by Shanna Young, Youth director –
LEWISTON YOUTH RAISED more than $150 for World Services.
The Sunday school kids of the Lewiston, Idaho Corps, led by corps officers Captains Donald and Cheryl Warriner, recently raised just over $150 for World Services.
The children raised the money by participating in a three-month competition between the boys and the girls: which group could raise the most money to help children in other parts of the world?
When we brought the challenge before them, many of the kids had no idea what “World Services” was. I explained that some children in other countries don’t have anything—their moms and dads can’t buy them toys for Christmas or birthdays, they don’t have enough food, and some don’t even live with their parents.
As I was telling them this, a look of confusion came over many of the children’s faces. One little boy raised his hand and said, “Shanna, sometimes my mom and dad can’t buy me toys and we don’t always have money for food.”
That’s when it hit me that this was not going to be as easy as I had thought. Then I realized that in The Salvation Army we minister to a special group of kids and families. Not growing up in the Army I was not exposed to kids who didn’t have much.
I told the little boy, “See, there is not much difference between you and these other kids except that you get to go to school and while you are there you have lunch and maybe breakfast, too, and it doesn’t cost your mom and dad anything. But where these kids live their parents must pay just to send them to school.”
As the weeks passed, the competition became close—sometimes I thought we would have a tie. The kids learned that if the boys won I would have purple hair and if the girls won then one of the male leaders would have pink hair; if they tied then Captain’s hair would be the colors of the flag.
When the competition ended the boys had raised $75.83 and the girls $74.87, with a grand total of $150.70; they beat their goal by seventy cents. I was so proud of them—these kids who don’t have much themselves gave what they could so that a child or a family in another country could have a meal, some warm clothes, or a place to stay.
The Sunday we announced the results I walked into church, glad to show off my colored hair (which was pink, because I couldn’t find purple!). The spirit of Christ was alive in Lewiston as our kids made a difference in someone’s life, just like Christ came and made a difference for us.