Tapping Into Their Unique Resources
At Growing Hope Globally, we often talk about making a lasting difference from right where you are, using your unique resources. Many of the churches and communities who support our work are surrounded by corn fields, so it is only natural that their Growing Projects are centered around corn. Paoli Mennonite Fellowship, on the other hand, sits on a 20-acre wooded lot, surrounded by maple trees, so it is only natural that their Growing Project would be centered around maple syrup.
The congregation has 140 taps. Each winter as the temperatures in Southern Indiana fluctuate above and below freezing, and the sap starts to run, church members come together to collect the sap, strain it and transfer it into 200-gallon totes. They bring it to a local Amish family who boils it down into syrup and bottles it in exchange for a third of the final product. The church then sells the syrup as part of their contribution to Growing Hope Globally. Last year they harvested near 1,500 gallons of sap, which produced about 30 gallons of syrup. “Syrup season also often includes a pancake breakfast as a harvest celebration for our efforts,” says PMF member Lonnie Sears.
The syrup is only one of the many creative ways the group has raised support for Growing Hope Globally over the years. Until their recent retirement from farming, church members Dave and Jan Mullet lived in Montana each summer, growing wheat and donating a portion of their harvest. Each summer, the church does “Penny Power”, encouraging the kids to collect change for the project. Some church members sell timber from their own wooded lots and donate the proceeds. Others sell Persimmon pulp. Still others have raised animals and sold the meat. Each person taps into their own resources and together they are making a global difference!