The new school year presents many new challenges and needs than before due to COVID-19, and Alexander City Church of Christ minister Brendan Chance and his congregation sought out a need they could help fill.

On Wednesday, volunteers delivered 2,400 bottles of water to both Stephens and Jim Pearson elementary schools after collecting donations of cases of water over the course of a few days.

“My wife is an educator and we have several here in the church and word had gotten out that all kids will have to carry water to school because water fountains are closed due to COVID,” Chance said. “It’s stuff like that we don’t think of automatically that has changed. So there was a need there.”

Chance realized not all children will remember their bottles of water, have access to water every day or other situations may occur. He felt this was a way the church could give back to the community and help the area children.

“In the Bible verse Matthew 10:42, Jesus tells us to give water to little kids,” Chance said. “There is no more obvious way to follow scripture.”

Church member Irene Lyle was proud of her church and felt it was inspiring to the community.

“We felt like that’s what we should do as Christians,” Lyle said. “It’s a great story and (Chance) is so good about helping the community. That’s what we’re here for.”

Chance plans to follow up in the future to provide more donations if needed and hopes other organizations or churches will also step up to help this cause.

“I encourage other service groups to be in contact with schools if they can help with those needs,” he said. “These are very different times and different needs we never considered before. We all need to be looking out for opportunities to help out — especially our children.”

Amy Passaretti is a staff writer with the Alexander City Outlook.