Midtown: Community

Franciscan School girls’ team feeds 50 families

The girls of the Franciscan School’s junior varsity basketball team wanted to do more than eat holiday treats and exchange gifts this year at their annual Christmas party.

So after some brainstorming, they decided to hold a food drive. They set their goal at enough to feed 50 families through Catholic Parish Outreach, a local food pantry of Catholic Charities.

“It was really satisfying as a coach to see them embrace the philosophies of sportsmanship and caring for others that we teach to them,” said coach Robert Eastmann.

After soliciting donations from local businesses, the girls filled up six carts with toiletries, canned vegetables and other food at a local grocery store. They then took the food to the center and spent five hours sorting it, touring the facility and meeting families whose tables would be filled with the food they brought.

Eastmann said the director told the girls about a little boy in the program who previously had only three chicken nuggets to eat each day.

“The team was very amazed at what the families go through and left very appreciative for what they have,” Eastmann said. “Their eyes were really opened, and they walked away with a different understanding of what it is really like to be hungry and in need.”

While they were at the center, the girls saw that several of the bins with diapers were completely empty. Many of the girls separately approached Eastmann at the next practice to tell him that they would like to donate some diapers to help the families, so the team made another donation to the shelter last weekend.

“It would have been really easy for the girls to do the one project and never do anything again for the shelter, but they wanted to keep helping,” Eastmann said. “I am very proud of the team.”

Unity Church of Raleigh

Unity Church of Raleigh will have its Burning Bowl service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, at the church, 11101 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh. During the service, worshipers will write down things that no longer serve them and put the papers into the flames. Afterward, they will create a list of hopes, dreams and goals to usher in a meaningful and promising 2013.

Professional life coach Joe Green also will lead a New Year’s resolution accountability group from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. every Sunday from Jan. 13 to March 3 at the church. The group will help participants find their focus, identify goals, track progress and stay motivated through readings, discussions and at-home exercises. The fee for the class is $25 for materials including a book, CD and handouts. A weekly offering will be collected, and free child care will be provided. For more information or to register, visit www.unitychurchofraleigh.org, call 919-870-7364 or email ucrprograms@earthlink.net.

Financial Peace University

The community is invited to Wilson Temple United Methodist’s free preview class of David Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the church, 1021 Oberlin Road, Raleigh. The nine-week course begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, and costs $95 per household. The course is based on 800 verses of Scripture and helps families pay off debt while saving money. For more information on Financial Peace University, visit www.daveramsey.com/fpu/classfinder. To register for the class, call 919-828-9989.

Marriage Foundations class

Lamb’s Christian Center is holding an eight-week Marriage Foundations class at 7 p.m. Tuesday evenings beginning Jan. 22, in the fellowship hall at the church, 4519 Laurel Hills Road, Raleigh. The class will include marriage preparation, strengthening marriages and bringing healing to hurting marriages. The cost is $25 for class materials. For more information or to register, email info@lambschristian.com.

Do you have some faith news to share? Send it to correspondent Jennifer Gregory at nrnews@newsobserver.com.