By Sue Sprang
MT. PLEASANT – Empowered by the Holy Spirit, shepherded by their pastor, and determined to “be Christ” in the community, Immanuel Lutheran congregation, Mt. Pleasant has become a key player in bringing shelter to the homeless of Mt. Pleasant and surrounding area.
Although past attempts have been made to establish homeless shelters in the town, success has –for a variety of reasons – been thwarted. Pastor Dana Hendershot (Immanuel) and other key community leaders came together in March 2013 to find a long-lasting solution to an immediate need. The result: the Isabella County Restoration House (ICRH).
As in most undertakings of this magnitude, funding is a major piece. Hendershot took a risk… and the people responded. In Nov. 2013, she put forth a stewardship challenge based on the parable of the ten pounds (Luke 19:11ff). She gave $10 to each member interested in multiplying that amount as a donation to the ICRH project.
Ways of raising money were as varied as the folks who participated.
The Geisthardts: Abby celebrated her 17th birthday by asking her friends to donate to ICRH in lieu of presents. Cheryl and Paul invited their kickball league teammates to participate in a fundraiser, “Kickers with a Cause.” Haylee sold nature photos.
Chuck Clise’s donation came through the payoff (sale of honey) of investing his $10 in his beekeeping business. Rose Prasad and her sister, Margaret, made and sold vintage beads jewelry. Ed and Bonnie Berthold took apples from their orchard to a cider mill and donated the payment they received to ICRH.
Jocelyn Strandskov made and sold bookmarks. Gail Mitchell matched any money she spent on junk food. Katrine and Mike Piatek-Jimenz made and sold blocks of peanut butter fudge.
“Raise the House”, the brainchild of a group of 12 members (including Hendershot), was a community event held at Hunters Ale House that included music, raffle, food, homelessness-awareness, and lots of good fellowship.
These are just some of the creative fundraising done by the people of Immanuel.
The amount raised? $11,810.17. Yes. You read it right.
God’s people doing great things!
Assisting with ICRH is Central Michigan University intern Amy Henderson. She will be featured in a future article. You can find out more about ICRH at icrhouse.org or on Facebook.