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GA/RA Penny Pick-Up raises money for missionscomment (0)

March 23, 2006

By Julie Walters

More than a mile of pennies outlined a path for walking and riding bikes around the parking lot of North Shelby Baptist Church, Birmingham, in Shelby Baptist Association March 11.

The penny path was prepared by GAs (Girls in Action) and RAs (Royal Ambassadors), who led a churchwide effort to support North American missions.

GA and RA members at the church began collecting the mile of pennies, which is 84,640, or $846.40, in the fall of 2005 for the recent Annie Armstrong Easter Offering promotion.

When the group of 10 boys and 21 girls, along with adult leaders and volunteers, actually laid out the trail, it was slightly longer than a mile with 86,350 pennies, or $863.50. In all, the group collected $1,000, exceeding its goal.

“The kids started placing the pennies on strips of masking tape back in November and came up with innovative ways to encourage giving,” said Joan Hicks, GA director at North Shelby Baptist.

RA leader Craig Sulser agreed. “The RAs decorated cans with Alabama and Auburn football themes and placed them around the church. Members were encouraged to show their team spirit by placing pennies in their team’s container. If the Auburn cans brought in more pennies one week, the Alabama fans were sure to bring more pennies the following week.”

Amber Cloutier, a GA leader, said the RA/GA Penny Pick-Up really brought the children and adults together.

“I’m so proud of the kids. They have worked so hard on this and really got the entire church involved.”

Even members of Mission Friends filled baby-food jars with pennies and donated them.

The night before the pennies were laid out, GA and RA members and volunteers had a lock-in at the church during which they enjoyed hot dogs and smores and finished placing $450 worth of pennies on strips of tape by 1:30 a.m.

Madison and Ansley Hendrix, 8-year-old twins who are blind, helped place 25 pennies on each strip of tape.

“I enjoyed being a part of teaching other people about God (by helping to support missionaries),” Madison said.

Abbie McAuley, 11, said, “I really enjoyed the interaction with the other girls like Madison and Ansley and learning more about missions. I didn’t realize it took that much money (to support missions) and didn’t realize how many people didn’t know Jesus.”

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