On Sundays leading up to Easter, you can hear children’s giggles and the sounds of jingling coins in the sanctuary of Grace Mennonite Church in Steinbach, Manitoba.
“We’re collecting coins to raise money to make crops grow,” 5-year-old Paxton Friesen explains.
Together with his church friends, Friesen is collecting coins for Grow Hope Manitoba, a campaign through MCC.
We’re collecting coins to raise money to make crops grow." – Paxton Friesen, 5
Donors, no matter their age, can sponsor partial or full acres of land on Grant and Colleen Dyck’s farm in Niverville. During the growing season the Dyck family will farm the land and donate the proceeds after harvest to MCC’s account at Canadian Foodgrains Bank. From there, the proceeds will be matched by the Canadian government.
And these coins really do count — one dollar can translate to five after the government matches it.
MCC photo/Rachel Bergen
Pearl Barz sits on the outreach committee at Grace Mennonite Church and says it’s important to involve the children.
“Usually during the season of Lent and also during the season of Advent we have the children’s church participating in some event,” she explains. “We like to be doing something where they can collect something so they can see where it’s going, what it’s doing and how it helps the world outside of Steinbach.”
It’s fun collecting coins, according to 8-year-old Annika Klassen. “I like helping people,” she says.
We want them to know they can make a difference in the world.” – Kyle Penner, Associate Pastor
“They’re so excited about being part of it and collecting and you’ve got to make sure you’ve got coins for the first container and the last container so we can see the smiles on all the kids’s faces. They love dumping the coins in our big water jug as well, they love to participate,” Barz adds.
Kyle Penner serves as the associate pastor of the church and is father to two of the children involved in the fundraising.
He thinks it’s important to teach lessons of charitable giving early on.
MCC photo/Rachel Bergen
“Seeing them collecting money, it validates what we’re trying to teach them. We’re glad to see the values we try to live by are being expressed by our children,” he said. “We’re hoping they’ll learn lessons of generosity, sharing, and about the good work MCC does.”
Two years ago the children collected $1,300 for an MCC water project in Mozambique. This year they hope to top that by raising $1,500 by Easter.
If these children make their fundraising goal, that $1,500, when matched by the government, can total more than $12,000.
We want them to know they can make a difference in the world." – Kyle Penner
This gift to MCC’s Grow Hope campaign will give people hope by providing emergency food assistance and supporting long-term food security for people around the world.
“We want them to know they can make a difference in the world,” Penner says.
Join the children of Grace Mennonite Church by sponsoring land through Grow Hope today! Find out more at mccmb.ca/GrowHope.