Church: Fridley UMC
District: Twin Cities
Submitted by: Diane C. Olson
The Spirit works through people of all ages to create positive change for others, and it's never too early to encourage children to find their own unique ways to spread God's love.
Earlier this year, Karlee Havens, a third-grader who attends Fridley United Methodist Church, came to church with a lot on her mind. She stopped Rev. Diane C. Olson and told Olson that she was very concerned about the people who ask for money at stop signs and near freeways.
Havens wanted to help them by collecting nickels for them, so Olson told her about Family Promise of Anoka County, a nonprofit interfaith hospitality network that provides temporary shelter, hospitality, and case management for families with children who are homeless. Olson told Havens that it might be a good idea to collect the money and give it to Family Promise so that the organization could help more people.
Havens made some posters, decorated a collection vase, and set up a table the next Sunday near the entrance to Fridley UMC's sanctuary. Over three Sundays, Havens' efforts brought in $156.65, which was sent to Family Promise, along with a handwritten note from Havens.
Thanks to Havens, Family Promise is able to provide shelter for more homeless families—and Havens learned firsthand how a good idea that's carried out can make a huge difference in the world.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church