Join us as we put love in action within our community by loving and supporting our partner schools (Kooken Education Center, Thornton Elementary, & Carter Jr. High) during August. Below are a number of ways you can serve, click a link to jump to that section or scroll down to learn more!

Provide Encouragement
Supply Donations
New Day Donations
Volunteer Opportunities
31 Days of Prayer

As you show love, we want to see your pictures and videos! Tag us on social media and/or email them to Mary Gibson. If you have any questions, contact Rev. Molly Hayes.

download printable guide

Provide Encouragement

It is a stressful time for educators and administrators. Here are some things you can do at home and drop off at the church to help provide encouragement & love! Drop off donations to the First UMC Arlington church office on Sunday mornings or during weekly office hours, Monday–Thursday from 9 am–3 pm.

Letters of Encouragement

Make handmade cards or purchase cards and write special notes to these workers letting them know that you are thinking of them and that FUMCA is praying for them.


Leave an encouraging note for students and school staff as they begin the school year! Posters will be available in the main hallway of the church from August 6 to August 13.

Gift Cards

Donate $5 gift cards for teachers, especially for Sonic & Starbucks. We can also use monetary donations to purchase gift cards.

Prayer Hearts & Worry Worms

Crocheted prayer hearts and worry worms are distributed to teachers and students at our partner schools and throughout AISD. Contact us for more info on patterns or if you’d like to learn how to create them!

Supply Donations

These are items teachers at our partner schools have requested to help fill supply gaps .

New Day Donations

New Day is a non-profit organization that provides food for AISD students on the weekends. Below is a list of food items needed and ways to get involved. If you’re interested in helping pack and deliver food bags, contact Lori Nolen.

Ways to Be Involved: 

  • Package and assemble food with us each week (ongoing and flexible)
  • Be a delivery driver (typically Thursdays) to our school partners.
  • Help to transport food from wholesale to the pantry at the Good Shepherd UMC.
  • Donate money directly to New Day here or through First UMC Arlington to New Day to purchase the food.
  • Donate single serving packages of food from the following list to the church office at Good Shepherd UMC:
Food Donation List
beef sticks
mac and cheese cups
ramen noodles
vienna sausage
individual cereal boxes
juice boxes (100% juice only)
chef boyardee cups

 Note: No products may contain nuts or be made in a facility where cross contamination might occur.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are several ways you can support our partner schools in August, both at school sponsored events, and teacher appreciation events led by our church. Volunteers must be an AISD approved volunteer. See the next section for more details on becoming an approved volunteer.

List of Opportunities
Back-to-School Registration

Carter Jr. High
July 31–August 3 | 8:30 am–3:00 pm
Wednesday, August 16

Bilingual translators are needed to help register students at back-to-school registration and on the first day of school. Volunteers aren’t required to stay for the entire day, but any help is greatly appreciated. (Non-bilingual volunteers are also welcome, translating is just one of their many needs!) If you plan on attending, please let us know so we can give their administration a volunteer count.


Kooken Education Center

  • Clean library books
  • Sneak-A-Peek
  • Meet the Teacher
  • PreK Playground Playdate
  • Math-o-Ween


Thornton & Carter

Help teachers set up bulletin boards, rooms, etc. at any of our partner schools. If you plan on attending, please let us know so we can give their administration a volunteer count.

Thornton Elementary Dates

8/4 8:30 am–5:30 pm
8/5 8:00 am–12:00 pm
8/7 8:30 am–5:30 pm
8/9 1:00 pm–5:30 pm

Carter Jr. High Dates

8/9 Afternoon
8/11 8:00 am–3:30 pm
8/14 8:00 am–3:30 pm
8/15 8:00 am–3:30 pm

sign up online

Become an Approved Volunteer

School Partnership volunteers must be AISD approved volunteers. Below are instructions for becoming an AISD approved volunteer.

All volunteers must submit an online application every year and upload a copy of your unexpired government-issued photo ID to the volunteer application. If you are an AISD teacher, staff member, or substitute, please still fill out the volunteer approval form to make sure we are in compliance with the volunteer process.

Volunteer Application Instructions
  1. Log onto the AISD website at
    1.  Click on “Volunteer Application” 
    2. Complete the volunteer application. When selecting schools, please include Kooken   Ed Center, Thornton Elem, and Carter JH.
  2. Submit a copy of your unexpired government issued ID to Please place your name in the “subject line” of the e-mail.
  3. The PACE Department will match your application and ID copy, then submit the criminal background check to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
    1. Upon completion/approval of the criminal background check, the PACE Department will update approved volunteer list in Raptor Technologies. 
  4. You will receive an e-mail from indicating your volunteer application approval.

31 Days of Prayer

There are so many ways we can be in prayer for our schools, teachers, staff, and students. Below is a guide to prayer throughout the month of August, with specific ways you can pray each day.

  1. Custodial and maintenance staff
  2. Administrative support staff
  3. School nurses
  4. Counselors and social workers
  5. Cafeteria workers
  6. Bus drivers and transportation crew
  7. Librarians
  8. First year teachers
  9. Seasoned teachers
  10. Homeschool teachers
  11. Classroom Aides
  12. Substitute teachers
  13. Administration: superintendents, principals, HR, IT
  14. Kindergartners and those at new schools
  15. Seniors
  16. Students of all age levels: Pre-K, Elementary, Jr. High, High School
  17. Students transitioning to new campuses
  18. Students that are homeless and the Families in Transition team
  19. Students with differing abilities
  20. Parents and guardians
  21. Student athletes
  22. Students pursuing trades and crafts
  23. Creativity among our fine arts students
  24. Safety of students and protection from violence
  25. School resource officers
  26. Kindness among everyone
  27. Businesses that feed high school students at lunch
  28. Communities building support
  29. For professionals preparing for retirement after this year
  30. For mutual respect between adults, students, and families
  31. That God be present in all the schools in a powerful way

Let all that you do be done in love.

-1 Corinthians 16:14