GCA Fall Fundraiser Coming Up Nov. 21

Writer / Matt Roberts

Photography provided by Greenwood Christian Academy

Greenwood Christian Academy is a K-12 school, so you’d expect it to be a bustling, active place. But on November 21, the action will be ramped up exponentially as the students prepare approximately 10,000 meals for delivery to the hungry in both Greenwood and Harlan, Kentucky.

GCA Development Director Annie Houston has coordinated several different fundraisers for the school, but she wanted to tie fundraising more closely to the school’s Christian mission of serving others.

“In prior years we’ve done the traditional fundraisers,” she says. “Silent auctions, discount cards, walkathons. It’s a great funding model, but we really wanted to do something that was service-based and benefitted not only us but other people.”

Though some of the money will stay with the school to fund scholarships, most of it will go toward providing meals for the poor. Locally, 1,500 meals will go to The Refuge, a faith-based community outreach organization in Greenwood. Another 8,500 will be distributed in Harlan, Kentucky.

“We had other options to send the food to Haiti or Sri Lanka, but families in Appalachia are only four hours away from us and one in five go hungry every day,” Houston says. “It seemed like a really good place to get our students invested.

“We’re looking at some options for our juniors and seniors to start doing mission trips there.”

Champion Events is providing the infrastructure for the fundraiser, purchasing the food and delivering the meals. Each school family is expected to work toward raising funds to contribute to the benefit.

“We’re asking all of our families to set a goal of $1,500 in pledges,” Houston says. “Every family will have a web page, and we’re asking them to send out 30 texts, emails or personal calls asking for $50 or more.

“Our family kickoff night was Oct. 24, and the families will fundraise until November 21. Then from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the kids will cycle through and pack the meals for shipping.”

Though the project is a huge undertaking for a school of about 600 students, it will replace three other separate fundraisers. Houston sees the benefits in both efficiency and in tying fundraising to the school’s mission. 

“This is replacing everything except possibly a fun run in the spring,” she says. “But we won’t be asking for pledges for that. All the money will come from registrations.

“I think it’s really appropriate for a Christian school to model and teach that they need to serve others,” Houston adds. “It’s part of our faith. And, from a sustainability perspective, you can only do those traditional fundraisers for so long before people get burned out and bored with that. We had really kind of plateaued with those, and I felt like we were doing more selling than serving. I’d really like to move us more toward service.”

GCA is still accepting sponsorships for the event at several different giving levels. More information can be found at the event website gcak12.org/feedtheneed-corporate-sponsors/.

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