Grant Ministry Report
Bike & Book Bash Event
Thank you for granting our church $200 under the Missions and New Ministry Grant program. We were blessed with a beautiful day for our event on Saturday, June 22, 2019, with approximately 24 children, their parents/grandparents, and over 30 volunteers.
Our intent was to provide the children of Mancelona and their families with a free summertime event that included fun and educational activities outside of the regular school schedule with nutritional food provided. Many of the families in Mancelona live beneath the poverty line, come from single-parent households, and have no church home. We continue to reach out to these families by enriching their lives and showing compassion as Jesus would have done.
Our program included three activities:
- Bicycle Program – Our Pastor Bryan Kilpatrick led a bike safety program with the assistance of Marcie Grabruck from Communities in Schools Northwest Michigan and Mancelona Schools National Honor Society students. Students road their bikes through a bicycle safety course. Local sheriff officers along with the Health Center’s Nurse Practitioner fitted the children with free bicycle helmets and did a safety tune-up on each bike. A local bicycle shop agreed to order two bicycles at cost as part of a raffle we had for the children. Rob Burroughs from New Lyfe Restoration also donated four used/refurbished bicycles as a giveaway to children through the raffle.
- Book and Bookbag Program – We partnered with the non-profit organization PoWeR! Book Bags of Sutton’s Bay to provide the children with three free books of their choice along with a handmade book bag filled with crayons, a finger puppet, and blank booklets to make their own books. Our church works with PoWeR! Book Bags throughout the year by making book bags and keeping bags and books stocked at our local food pantry. Volunteers were on hand to read books to younger children.
- Labyrinth Program – Church volunteer Ellen Whitehead lead children and their parents on a labyrinth walk with the assistance of a National Honor Society student. She explained how a labyrinth helps us relax, be mindful, and find peace/calm when we are stressed. The children also enjoyed finding hidden letters to spell out the word “Labyrinth.” After they solved the word puzzle, they were given five small prizes from a box of goodies.
Partners and Funding
The following community partners worked with our church to provide this program to children and their families:
- Communities in Schools Northwest Michigan – Provided volunteers, helped plan the event, and obtained grants through the Safe Route to Schools program. The grant provided bicycle safety signs and bicycle helmets.
- Village of Mancelona – Helped promote the event, allowed us to use a neighborhood street to conduct the bicycle safety course, prepared the park by sprucing up the grounds, providing refuge containers, and picnic tables.
- Mancelona Food Pantry & Resale Shop – Helped with promotion, donated healthy snacks, water, and prizes for the children.
- Ambulance Authority – Brought staff members, ambulance vehicles, and equipment to show the children how they help our community.
- Family Fare Supermarket of Mancelona – Donated a $50 gift certificate for healthy food.
- Paddles & Pedals – Offered to order two bicycles at cost for our raffle.
Our budget was approximately $900 (not counting the donations in-kind from our partners). We raised this money through a second offering at our church, a bake sale at the local supermarket with items homemade from church members, community donations, and the $200 grant from the Northern Waters District. With these funds, we were able to cover the cost of promotional materials (flyers sent home with all preschool, elementary, and middle school students along with local businesses), outhouse use at the park for the day, raffle prizes of two brand new bicycles, materials needed for the bicycle course, and other prizes/food for the children.
We feel this was a wonderful outreach ministry to our community! The laughter, smiles, and genuine gratitude the children and families shared will warm our hearts for years to come. We hope to offer another program next summer.
Thanks for the granting us $200 for this worthwhile project. We had a blast as did the families in our community!
Ellen Whitehead, Chairperson
Bike & Book Bash Event