Harrisburg kids surpass pastor’s challenge

Coached by hairstylist and fellow church member Liz Bornhoft, Vacation Bible School student Kalleigh Jones puts clippers to the Rev. Clark Atkins’ scalp. The pastor agreed to let a VBS participant shave his head if VBS raised $1,000 to feed hungry children; the kids raised more than double that goal. COURTESY PHOTO

Coached by hairstylist and fellow church member Liz Bornhoft, Vacation Bible School student Kalleigh Jones puts clippers to the Rev. Clark Atkins’ scalp. The pastor agreed to let a VBS participant shave his head if VBS raised $1,000 to feed hungry children; the kids raised more than double that goal.
COURTESY PHOTO

Vacation Bible School (VBS) participants at First United Methodist Church Harrisburg received a challenge from their pastor, the Rev. Clark Atkins: raise $1,000 for the Backpacks for Kids program that the church helps sponsor through the local school district to feed hungry students, and he would let one of the VBS children shave his head.

In Arkansas, approximately 200,000 children face food scarcity on a regular basis. That statistic led to the 200,000 Reasons to Fight Childhood Hunger initiative among United Methodists—and to the challenge Atkins issued to the VBS children.

The children had no problem at all meeting their goal and reaping their reward.

“I set the bar too low!” Atkins posted on social media. “They raised $2,194.03! Praise God!”

Part of the church’s new Mobile Food Pantry ministry involves working with the Harrisburg Schools’ Backpacks for Kids program to deliver backpacks filled with much-needed, child-friendly snacks to ensure that students have food on the weekends. The money raised by kids, for kids through VBS will purchase food for that program. Students from the Arkansas State University Wesley Foundation campus ministry in Jonesboro will help with distribution, as well.

Has your church participated in a project to combat childhood hunger? Share photos and details on social media, and use the hashtag #200KReasons, or send to 200KReasons@arumc.org. Visit the 200,000 Reasons site for resources to help you get started.