Hunger Hike participants and teams come in many shapes and sizes — some are high school teams, Purdue learning communities, businesses, sororities — and local churches. Church teams are the most consistent and successful fundraisers for Hunger Hike each year — and many use creative methods to get their members engaged and get them to give. One of our best examples is what’s happening over at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Lafayette.
Through the leadership of their pastor, Rev. Kevin A. Bowers, members of Bethany have participated is some unique competitions over the years raising close to $3000 annually for Hunger Hike. One year, Bethany members were asked to donate to Hunger Hike and signify “Colts” or “Steelers.” The football team that had the most money would determine which jersey Pastor Kevin, who is a loyal Pittsburgh Steelers fan, would be wearing to the Steelers/Colts game in Indianapolis.
Last year, capitalizing on the “ice bucket challenge” phenomenon, the top fundraiser had the privilege of dumping a bucket of ice water on the Pastor. This year as part of something they are calling “Block a Hymn,” any contributor of $75.00 or more will be able to select a Hymn that they will not sing at church services for an entire year. Those members whose favorite hymns have been blocked have the option of buying it back for $75.00. A stir was created when one member chose to block Silent Night. It has already been bought back several times over.
Pastor Kevin Bowers shares that he is OK with being a little bit more unorthodox when it comes to raising money for Hunger Hike. He stated,
“Food insecurity is a troubling issue for our community — especially when it concerns children and the affect on their growth and development.
We can solve this problem — we just lack the will.”
Pastor Kevin’s hope is that each of the members of Bethany understands the importance of “sharing our blessings” and the responsibility we have for “reaching out and taking care of one another.” He also wants to create a fundraising plan that allows for really big donations as well as the smaller ones. Hunger Hike gives them a perfect opportunity to be a part of the something bigger — the Fight Against Hunger.
Bethany Presbyterian Church stands as an inspiration to all of us. Let’s take their lead and use the final two weeks leading up to Hunger Hike to reach the 2015 goal of $100,000.
To participate as an individual or team fundraiser with Hunger Hike, start HERE.