Guest Post: Heather Keller, WMU
As adults, its easy to look at large goals and be discouraged because we cannot complete that goal by ourselves. Whether it’s a team goal at work, a large project at home, or a project taken on by a church, projects can be overwhelming when they require multiple talents or large sums of money. Thankfully, children don’t think like adults! Our 2 sons have realized that if they do their part and encourage others to jump in and help, loose change can quickly add up to dollar bills.
When Denton (age 10) and Landon (age 5) heard about the effort to purchase the Graffiti 2 building, they immediately began brainstorming what they could do to help our friends, Mr. Andrew and Proof, in this effort.
Denton had a number of ideas including a yard sale and lemonade stand, but the one that we are moving forward with is a “Change Challenge.” He has encouraged his Royal Ambassadors® (RA®) chapter to challenge our church’s Girls in Action® (GA®) group to see who can collect the most change over a 2-week period in late April. During that time, our missions groups are going to Skype with staff members of Graffiti 2 so our children can see part of the facility and hear from staff members about how our loose change can make a difference there in New York.
Landon has determined that he is going to use his interest in creating artwork from found items to help raise funds. The 5-year-old has created several pieces of “sculpture” over the last year as gifts for family and friends and has found great joy in seeing other people enjoy his creations. (One of his pieces currently sits on Mr. Andrew’s desk at Graffiti 2!) Landon’s plan is to give these pieces of artwork to our friends and family who make a donation to the effort.
We know that our GAs and RAs’ “Change Challenge” and the sale of Landon’s artwork will help, but won’t be enough to begin to purchase the building. We’ve decided to reach out to other groups and encourage them to take part in the “Change Challenge,” also, our home church in Tennessee and several other GA and RA groups we know in our area.
How much will we raise? We’re hopeful that we can raise $100 between both of the boys’ efforts. We’ve already been told that if the boys can raise that much, it will be matched by an anonymous donor.
While the money is important, the lessons my own children and our GAs and RAs are learning are just as important. When we all give the little bit that we have, our collective giving is much larger than our individual giving. We can accomplish those large goals. We can buy a building in New York City!
We think that Mr. Andrew and Proof have the best job in the world because Mr. Andrew gets to tell people about Jesus and help kids with their homework while Proof gets all of the hugs and love. And, now, my boys, our church’s GAs and RAs, and GAs and RAs from a few other churches who have joined the “Change Challenge” will have a vested interest in the work happening in “our” Graffiti 2 Church and Community Center in NYC.
Heather D. Keller is the children’s consultant for National WMU®. She is also a GA leader at Wilsonville Baptist Church, Wilsonville, AL, and the mother of two funny boys. Find her on Facebook or Instagram.
Right before Christmas, Graffiti 2 was notified that we were selected to receive gift cards to Payless Shoesource. The gift cards could only be used to purchase footwear for children and teenagers. We scheduled a shopping day for families in the after school program that wanted to participate. Although the weather kept some families from making it, the ones that came were able to get 2 new pairs of shoes each! It was fun to help the students pick out new shoes and let them shop without having to worry about how much they were spending.
Graffiti 2 is so thankful for our partnership with World Vision and to Payless for having this program to help children and teens get new shoes.