The Little Red School House

While on a business trip in New York City, Harry Mims was eating dinner in an exclusive restaurant.  It was 1981, and the U. S. government had cut off funds for several social programs.  He could not get his mind off the school children back home, who would not be able to afford to buy a school lunch.  In many cases, this was the only hot meal they had during the day.  

Being the kind of person he was, Harry’s conscience bothered him.  He returned to his Sunday School Class, the Builders’ Class at Myers Memorial United Methodist in Gastonia, North Carolina, and challenged the members to collect their loose pocket change weekly.   This money was distributed to each school in the county to be available to students who did not have lunch money.   This effort continued for about two years until the state reinstated the lunch program.

It was then decided to change the focus of the LRSH program.  Having worked with social workers for many years, Harry was aware of the need in many families for help with medical expenses.  Many families in Gaston County could not afford health insurance.  Such needs as eye care were often not covered by insurance.  A class member, Raymond Wallace, built a Little Red School House to be used to collect a class offering each Sunday.  As word got around others began to contribute and the fund grew.

The members of the Builders’ Class are grateful and amazed at the generosity and support of many people as the reputation of the program has increased.  From a start with pennies (literally), the fund has grown each year.  The needs for medical care, eye glasses, dental work, etc. have increased also.  We consider it a great blessing to be able to provide such a valuable service.

100% of the donated money goes to the provision of health care for students.  (Any administrative costs are absorbed by the Builders’ Class).

We work with the Director of Health Services for the Gaston School Schools and all School Nurses in Gaston County.  These persons have proven to be very reliable and conscientious in using the Little Red School House funds to help children with medical, dental or eye problems.