As exam time approaches, many college students experience stress. Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., creates care packs to serve young adults during this trying time.
On April 4, the church’s youth and education director, Char Bulthuis, and other church members gathered to create the packs.
“We wanted to find a way to reach out to the college students,” said Bulthuis, “[and] let them know we are thinking of them during exam time.”
Bulthuis, who has served as youth director for eight years, has seen many of her high school students go on to college. The 39 students receiving exam packs this spring have been a part of Calvin’s high school church programs, attended regularly, or are members themselves.
“We want to reach out to everyone who has been a part of this church,” said Bulthuis.
This is the first year Calvin CRC has sent out the care packages. They deliver them personally if possible but also send them to out-of-town universities. Students receive candy, Gatorade, and granola bars, and the consistory of Calvin CRC also donated gift cards.
The first packs went out in the fall semester, and students expressed their gratitude for the gifts. They texted Bulthuis with their thanks. “I love you to the moon and back!” one texted.
“I wish I was in college!” added church member and care package helper Grace Spoelma.
As students become more independent and less reliant on their home churches, small acts of kindness remind them there is someone thinking of them as they journey into adulthood. Although this is Calvin’s first year of exam packs, Bulthuis has been serving in other ways the past few years. On Tuesdays she picks up interested Calvin College students for prayer and study hour at Baker Bookhouse. Every four to six weeks the church hosts a lunch for hungry students.
“It’s a great time to check in with these kids,” said Bulthuis.