Ministers deliver paper to ECS

An Elba Elementary School staff members assists Elba United Methodist Church pastor Steve Reneau unload cases of copy paper Monday morning, Aug. 5, being donated to the school through a community project led by the Elba Ministerial Alliance. Additional paper was delivered to Elba High School on Tuesday. The goal of this project is to supply Elba City Schools with 80 bales of paper [200,000 individual sheets of copy paper], and Reneau said the Alliance is halfway to reaching the goal.

written by Jack West, summer intern for The Elba Clipper

Used to delivering sermons from a pulpit, the Elba Ministerial Alliance is now delivering cases of paper to Elba City Schools. As part of the ministerial alliance’s summer donation program Rev. Steve Reneau of Elba United Methodist Church brought 16 bales of copy paper Monday morning, Aug. 5, to Elba Elementary School. The ministerial alliance voted to collect paper and money last May, and five local churches have been accepting donations since June. “The idea was how can we as a community help our community schools,” Reneau said. According to Reneau, the idea came from a sense that some of the churches’ previous donations weren’t coherent enough. “There was a real sense that we weren’t really making a big impact,” Reneau said. “We might have been kind of piecemealing.” So, Reneau and other members of the ministerial alliance met with Chris Moseley, superintendent of Elba City Schools, and talked about what kinds of donations the schools needed that the churches would be able to provide. “We were talking about teachers’ dry-erase markers and things like that so that kids wouldn’t have to keep buying them and bringing them,” Moseley said. “He mentioned that the things that would be really helpful are what I kind of call the bottom of the list kind of things,” Reneau said. “My original goal was to provide all of that, and then I went home and actually priced it out.” Of course, all of the materials required for a teacher to run a classroom is quite expensive, so the ministerial alliance agreed to try and collect funding for 80 bales of copy paper. “This seemed like something that people could easily grasp,” Reneau said. “People could easily see that this was something a school would need.” For readers who aren’t completely up-to-date on their Dunder-Mifflin terminology, a bale of paper equates to 10 reams, and a ream contains 500 individual sheets of paper. So, in total, the ministerial alliance is trying to raise enough money to buy 200,000 individual sheets of paper for Elba students. And they are half-way there. As of publication, the ministerial alliance has either bought or been given 40 bales of copy paper, and they have one more month so find the rest. “Our hope is to raise an additional 40 [bales] over the month of September,” Reneau said. “We’ve had good participation, but we need a little bit better participation.” The ministerial alliance is asking people of all faiths and denominations to help them reach this goal. Currently, the five churches accepting donations are Elba United Methodist Church, Elba Church of Christ, Covenant Community Church, First Assembly of God and Westside Baptist Church. “If you attend one of those five churches and you’ve already given, thank you,” Reneau said. “If you attend one of those five churches, and you haven’t given yet, you still have a chance. If your community of faith is not participating in this or you don’t belong to a community of faith, but you think this is a good, worthwhile thing, those five places are good drop-off sites.”

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