By Roger Drinnon
ST. LOUIS — Thanks to nearly 300 pledges of support, LCMS Youth Ministry’s “WeRaise” crowdfunding campaign received the extra $25,000 required to help Synod youth package another 100,000 meals for the hungry during the next Youth Gathering. The additional support makes possible the overall goal of packing 500,000 total meals to help feed the hungry.
The “WeRaise: Youth Feeding Children Around the World” crowdfunding platform, hosted by Wheat Ridge Ministries, encouraged people to pledge their preferred amount toward the $25,000 target. The campaign, which ran through Nov. 30, was an all-or-nothing effort, meaning the full $25,000 had to be pledged by a set date or else the pledged funds would not be collected. Those who pledged risked little, since funds would only be collected if the project could move forward with the full $25,000.
“The impact is humbling when everyone plays their part,” said Amy Gray, media and publications project coordinator for LCMS Youth Ministry. “Two hundred and sixty-eight people, congregations and organizations contributed toward reaching this $25,000 goal. What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ working together for something larger than our individual parts.”
LCMS Youth Gathering registration fees will provide $50,000 for the meal-packing effort with a matching $50,000 coming from LCMS mercy ministries, which together cover the first 400,000 meals. The additional $25,000 from “WeRaise” provides for 100,000 additional meals for a total of 500,000 meals.
“Seeing the Church at-large rally around this single cause is encouraging and inspiring,” said Gray. “We’re blown away by the generosity of our partners and friends in the Gospel and look forward to packing half a million meals for people in need at the 2016 Gathering.”
At the 2013 Youth Gathering in San Antonio, Texas, participants packaged more than 322,000 meals for distribution in and around the city through a partnership with Feeding Children Everywhere, an organization that “empowers and mobilizes people to assemble healthy meals for hungry children.”
The 2016 Gathering takes place July 16-20 in New Orleans. Held every three years, the Gathering brings both youth and adults together for five days to spend time in God’s Word, worship, service and fellowship with others from across the Synod. The Gathering is organized by LCMS Youth Ministry, part of the Synod’s Office of National Mission.
“Not only is this an opportunity to feed the hungry but it’s also a tangible way in which the Church at-large shows its support and love for youth, as thousands of teens will be empowered to pack meals and be given an opportunity to grow spiritually in acts of Christ-centered mercy and service to others,” said Gray.
Roger Drinnon (email@example.com) is manager of Editorial Services for LCMS Communications.
Posted Dec. 11, 2015