Suwanee Worship Center raises $5,000 and attracts more than 100 volunteers to package 20,000 Stop Hunger Now Meals
By Celia Hilliard
Missions Coordinator of Suwanee Parish UMC
It all started at Suwanee’s Worship Center’s 2013 Stop Hunger Now Packaging of 10,000 meals when a Missions Ministry team member, Beverly Finney, yelled “next year we will package 20,000 meals”! Members left last year’s packaging feeling very thankful and rewarded that God had Blessed us to provide such a magnificent Service to those in need! Pastor Ted, a strong supporter of Stop Hunger Now, was happy to send out an announcement to the congregation that we would indeed double our number of SHN meals in 2014.
The Suwanee Worship Center 2014 Stop Hunger Now Project was launched in July with a three pronged fundraising program to raise the $5,000 required to package 20,000 meals:
- A Community Yard Sale and Fall Fest in August
Members donated items and volunteered at the Yard Sale working at the various booths, providing refreshments and doing a car wash. The Yard Sale provided our first $1,000 toward our needed $5,000.
- A 5K Fun Run/Walk with sponsors on September 20
Thirty members signed up to participate in our Fun Run/Walk and asked family and friends to sponsor their run/walk a few dollars per K completed. It was truly a morning of fun and fellowship as many participants not only finished the 5 Kilometers, but exceeded in their finish. This event raised over $1800.00.
With close to $3,000 toward the $5,000 needed, we were elated….but still knew our packaging date of Nov 15 was quickly approaching and we still needed over $2,000.
- An Ongoing Church-wide Appeal for donations
The third fundraiser was an appeal to our congregation to pledge and donate funds toward the $5,000. A tally of these pledges and donations that had been coming in gradually, provided the remainder of the needed funds! What an indescribable feeling….our Church had stepped out on Faith….set a goal to double our meals from 2013 to feed hungry brothers and sisters…and be so thankful that God blessed us to do that in just four months!
The November 15th packaging event far surpassed our projection of 80 packagers, as 109 participants arrived at Level Creek Elementary School and packaged 20,088 meals in two hours! This festive group consisted of children (as young as 4 years old), SWC members, friends and family members.
As the gong sounded at the completion of each 1,000 meals, the level of excitement and a grateful feeling resonated throughout the cafeteria as Pastor Ted presented the $5.000 check to the Stop Hunger Now representative and the last box of meals were loaded on the truck!
Tired but wonderfully fulfilled, the packagers travelled a mile to Suwanee Worship Center and celebrated with a well-earned Pizza Party and with the thought, “Let’s Do It Again next year; let’s participate in this much needed project that has become so very dear to us!”