The clink of coins dropping into a metal bucket encourages even the youngest in our congregation to help others.
What is a penny pail?
Several years ago, Naomi Custer, a youth member of Grace brought a new idea for a mission project. Here is her article from the February 2016 Grace Reporter:
- I had a chance to sit and think about things that I did in church when I was younger. Some of my favorite things were Sunday School, Palm Sunday parades, and Vacation Bible School, but my very favorite was something that I got to do every week during worship. When all of the kids came up front for the Children's Sermon, we had a chance to give. Now, we didn't just give money like the adults do, as they quietly pass the plate, we had the opportunity to have a little fun and make a little noise. We (me and the other kids) had a chance every week to throw our money (usually pennies) into the Penny Pail. The crash of the coins hitting the pail was so much fun for all of us!
- At that time, I have to admit, it was more about making noise during church than anything else, and the adults even made it more fun by giving us their coins to toss in as well. Looking back, I know realize what a good thing that was. You see, as we took a few seconds each week to crash the coins into the pail, the kids (and the adults, too) were working together on something bigger. That bigger thing was to take the money that we collected and focus on a certain mission project. With the money we collected, we bought animals for people in poorer countries so they would have food or milk. We would sometimes donate it to the local homeless shelter or food bank, and we also donated to the United Methodist campaign called Imagine No Malaria.
- A few weeks ago, I put this challenge to the children of Grace during the Children's Sermon. I hope you will consider joining us. We have not yet decided where the money will go, but I look forward to seeing how something that I did as a small child can be passed on to the children at my church. We are open to suggestions to what will be a fun way for us to give. I am hoping we can do this for a long time so we have many opportunities for mission. I also hope that this will someday mean as much to the kids at Grace as it does to me now that I'm older.
Thanks, Naomi Custer
Since Grace began the Penny Pail Project in 2016, we have donated a Gift Ark of animals to The Heifer Project ($5,000 that purchased 2 water buffaloes, 2 cows, 2 sheep, 2 goats, bees, chicks, rabbits and more), as well as donations to several local and international mission projects. Our current mission project supports the Western PA UMC Camping Initiative that seeks to provide money to help children/youth attend our Christian camps and to help fund needed updates for the camps.