Students make ‘midnight run' to to assist the needy

| 22 Feb 2012 | 07:50

Warwick, N.Y. — On the evening of Nov. 28, a caravan of eight cars left the Warwick United Methodist church at 9 p.m. for eight predetermined stops in Manhattan to deliver more than 100 prepared bagged meals and 10 boxes of clothing to homeless men and women. The caravan included mission teams from Warwick United Methodist Church, the Warwick Church of the Nazarene, the Bellevale Community and the Vision Church who participated in a “Midnight Run,” which is dedicated to finding common ground between the housed and the homeless. Since 1984 the organization has coordinated hundreds of annual relief missions. SJS is a mission team run by high school sophomores, juniors and seniors from the Warwick United Methodist Church. SJS has two meanings: “Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors,” which reflects the ages eligible to be in the group and “Seeking Jesus Socially,” which reflects one of the purposes of the group such as providing a social outlet for any interested senior high youth (the others being missions and good works). Most of the students attend Warwick Valley High School; one goes to Vernon Township High. At each stop the young people interacted with those in need, according to Linda Wajda, one of the co-leaders of the SJS Mission, and it soon became clear that everyone would benefit from this experience. John Mears, who is the youth group leader at the Warwick Methodist Church, told the following story: “One very sweet homeless man wrote a poem that he shared with the team. While we did not remember all of the words, we did remember this small excerpt: ‘They come from far away places with smiles on their faces bring food in bags and new clothes to replace rags … being homeless is not fun. God bless the midnight run.’”