been able to donate over 1,100 pounds of fresh produce to our three food bank partners. We have given several varieties of squash, beans, peas, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, corn, and other crops. The produce has been well received by the food banks and their patrons who are happy to have fresh vegetables available.

Micah’s garden can always use volunteers to water, weed, harvest, plant, and do other tasks. If you are interested in helping out or securing a plot for the
next growing season please contact Mary Nickle (hope@micahsgarden.org).

Micah's Soup for SeniorsThe goal of Micah’s Soup for Seniors is to provide food and social contact for seniors living on fixed incomes. St. Michael is partnering with Warm Hearth, a senior adult housing facility, to provide food to seniors living in HUD housing. As Micah’s Backpack has done for local students, we hope to bridge a food gap which exists for many senior adults surviving on limited, fixed incomes. Food is delivered on the fourth Tuesday of the month to help fill the gaps that may exist while seniors wait for their social security checks that come out at the beginning of each month. This end of the month period is usually when seniors who live on fixed incomes need the most help. The food deliveries also provide the seniors with an added point of social contact, as well as an added person who is able to check on their physical and emotional wellbeing. We serve the three HUD housing units at Warm Hearth, a total of 144 residents. If you would like to help out with Micah’s Soup for Seniors program, please contact Dianne Krallman (Dhkrallman@hubbell-ltg.com) or Pastor John Wertz (pastorjohn@stmlc.us).

Micah's ClosetMicah’s Closet – The goal of Micah’s Closet is to provide up to a week’s worth of new school clothes to children in need through a partnership with schools, churches, community groups, businesses, and individuals. Micah’s Closet works closely with public school staff, as well as with local social workers at NRV Community Services, to select the children, obtain parental permission to participate, and each child’s clothing sizes. Micah’s Closet volunteers purchase the clothing, package it into a gift bag for each child, and deliver the gift bags to the school, or to the offices of NRVCS. School staff members, or social workers, then distribute the gifts of clothing to the selected children. If you are interested in getting more information about how you can get involved with Micah’s Closet, please contact Sheila McCartan at: hope@micahscloset.org.