In the late spring, Rhonda Plett of Zion Lutheran Church in Morden, Manitoba, contacted us to tell us about their “Cookies for a Classroom” fundraiser – and to send us a cheque for $600, (which, as it turns out, is enough for more than two classrooms!) Many thanks to the Sunday School, the LWML-C group and the whole congregation, on behalf of the people we serve. Here’s the story of their successful fundraiser to equip a classroom in a refugee settlement:
Our project began by one of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League-Canada (LWML-C) members asking if our Sunday School would like to do a joint mission project this spring.
As a Sunday School we like to do one local mission and one national or international mission project a year and we did our local one before Christmas, so international was on the list.
I agreed and came up with the idea of baking cookies together, as most of the LWML-C ladies are grandmas and our Sunday School students are mostly Grade 6 and under. I thought this would be a fun project to do together.
At one of our Sunday School teachers’ meetings, I presented the idea of fundraising for “Equip a Classroom.” It seemed like the right choice. We decided to pair it with our cookie project and that’s how “Cookies for a Classroom” evolved.
During our introduction to the Sunday School about our mission project, I was able to use the YouTube video of “Equip a Classroom” and show the children what and who we were fundraising for.
I printed a map of Kenya, showed them how far it was to Kakuma from Morden, explained some facts about Kakuma, and drove home the idea of what a refugee camp looked like and where these children live and go to school. (Thank you for having the video available.)
Our goal was to equip one classroom, but with success we raised $600 for the “Equip a Classroom” project!
We had 95 dozen pre-ordered cookies – chocolate chip, ginger snap and oatmeal raisin at $5.00 a dozen.
Together the Sunday School teachers and parents, LWML-C members and 12 Sunday School students (ages ranging from 4–12 years old) rallied together for three days to bake, sell, deliver and host a coffee break.
Friday and Saturday were two FULL baking days. There were lots of little hands to help roll the dough, mix, measure and bag the cookies. I estimated that we made over 120 dozen cookies (approximately 1440 cookies).
On Sunday, we hosted a coffee break fundraiser and pick-up before church service. This was a free-will offering and we managed to raise over $70!
We had the older children work the cash table, deliver orders, serve coffee, tea and milk, and serve the cookies.
The younger children went around to the different tables to explain what their job was for the fundraiser – mixing, measuring, rolling dough, bagging cookies, cleaning up and, of course, taste-testing (quality control).
I also showed the video of “Equip a Classroom” and another Dateline documentary of Kakuma during the coffee break (as background images) so the congregation and others could see where our money would be going.
After church service, I thanked everyone for donating, buying and sharing our vision in equipping one classroom. I was overjoyed to announce that we could equip two classrooms!
I brought the Sunday School students up to the front of the congregation and we thanked them as a group.
We have a small but mighty congregation and every time we ask for a donation or support, we are floored by the response!
Everyone who ordered cookies and came to the coffee break said it was delightful to see the younger children work so hard with their peers to support such a worthy cause.
There was even some talk of doing another cookie fundraiser near Christmas… hmm…. with only one oven in the church, maybe a frozen cookie dough fundraiser will be doable!
One of the Sunday School children asked if we could send some cookies over to Kakuma for the kids there to share! I thought that was such a cute idea!
Otherwise, we had an excellent time baking, selling, rolling and trying to figure out how many bags of flour, chocolate chips and cups of butter we needed for all those cookies!
-submitted by Rhonda Plett