Columbia Congregational works to raise an ark

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Columbia - posted Tue., May. 7, 2013
Annika (front) and Ellie wash cars with the Columbia Congregational Church School on May 4 to help raise money for Heifer International. Photo by Melanie Savage.
Annika (front) and Ellie wash cars with the Columbia Congregational Church School on May 4 to help raise money for Heifer International. Photo by Melanie Savage.

May 4 was a picture-perfect day for a car wash, and members of the Columbia Congregational Church School had plenty of customers. At 10:30 on Saturday morning, many of the students were still occupied at a local softball game. “They’ll be here soon,” said Jean Murphy, the school coordinator for the church. While Sunday school teachers hosed off an SUV, students Annika and Ellie held a sign across from the Columbia fire station, working hard to attract more customers.

The beneficiary of the event was Heifer International, an organization with a mission to “work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth.” With gifts of livestock and training, “Heifer projects help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. We refer to our animal donations as ‘living loans’ because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal's offspring to another family in need. It's called Passing on the Gift – a cornerstone of our mission that creates an ever-expanding network of hope and peace,” reads the organization’s website.

“We usually go for half an ark,” said Murphy.  A full ark costs $5,000 and provides “two each of pigs, cows, trios of rabbits, donkeys, beehives, sheep, llamas/alpacas, flocks of geese, goats, oxen, flocks of chicks, trios of ducks, trios of guinea pigs, water buffalo, camels and pigs - and training for struggling families worldwide,” according to Heifer International.

All of the Sunday school classes work together to raise money for Heifer through several different events throughout the year, according to Murphy. In addition to the car wash, there are ark banks and a bake sale. Altogether, the children normally raise about $2,500, said Murphy, which is enough to buy half of an ark for Heifer.

For more information about Heifer International, go to http://www.heifer.org/?msource=KIK1I120035.


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