Members of the Cottonwood Creek family have delivered school supplies and the gospel to east McKinney residents in need for the past 17 years through the Fun with the Son event. Fun with the Son prepares low-income students and families for the upcoming school year by providing for their physical and spiritual needs.
On August 17, 2014, 260 families came to Old City Park in McKinney and participated in a fun morning filled with games, balloon animals and a live concert. 350 volunteers passed out 1200 backpacks filled with school supplies, making it one of the most successful years in its history.
“The Word of God told us that we are supposed to be in the world but not of the world,” Cottonwood Creek Deacon Al Hewitt said. “It gives us an opportunity to share, to be able to give truth back to the people and to be able to help them.”
After running a needs assessment, each family was then directed to the different service areas. Children received eye and dental exams free of charge from local doctors. Two tables stacked a foot high with prescriptions glasses were available for those who needed updated lenses. The amount of glasses donated for this year’s event was so abundant that participants had many frames to choose from. Three hair stylists and two barbers also set up shop and gave the students fresh haircuts to start the new school year. The line for their services wrapped down the hallway and out the door.
Each year participants can bring their bikes to the event to be serviced at the repair station. ReCycles McKinney, a Texas-based 501c3 organization whose mission is to “re-cycle” bikes within the community and give back to those who need them, along with other volunteers, serviced the bikes this year. When a young boy brought his bike in that couldn’t be repaired a member of Cottonwood Creek stepped up and met his need.
“A young gentleman brought in his bike,” Randy Hancock, founder of ReCycles McKinney, said. “His 12” tire needed to be repaired and unfortunately we did not bring the stuff with us to do that today. We had a member of Cottonwood Creek provide us with a brand new, or almost new, bike. It’s going to be great to see this young guy and hopefully we can share the gospel with him while we are doing it and show him what Jesus can do in his life.”
This gospel centered event is about more than meeting the needs that each student has for the school year, but meeting his needs for the rest of his life. Volunteers take the time to sit down with each participant and present the gospel. By the end of the morning, gospel presenters were able to lead 144 participants in professions of faith.
“We are commanded to go out and give. Not just sit in the world and do nothing, but to do like Christ did,” Hewitt said. “To get out there in the world, share the truth, tell them about the forgiveness of sins and what eternal life looks like. To be salt and light to people. That is what we are here to do and that is what we will continue to do as long as God allows it.”