I don't ordinarily post more than once a week, but in thinking about Friday's blog, I felt like I should share with you the highlight of the Change for Change program that I referred to.
About two months after implementing Change for Change, a local church burned down. It was a small, but well-known congregation. The Pastor's son attended our school. We decided that the next month's change should go toward that congregation for whatever they needed it for. In the next week's chapel, I briefly interviewed Devin and challenged the children to give toward that need. I could not have anticipated the results.
I began to hear stories from parents. Children wanted to find whatever way they could to contribute. They asked to do extra housework, gave up their allowance and recycled cans. A couple of the parents were so touched by what their children were doing that they offered to match whatever money they did earn. It was an exciting time as we all had one common vision in mind. At the end of that month over $900 had been raised! I was thrilled and amazed!
We invited the Pastor to our weekly chapel to present him with our gift. The teachers had dispersed the money to the children in their classes. As the Pastor stood up front, the children came in a single file line and laid their gifts in an empty manger. A formal "presentation" was not needed. That scene said it all. By the time they had finished bringing their gifts, the Pastor was in tears. I explained to him some of the extraordinary efforts that the children had made and told him that he would receive a check for over $900! He could barely speak as he thanked the children and tried to articulate his appreciation. We were the first in the community to give such a gift.
Today, that church is a thriving, influential and relatively big congregation in our town. They have a beautiful building that was completed a few years ago. When I think of Change for Change, this is the story I am most proud of. The best part is, I don't know who or what we changed the most. Our children were changed, our teachers were changed, that Pastor's reality was changed and eventually that congregation was changed because of the giving of so many.
Sure, change may take some extra effort, but it can also be so worth it!