It only took a jar to start one youth's commitment to helping feed hungry people.
Several years ago, youth at Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, Cromwell, Ind., decorated jars to take home and collect money for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal (www.elca.org/hunger; 800-638-3522, Ext. 2764). Donna L.A. Glazier, then pastor of Calvary, said the jars were more or less forgotten until Janie Oswald, Joe Leach's mother, asked, "Pastor, when do you want Joe to bring his hunger jar back to church?" It seems Joe's jar was quite full — so much so that they had to trade coins for dollars.
So on a Sunday in 2001, Joe brought his jar in for the children's sermon to talk about how that $84 would help hungry people.
Then Joe's jar filled up again. So last year, Joe again brought in his jar for the children's sermon. He had $59 for the hunger appeal.
After the service Joe's mother told him he had to leave his jar so the money could be recorded. But Joe, 14, wanted his jar — the special one he made in Sunday school. And Joe took his jar home that day — and is busy filling it again.
Joe and his sister, Jessica, have expanded the commitment. They collected $75 on Souper Bowl Sunday and sent some of their Christmas money to Heifer International.
Youth at Trinity Lutheran Church, Madison, Ohio, also raised money for Heifer, a nonprofit group that helps families feed themselves (www.heifer.org; 800-422-0474). Through fund-raisers, gifts from parishioners and collecting loose change in ark-shaped banks, they gave $5,000 to Heifer.
Confirmands from Atonement Lutheran, New Brighton, Minn., planned a hunger weekend for their congregation. They developed an education display and special worship service. The group raised $1,200 for the ELCA hunger appeal with a golf tournament, walkathon, picnic and pancake breakfast.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers