Save the Date: Full Tummy Project Kick-Off

SAVE THE DATE

Full Tummy Project 2015-16

When: Saturday, July 25th
Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Sam’s Club, Denham Springs, LA 

We will be collecting Full Tummy grocery items at Sam’s Club between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 25. Stop by and see us and help KICK OFF Full Tummy Project 2015-16!

Thank you for joining us in the battle to end child hunger.

We Love Our Volunteers

We will be selling chicken & sausage jambalaya and home-baked sweets. All proceeds will go to the Full Tummy project. If you’d like to volunteer to help us on July 25, please let us know. If you enjoy baking sweet treats and want to donate some to sell…we need you!

Let’s #MakeHungerHistory!

Posted in: FUNdraising, Mighty Moms News, Projects

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Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

I am excited to tell you about our upcoming Mighty Mom events.  We are so blessed to have such faithful committed supporters and friends like you guys.  So many of you have contacted us wanting to know how you can be a part of serving the hungry in our community and we can’t wait to meet you!

April 6 & 7

Our Spring Break Mobile Pantry (our free grocery store) will be held at Immaculate Conception Church on April 7.  We L O V E this outreach project.  We typically do this 3 times a year when the kids are out of school for extended breaks.  This is a way for MightyMoms to serve those families in need for extra groceries while the kids are out of school.  We ask churches and small groups to collect specific items for us to give away that morning.  We will also give away hygiene products and have our “free” mini garage sale.  Gently used clothing, baby items, etc. are given to those who need them.  This is always so much fun for the giver and the receiver.

We need volunteers to help us sort and load our trucks and vans on Monday April 6  from 1-3 at our MM building in DS.  We also need people on Tuesday…the day of the pantry…from 930-1.  We will set up at 930 and “open” the pantry from 1030-1230.  Usually, everything is given away and we just pack up our tables and clean up a little and we are done.  Yes!  Kids are welcome to serve with us that day.  We ❤️ kids helping kids!

April 18th

Our 2nd volunteer opportunity in April is our Full Tummy Project Food Drive at Sams in Denham Springs on Saturday April 18 from 10-1.  We need a couple volunteers each hour to help us greet the many Sams customers that day.  We will sell Jambalaya and baked goodies too.  If you like to bake, would you help us by baking some of your delicious homemade cookies, brownies or any sugary treat and bag them for us to sell that morning?  Thank you bakers out there.  Our Full Tummy Project grocery bill is somewhere between 8-10K a month.  If we could receive the food/money we need to finish out the FTP school year on this one day….it would be a huge help to us.

Please check your calendars and get back to us.

We are so thankful for all of you who have the hands to serve and the hearts to love.

XOXO,

Dawn Birdsong

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Cheerful Giver

By: Dawn Birdsong

Shopping for my children’s back-to-school clothes, shoes and supplies can be exhausting and frustrating.  It usually involves days of making multiple stops at Walmart, Office Depot, School Days and… the mall.  That can drive a momma bonkers!

It can also be equally as exhausting to shop for families in need.  Choosing sizes, brands, colors, cool backpacks, and the right binders/folders for kids you haven’t met…well it’s difficult sometimes.  I always have this desire to choose the perfect stuff for each child I buy for.  I know how picky my own boys can be and I want these kids to have special things too.

I’ve spent four full days shopping like this for precious families who don’t quite have enough money to get their kids the back-to-school necessities.  I wanted these mommas to be able to rest knowing their babies will have it all as this school year begins.  It was important to me that these boys and girls  feel special on their first day of school.  I also wanted to have Connor and Cole’s things bought and prepared for their first day of 7th and 11th grade.  Oh my goodness…where did summer go?

My plan was to be completely done with all shopping and have it all delivered by last Saturday afternoon.  This way I could concentrate on making sure my boys had all they needed/wanted.  Well, Sunday and Monday my phone didn’t stop ringing.  I was receiving phone calls and text messages with so many needs.  I am embarrassed to admit that I was aggravated and a little ticked.  I wanted Monday for myself, to do what I wanted to do.  That sounds awful, I know.  The thought never crossed my mind NOT TO HELP though.  I was just gonna do it with a heart that wasn’t right.

The Holy Spirit quickly convicted me, faithfully reminding me of the verse in 2 Corinthians, “God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.”  Was my heart cheerfully giving?  Cheerfully shopping?  I had been cheerful during the first 4 days I shopped for hundreds of dollars of school supplies and uniforms.  But my cheerfulness quickly disappeared when I realized there was more to do.  God doesn’t ask me to delight in my giving part of the time.  He wants my heart to be like His all of the time I am serving.  Have patience with me.  God isn’t through with me yet.  I have such a long way to go.

I struggled with my selfishness and frustration for the first hour, and then I remembered how God’s grace, love, kindness and gentleness are poured out on me daily.  Daily.  And He gives to me CHEERFULLY.  Wow…I was acting like a brat. I had a to-do list for my Monday and I didn’t want to change it.  My attitude and heart changed quickly as I thought of my neediness. I may not have needed school uniforms, binders, and booksacks, but I have many needs daily that I ask the Father for.

At the end of the day, I had delivered to all but one family.  I didn’t know much about the mom from the last family I delivered to.  Cole and I sat and waited on her to meet us.  When I laid my eyes on her, I could barely hold back my tears.  She was a beautiful lady with gorgeous eyes.  She looked sad and broken.

“Thank you” and “I’m sorry” repeatedly came from her lips.

“Sorry for what?” I asked.

She answered, “Because I can’t buy my kids these things right now.”

I hugged her and she was shaking.  She had not had a good nights rest in days, worried and anxious about her children starting school without everything they needed.

“Tonight I will sleep well,” she said.  “My kids and husband will sleep well.”

God sent *Heather as a gift to me this past week.  What a blessing she was to me.  I needed to share a hug and some tears with that precious momma.  Our tears were flowing for different reasons.  My tears were falling because I could have missed out on meeting this precious momma because of my selfish to-do list.  When will I get that God’s plan for my days and my life are way better than mine?  I am so glad I met Heather last week.  I have seen her a few times since and I thank God in advance for the Christ-centered friendship we will someday have.

I love God sooooo much because he lets me be His coworker.  1 Corinthians 3:9 says, “For we are God’s fellow workers...”  I am so blessed that He uses me to be part of His plan to serve those in need.  I am so thankful He forgives me when I have an ugly heart and that He continues to allow me to be His Hands and Feet.

I found out that Heather is seeking a relationship with the Father.  I hope she doesn’t see a bit of me, but ONLY HIM!  Only Him who lives in dirty ol’ me.

 

*Used to protect identity

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My Christmas Journey

God has taken me on a fantastic journey these past few months. I didn’t realize it would be a so-called “journey” until it was almost over and it became obvious that was I definitely on a JOURNEY. An adventure that would S T R E T C H my faith. A journey that would bring me to my knees in worship. A journey that would remind me to continually bring my gifts to Jesus to bring HIM GLORY.

Several months ago, God opened my eyes to the needy in different parts of our parish. He showed me this through Full Tummy Project because He had a plan. Mighty Moms Holiday Food Extravaganza was born and so it began. After being blown away by the support of our friends and community during our Thanksgiving Meal Giveaway, I knew December 29 would be equally as sensational. I made the grocery list and contacted businesses, churches, and our faithful supporters. Everyone was super generous and the food started coming in massive quantities! As the Mighty Mom house started filling up, I began to get nervous. Then as we totaled up the food we received and starting putting numbers on what was still needed….I began to freak out a little. We needed 10,000 food items to feed the 400 families I thought God had told me to feed. The dollar amount on that food freaked me out ALOT.

I was in a full blown freak out!

About this same time, I had been reading in Matthew and digging into the Journey of the Magi….The long faith filled journey the wise men took.. These 3 Magi each had a calling from God. God had asked them to follow a STAR to see Baby Jesus. The Son of God. The Messiah. The King of Kings. They all left their homes, jobs, families and walked in FAITH to what God had called them to do. I wonder if they ever doubted hearing the command like I did? I am ashamed to say, I did wonder if had heard his voice at all. Had I heard him say to feed that many people? That much food? How could it happen? What if no one came to be fed? Too many questions for my Father. Sometimes I have such little faith. I wish I could say I was different.

God was with the Magi their entire journey. He protected and strengthened them along the way. He gave them each other and a STAR to journey with. He never left them…not once. He also gave me sweet friends who worked steadfastly with me, we encouraged and cheered each other on until the last minute. The Magi’s journey and my Christmas journey were both filled with wonder and faith. God showed himself to me many times throughout my journey. I have to share one of these days with you. It was Friday after Christmas and I was full of anxiety, fear, and doubt. I called my dear friend, Helen, who knew about my doubt from the night before. She had calmed me before I went to sleep by reminding me that God is always faithful to His promises. Not only that, but that we can not see the future, so we must walk by FAITH not by sight and TRUST Him for the outcome of December 29. That morning….I was still a mess.

We prayed together.

Prayed for God to multiply the food we had and we asked for his favor with everyone I met that morning. Well, I can tell you that HE heard and answered our prayers in a MIGHTY way. I needed something like 50 more boxes of macaroni and cheese to complete that food group. I started searching in the Full Tummy room after we prayed hoping I would find a few full size boxes and guess what? Oh yea…I found 50. I am not joking. Thank you Jesus and of course I had to apologize for my unbelief. Next…..I was off the Walmart. I dreaded going in. Walmart after Christmas…Yuck. Busy store with grouchy workers and customers. I didn’t want to go in and ask to speak to the grocery manager and order over 100 cases of food. I just didn’t want to go in. But I did. Remember we prayed for favor? God had already walked before me and made a way. It was easy. Natalie and Rich at Walmart were the sweetest things and I stood in awe at God had done. As I talked with Rich about my budgeted price of $1.93 per box of cereal and how it was hard to find. He says, “you will never believe it but I just put all this cereal on sale for $1.25 a box!” WHAT the What?? Ok this must be a joke. He goes on to say, I better get it all now because at that price it will all be gone before lunch. I stand there alone with my one buggy and think how the heck am I going to do this? Just so happens the most precious grandma, grandpa, and 2 grand babies walk up asking me what I need so much cereal for. As I tell them, precious Ray tells his wife that he is going to get 2 more buggies for me and they will help me load it up, push it to the cashier, and them out to my car. I burst into tears. NO ONE ever wants to help anyone in Walmart…especially a Jesus lovin’ freak who is loading up 300 boxes of cereal. But Ray and Evelyn did. It was a DIVINE APPOINTMENT we all had in Walmart that morning. When it was all loaded and I hugged their necks like 10 times each, I sat in my car and cried like a baby. I cried because I was happy, I was overwhelmed, there were joyful tears and tears of sorrow for my lack of faith. I called Helen and cried even more. I realized Friday morning, not for the 1st time but the 10th time, that HE wants my obedience.

Just walk in obedience Dawn Birdsong and I have it all worked out for you because I LOVE YOU.

I HAD heard His voice all those months ago.

The MM Holiday Food Extravaganza turned out great. Luke 18:27 says that What is impossible with men is possible with God. That couldn’t be more true about our Christmas food giveaway. We fed 400 families over 11,000 grocery and produce items. We were able to give abundantly to those families in need. We shared the burden of hunger with our community. It was beautiful. It couldn’t have been a more gorgeous day. It was the day the Lord had made and we rejoiced and were glad.

I want to thank Luke 10:27, New Covenant, First United Methodist–DS, Christ Community Church, First Baptist, Wholly Ground, and Revival Temple for supporting us through this Food Extravaganza. Baton Rouge Food Bank showed up with the freshest fruit and vegetables.

Thank you for the bottom of my grateful heart.

So many precious people in our community have given us financial support, moral support, prayer and working hands and feet. It couldn’t have been done without each and every one of you. To Him be the Glory and Honor and Praise for this Christmas journey and many more to come.
My friend, Andrea, from babeofmyheart.com has written a devotional over the years about the Journey of the Magi. Go over and check it out when you have time. I thought I would leave you with these words of hers as we start 2014:

The wise men worshiped Jesus–and they knew God’s voice.

The more we worship Jesus–the more we will know His voice and be able to follow Him in the new ways He wants to lead us. The wise men also show us that God will often lead us BEYOND our own understanding– differently from the ways and patterns He has led us in the past. There will often be risks involved–but as we listen to Him, we will know which way to go–and ultimately it is the way that bring Him the most glory, protect us from harm and help us stay in His perfect, good and pleasing will for our lives. Let us be open to walking in new directions–down roads that are unfamiliar to us when He calls us–and worshiping Him along the way.

Happy New Year, Everybody!

XO,

Dawn

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Thanksgiving Blessings of a Full and Happy Heart

I long for heart to heart intimacy with Jesus-every day.  I struggle during these busy weeks to find the time and strength to nurture my relationship with Jesus.  I know my time at His feet suffers and so all things in my heart and head get out of whack.  I’ve been reading and studying Martha and Mary over the past few weeks.

Luke 10:38-42 is their story.

We know how it goes.  Martha was busy busy preparing her home for Jesus and his disciples.  So much to do and so little time.  Sounds familiar huh?  Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His teachings.  I love verse 42.  Jesus says to Martha,

There is only need for ONE thing and Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.

Mary chose what was BETTER.. sitting at the feet of Jesus was the better thing.  Not hurrying around the house cleaning, cooking, being anxious and aggravated.  Mary took the time to worship Jesus and know Him better.

We are all different and that is just the way God made us.  Fearfully and Wonderfully made.  Some of us Marys and some Marthas.

I admit I want to be 100% Mary.  I want to only focus on HIM.  Not the other stuff that comes with entertaining and serving.  I want to sit at his feet and worship extravagantly.

Every day.  Several times a day.

I guess I am part Mary but I am also part Martha.  Wanting everything to be perfect.  My home, my menu, our Christmas pictures, the Full Tummy Project, Holiday Food Distributions, and the list goes on.  Driving myself, Ben, Adam, Connor, and Cole, and I’m sure my friends (at times) CRAZY.  Not only do I “busy” myself with the holiday stuff but also with Mighty Moms.  That still quiet voice in my spirit has SPOKEN some truth to me lately.  Truth that has been hard to swallow.  I don’t want my “duties” as a wife, mom, mighty mom, and friend to substitute my “devotion” time to my KING.  So many things to do and so little time leads to frustration and a sour attitude for me at times.  I am thankful my Father in Heaven cares enough to show me and tell me where I am going wrong.  I am even more thankful HE FORGIVES ME.  He continually reminds me what is BETTER.  I am just a dumb sheep who needs my Shepherd to guide me and remind me.

Mark Driscoll told his Mars Hill church this..

Spend time with Jesus, then get things done.  Worship like Mary, then work like Martha.

So this Holiday season, I am going to make it a priority no matter how busy.. even if I have to wake up 30 minutes earlier.. to spend that quiet time at His feet each morning before I serve, and work, and sacrifice, and LOVE the least of these.  I want to have a Mary heart toward Jesus so I need to choose the right thing.

Fellowship with Jesus

May your Thanksgiving Day be full of
your favorite people
lots of laughter, football and card playing
new memories made and long chats about the old ones
lots of yummy food and a good nap or two and a
happy, happy, happy,
grateful heart!

XOXO,

Dawn

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My Grateful Heart

School has started and it didn’t take long for our chillaxing summer afternoons to be a distant memory.  School absolutely interferes with our carefree summer lifestyle. HA!  School is a MUST and WE. WILL. SURVIVE. another year of early alarm clocks, carpool schedules, HOMEWORK, and the usual afternoon chaos.  I am so blessed to have 3 healthy boys, a hard working husband who provides for his family, a “tribe” of Jesus lovin’ mommas who share the burdens of parenting with me EVERY SINGLE DAY, and the good willed, caring, compassionate people of Livingston Parish and my community.

I thank you.  We thank you.

Over the last few years, and especially the last few months, I have been blown away by God’s goodness and the goodness of our supporters.  Mighty MOms couldn’t do what we love to do without our faithful contributors, prayer warriors, volunteers, and friends of Christ.  We just couldn’t.  We know that this ministry belongs to GOD and we are thankful HE lets us be HIS hands and feet in our hurting little world in South Louisiana.  WE are grateful that we have all of you who have supported us from the start, from the middle, and from last week.

I am very conscious that my life, MOST of OUR lives, are different from those moms and families that MIghty Moms has the privilege of serving.  Getting ready for back to school is a stressful and costly time of the year.  Uniforms, haircuts, supplies, booksacks, shoes, lunch money, school fees, spirit shirts, and the list goes on and on.  That list is a bit stressful for me too.  If you are having a hard time making ends meet on a regular basis, this list could send you straight over the edge.  What if you are a single parent?  What if you don’t have the loving support of your family?  or a “village of mommas” loving and encouraging you daily?  Scary thoughts like these make me get on my knees and thank Him.. for the good and the not so good in my life.

I just want to say THANK YOU and I wish I could hug each of your necks right now.  Because of your kindness and generosity, we have lightened the load for many this school year.  We’ve had fun buying and sorting uniforms for all shapes and sizes.  We bought LOTS of school supplies and have more were donated.  Full Tummy Bags have been packed and delivered this week. Groceries for families who don’t have enough to eat is something we buy weekly. We smile big SMILES when we write checks for school fees.  School fees are HUGE.  Depending on the school and grade, fees range from $20-$30 per child.  Its rare to see a family in need with one child.  So you see, fees add up.  We are so appreciative that we have money to help children get back to school.  THANK YOU.

I consider myself to be a lucky girl

to live in this place with such giving people. I am proud to live in Livingston Parish.  Just wanted you all to know how much your contribution means to those who don’t have enough this “back to school” season.

You must love one another,

said Jesus.  Tonight I am thankful for His love, your love, and the love we are able to show others through uniforms, school fees, and Full Tummy Project.

XOXO,

Dawn

Posted in: Volunteer

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Food Barrel Program Progress

For the last several months, we’ve been working with our Leadership team on our upcoming food barrel program.  At present, Coca Cola has generously provided over 30 heavy-duty food grade barrels in 2 sizes, 27 and 30 gallon.

Our barrels team is working hard to prepare the barrels to drop off at locations who have been kind enough to serve as a host for donation sites.  Barrel preparation includes sawing off one of the ends to open up the barrel, drilling holes for handles, sanding down the rough edges, cleaning out the syrup, cutting rope and inserting into the drilled holes, burning the rope ends with washers to hold them in place.

DSCN1008DSCN1001 DSCN1007  DSCN1030

We have secured approximately 10 committed locations and another 20 leads, including some regular volunteers to collect donations from the location sites.  Along with us, the Leadership group is currently seeking 50 committed locations in the Walker, Watson and Denham Springs areas, with the intent of expanding this program as we branch into other schools in Livingston Parish.  Barrel locations will be posted on our site once barrels have been delivered.

Please contact us about Partnering with Christ in the battle to end childhood hunger right here in your own back yard!

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Let My Life Be the Proof

We want to challenge our friends, families, coworkers, and kids of all ages to make this summer the SUMMER OF LOVE.  Not the lustful kind of love but LOVE like Jesus.  God’s kind of love is directed towards others, not self. We tend to look inward at self and not out. If we take a real look out we will find a hurting and needy world. From young to old, we all need and desire acceptance and LOVE!  What would this summer look like if we all chose to love like Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians.  The message version version says  LOVE cares more for others than self. LOVE doesn’t want what others have. LOVE doesn’t strut-doesn’t have a swelled head.  LOVE isn’t always “me first.”   LOVE doesn’t fly off the handle and LOVE doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. LOVE trusts God ALWAYS.  Love ALWAYS looks for the best and never looks back but keeps on going to the end.

What if we find a need and meet it?

Hold a door, carry out groceries or just give a smile and a hello.  What about leaving cool behind and doing what is right even if it means looking different.  Love comes in so many shapes and sizes.  Some of us need a hug or a sweet word of encouragement.  Others may need more, like your undivided time and attention.  Love is an action!  Let’s put it to work this summer.


Will you LOVE like this and let your life be the proof?  We are selling these wrist bands  2 for $3.  One to keep and one to give away.  We will have them with us at the Mighty Mom food drive at Sam’s in Denham Springs on May 4 from 10-6.  We will have them in our purses and cars all the time, if you want some let us know.

 Check out the song “The Proof of Your Love” by For King and Country!

Posted in: Childhood Hunger, FUNdraising

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2013 Easter Pantry Information

Mighty Moms Easter Pantry will be Monday, March 25 from 11:30-1 p.m. in Eastover.  The kids get to shop in our free grocery store for food to bring home for spring break.  I know my grocery bill jumps up when my kids are home on break.  We need 50 of each of these items…if you are able to help us…..we would be so grateful.  We also need volunteers to help that day in Eastover. 

  • peanut butter and jelly
  • cheddar cheese (small bag)
  • loaf of bread
  • spaghetti sauce
  • flour tortillas
  • spaghetti noodles
  • capri suns
  • cereal
  • large can of chicken
  • oranges
  • individual ranch packs
  • bananas

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