Undie Sundays at Livingston UMC
By Lindsay Peyton
This summer, it’s Undie Sundays for the United Methodist Women of Livingston FUMC. President Suzanne Ganzer has announced that group members should start collecting underwear and socks for elementary children. By the end of August, she will gather up the donations and deliver them to four area schools.
Underwear might seem to go unnoticed, but Ganzer explained that not having the garments can be extremely difficult for children. Sometimes, parents can only provide clothes that can be seen.
“So many of the children come without underwear simply because their parents can’t afford them,” Ganzer said. “They get the outer clothes but can’t afford underwear or socks.”
This can take away a child’s sense of dignity and self-confidence, especially if other children find out and begin to tease or taunt them. Ganzer said that the donations also help schools if elementary children have an accident or simply need new clothes.
“Getting a new pair of underwear that they can keep can have a huge impact,” she explained. “It can restore self-worth and confidence.”
The Undie Sundays project began about a decade ago, Ganzer explained, when group member
Winnie Hatch attended a district meeting and learned about a similar project at the Nacogdoches FUMC.
When Hatch returned to a meeting at Livingston FUMC, she proposed giving the project a try. “That sounded interesting to us,” Ganzer said. “We thought we could do something like it.”
After the first summer of collecting and distributing the garments, Ganzer clearly remembers the reaction to her delivery. “The schools were very excited,” she said. “They really appreciate it.”
Ganzer has already started to gather a few items and plans to keep adding to the pile throughout the summer. She said that COVID has put a damper on many of the UMW’s usual outreach projects. “We’re hoping to get back going,” she said.
Susan Muzny, who serves as president of the UMW for the East District, has participated in the Undies Sunday drive each year since it started. She explained that the organization is focused on helping women and children, and this effort fits perfectly.
As a former high school teacher, Muzny is well aware of the amount of how great the need is for many students. Undies Sunday is one way to show students that someone cares about them, she said.
Often, the problems students face can seem insurmountable, Muzny said. Providing for them, in whatever way possible, may seem like only a small step – but it matters.
“There are tons of people at church, and they’re making a dent,” she said. “That’s all you can do. Together, we are making a difference.”