ANGLETON — The Exchange Club of Angleton spread its message of serving “One Nation Under God” during its annual luncheon Thursday, and will undertake the mission of spreading God’s word throughout the year to those who serve.
The Angleton affiliate of the National Exchange Club hosted its 16th One Nation Under God luncheon at First Presbyterian Church of Angleton to highlight the country’s unique relationship with a higher power. It also serves as a fundraiser for the club’s programs, including $1,000 scholarships for four Angleton High School students and donations to the Escape Center, Youth and Family Counseling Services and the Brazoria County Alliance for Children.
The club gave about $5,500 to other nonprofit organizations over the past year, Exchange Club President Bob Fried said.
“We’re quite proud of our record,” he said. “If we wipe our slate clean for the whole year, we think we’ve done our job.”
A.J. Brian and Nancy Beaulieu, board members for Strength for Service, spoke about their national nonprofit that prints and distributes a pocket-sized book of inspirational stories, Scripture verses and devotionals to members of the armed services and first responders.
“Strength for Service is an organization with a passion that only exists as long as you and I are passionate about it,” Brian said. “One box has 52 books. Fifty-two lives — it’s not hard to think about what you can accomplish with that.”
It is vitally important to honor first responders — something particularly meaningful to her because her three sons are a deputy sheriff, a firefighter and a nurse, Brian said. People think about them when they hear about events like school shootings, she said, but don’t often consider the burden responding to such tragedies can create, she said.
“You start praying for families, for children and for the community,” Brian said. “But we fail to think about what first responders take home when they leave.”
The Exchange Club hopes to distribute Strength for Service’s books at its First Responders Appreciation Breakfast in February, Fried said. They also want to include the books in the last 500 Christmas care packages being mailed out by Military Moms and Wives of Brazoria County, whose founder and director, Mary Moreno, accepted a $500 check from the Exchange Club to help with mailing costs.