Diane Wright

contributing writer

For some, biking down a trail or rocking in a chair can be a favorite pastime. However, for Elm Springs United Methodist Church, it was a fundraiser for their weekly food pantry perfectly named “Soul Food Ministry.”

Denise Crutchfield, Elm Springs’s Children’s Coordinator, also works with Soul Food Ministry. “One night, I was doing a lesson with the younger kids about why we have a food pantry,” she said. “One of the youth asked how we got money for the food pantry, and I told them how it works, and the idea was born that they could help raise money for the pantry.”

“The kids really took it on as a challenge,” Rev. Jennie Williams, said. Members of the church donated, but grandparents and other family members outside the church donated towards the cause as well.

“The important part [of the fundraiser] was y’all get to be part of this,” Rev. Williams said, of the children participating.

Rev. Williams said the fundraiser was important for the entire church. “Soul Food really is an intergenerational ministry at Elm Springs UMC. The kids and youth assist with the ministry, so this helps them to get to know more people in the church.”

The children and youth of Elm Springs UMC got creative and worked together but on separate age-appropriate projects to raise money for the feeding ministry. The youth ministry hosted a rock-a-thon, where the youth rocked in a rocking chair for donations based upon times rocked and they rocked for 20 hours total. The children’s ministry participated in a bike-a-thon for donations and sixteen children rode 331 laps total.

Members of the church, as well as members of the community, made donations to support the children and youth of the church as they worked to support Soul Food. In total, the children and youth of the church raised approximately $4,000.

Thanks to the money raised, the Soul Food Ministry has enough money for 80 families a week for the next 3 months.

“God always provides,” Crutchfield said. “Just when you think you won’t have that connection, someone or something always steps up. It has been phenomenal.”

Rev. Williams said the fundraiser reminded her all people are called to serve. “Even younger kids have a passion to serve,” she said. “We are building the kingdom of God here as in heaven.”