Church Kids Help BGMC to Provide for Africa Oasis Project
By Jenn Hewitt, children’s pastor, New Life Assembly, Janesville, Wisconsin
One boy alone at New Life Assembly in Janesville, Wisc., raised $1,100 for BGMC. In total, all the church kids raised over $3,600 in 2015. Our goal was to help BGMC provide Africa Oasis Project the needed funds to drill wells in Africa, where clean drinking water is a rarity.
How did all of this happen? Because our church kids have a big heart and vision for missions! Each week all of our children’s church offerings go to BGMC. We are a missions-minded church and believe that if we give to missions, God will take care of the rest—which He definitely has.
This past year our kids did a lot of different things in order to raise money. Many participated in our district’s 30-30 Challenge. They were challenged to raise $30 in 30 days. We had kids as young as age 5 looking for ways to raise money for BGMC. Some baked cookies (one 6-year-old girl raised $120). Another fifth-grade girl made and sold bracelets, generating over $600 for BGMC. We had kids giving birthday money, raking leaves, doing chores, etc. It was amazing to see firsthand a heart of compassion.
We did a slime contest at our VBS, and our kids raised over $250 in three days. In the past, we've also done a T-shirt challenge, encouraging kids to wear a T-shirt we designed for the Africa Oasis Project that states, “Can you help dig it?” The challenge is to wear the T-shirt for 30 days and get pledges for doing so.
It was out of this compassion and enthusiasm that one boy named Justin was inspired to raise a lump sum of $1,100 this year. He set up a “go fund me” account with the help of his mom and got the word out to people that he and his parents knew. He also had the opportunity to go to the capital in Madison and meet some of the officials there and got a chance to talk to them about his BGMC project. Guess what? They gave!
Recently at a summit, we were able to share the story of the little girl name Maddy who raised $600 in one year by making bracelets. We presented her with the Buddy Grand Club coin for having raised over 1,000 for BGMC. She was the first girl in the Wisconsin-Northern Michigan District to be recognized with this.
We also presented the Buddy Grand Club gold coin for the boy who raised $1,100 this year. So far this year, our kids’ BGMC totals are over $2,000—and our annual BGMC goal of $5,000 is well its way. We are gearing up to do a lemonade challenge, where my husband built five lemonade stands. Families will have the opportunity to sign up for a day to conduct a lemonade sale. The kids sell the lemonade, and the proceeds go to BGMC. My goal is for the city to see all of these lemonade stands throughout our city all summer long—and that this city will know that our kids are doing this for a reason.
Our church was recognized at the Wisconsin-Northern Michigan District Summit as being in the top 10 BGMC-giving churches in the district and 86th in the nation.
Photo l: Jenn Hewitt with Justin
Photo 2: Jenn Hewitt, Ron Hewitt, Mark Kilcoyne, Maddy Wiedenheft (girl in center)