"There are children right here in Lauderdale County who go to bed hungry."
This statement was made by Gary Turbville, founder and chief executive of Cans for Kids Children's Ministry, at the June meeting of the Center Hill Community Development Club.
Turbville established the children's ministry in 1995 with two families he'd met who were struggling to feed the grandchildren they were raising.
From that humble beginning 15 years ago, that which Turbville says he was doing what he felt the Lord laid on his heart to do has evolved to 174 families who are helped at Christmas. From one man on a mission in his little white pickup truck, to 501(c) status and registration with the office of the Secretary of State.
"At Cans for Kids Children's Ministry, we know that when basic needs such as food, clothes, and shelter are met, a child is more likely to stay in school and become a member of our society," Turbville said.
"We believe that a family who follows the Word of God will help its children to discover God's special plan for their lives. Each person is remarkably and wonderfully made in the image of God, and Jesus Christ has a desire that each one of us will learn to trust him for all our needs. Our goal at Cans for Kids is to parner with the Lord in seeing these needs are met," he said.
Turbville informed the club about bins set up throughout Meridian and Lauderdale County for collection of cans. Collected almost daily somewhere (he does have help), the cans are accumulated at his home, dumped in a large trailer then taken to Queen City Recycling about four times a month, averaging $250 each trip. Thirty-two cans make a pound and in 2012, the ministry recycled 19,181 pounds of cans for $12,173.20.
This past year, Cans for Kids spent $26,880.46 in meeting the needs of its families through food, clothing and other assistance. The ministry's Christmas program, which is most dear to Turbville's heart, saw 174 families helped at a cost of $11,565.
"Not one person gets paid in our organization," he said. "Every cent collected from the cans, love offerings, and other donations from our many supporters is spent on the families who come to us for assistance."
To learn more about Cans for Kids Children's Ministry, go to www.cansforkidsms.com
The meeting was called to order by Robin Doerner, president, whose quote for the night was: "Minds are like parachutes. They only function when open."
Brother Wallace Terry presented the devotion reading a selection from "Seeds From the Psalms" titled "The Source of Praise."
"Someone recently reminded me that my heart beats 72 times a minute, 100,000 times a day, 3,600,000 times a year and, if I live what would be considered a normal life span, it will beat 2.5 billion times." Terry read.
"It only weights about 11 ounces, yet will pump about 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day. Rather amazing, to say the least.
"Yet, I rarely stop to consider those facts," Terry continued Terry. "It's God at work in my body taking care of me, watching over me, providing life for me and within me.
"Often in life, we seek God's presence and power to protect us and provide for our needs. But, are we really aware of the magnitude of his grace, gifts and goodness? Are we sincerely thankful for his constant care, concern and compassion? Do we pause to think of the work our heart does without our having to do anything to make it work? Do we realize that God is alive and involved in our lives without our even mentioning his name?
"God gives us life without asking for it and help when we call upon him when we are having difficult times. Just as David needed God's help, we also should know that in God's name there is help and hope. When we recognize God at work in our lives, we should give praise to his name."
Terry concluded with prayer and blessing.
Refreshments were served by hosts and hostess Wallace Terry, Brent Stephens and Robbie Thead.
Various committee reports were given by chairpersons.
The Safety Report presented by Stanley Lucky was on the importance of being prepared for hurricane season, which began June 1 and continues through November. Meteorologists who track and study hurricane activity are predicting big storms this year, saying conditions are similar to those that produced Katrina in 2005. Lucky advised having on hand items you will need to survive several days without electricity or water.
Doerner announced the June Yard of the Month was awarded to Elouise Ethridge.
Plans were made for the annual Sponsors Supper scheduled July 15. Members were encouraged to bring plenty of side items to complement the fried chicken the club will provide.
Door prizes were won by Jerry and Doreen Daniels and Georgia Snowden.
The meeting closed with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag led by Brent Stephens.
• Submitted by Cathy Clearman, reporter.