Mt. Sylvan United Methodist Church logo



Mt. Sylvan United Methodist Church is located just one mile down the road from Eno Valley Elementary School in Northern Durham and less than a mile from Carrington Middle, and Northern High. Together we have helped close the divide that so often separates schools from their community. As part of the partnership between Mt. Sylvan and these schools, Mt. Sylvan has committed to serving with:


The Backpack Program provides children from food-insecure homes with weekend meals during the school year. It meets the needs of participating children at Eno Valley Elementary, Carrington, and Lucas Middle, and Northern High, where many students would benefit from access to meals on the weekends. Teachers recommend students for the program, who are then screened by the school’s guidance counselor. Each week, bags are filled with child-friendly, nonperishable food and distributed on the last school day before weekends and vacations. Each pack has enough food for six meals and two snacks. Over the last six years, the backpack program has grown to serve 120 children per week! Weekly volunteers are needed to shop for food, pack bags (5:00 pm every Wednesday in the Preschool Cafeteria at the church) and deliver the bags to Eno Valley.

Donations are also needed:

Pop-top and individual-size items are preferred

  • Individual serving vegetables
  • Individual serving fruit
  • Canned meats and fish
  • Individual serving soups and stews
  • Individual breakfast items - Low-sugar cereal, oatmeal/grits packets, breakfast bar, etc.
  • Noodles/Instant Pastas - Easy Mac, noodle soups, Spaghetti-O’s, etc.
  • Individual healthy snacks - Goldfish, granola bar, raisins, dried fruit, etc.
  • Juice Boxes (100% juice)
  • Gallon-size zip lock bags
  • Shelf-stable chocolate milk
  • Consider sponsoring a child for a month, semester or the year!

  • $8 for a week
  • $32 for a month
  • $120 for a semester
  • $240 for a school year

    Book fair vouchers are also given to the backpack children, twice a year, so that each child may purchase books for their personal use.


    Volunteer tutors from Mt. Sylvan meet with individual students on a weekly basis in their classrooms. Teachers comment that this one-on-one attention has led to significant improvements for these students.


    Mt. Sylvan has also provided landscaping services not covered by the county. Volunteers serve by planting flowers, trimming bushes, spreading mulch and caring for two large rose gardens.


    During the school year the church has provided breakfasts, luncheons or treat bags for the teachers.


    Proctors also volunteer for testing at Eno Valley at the end of the school year.


    Throughout the year, snacks for students and school supplies are provided for teachers to use in their classrooms. Articles for the clothes closet at school are also provided and distributed as needed.

    To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Eno Valley Elementary School, contact Katy MacDonald at

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