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Filling old canning jars is a great way to increase giving

You may remember, even if only faintly, the days of summer and early fall when the house would be full of hot steam from boiling water used to sterilize canning jars. The jars were then filled with every imaginable vegetable and fruit. Canning was essential in providing food for families. The days of such labor have long gone – replaced by deep freezers filled with bags of “steamables” and boxes of frozen pot pies and TV dinners. As children grew up and moved out, the necessity of gardens disappeared. The only thing left behind of those days are boxes of glass jars stored in attics and sheds.

My church, Cedar Creek Baptist in Fayetteville, has participated in the “Mile of Pennies” drive for many, many years. This past year, I thought it was time to bring those jars out of storage. I asked the children to bring 100 quart jars to be used to collect the loose change for the 2018 drive. The plan was to pass the jars out on the last Sunday of 2017 – December 31 – for our members to fill with their change throughout the year and return next November as an offering for Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH). We decided to decorate the jars with our children’s handprints!

Well, one lady immediately told me that she had jars. Soon after, another sweet ladyapproached me, “Our basement is full of jars.” Long story short, these ladies joined together to get the jars ready. By December 14, all the jars were clean and decorated with brightly colored handprints. Every family received a jar and there is an excitement among folks as they imagine the increase in giving for this coming fall!

So, where did such a notion come from? Well, my family – for all my life – have loved and supported BCH’s children. When our father passed away in 1983, his request was that memorials go to BCH. We honored his wishes and even took it a step further. My brother, sister and I asked our mother to remember our birthdays and Christmas with a gift to help the children living at BCH’s homes. It worked out well as Mother grew older and shopping became more difficult.

On December 27, 2017, Mother, at age 93, went to be with the Lord. She asked for memorials in her honor be sent to BCH – just like Daddy had asked. I figured the two of them would want us to do a little more to take up the slack since they both are gone. Who knows? All I know is that 100 quarts of change will bring in a far greater offering that we have ever seen at Cedar Creek.

So, what about you? I’m sure someone in your church has quart glass jars stored somewhere collecting dust. Join us! Dig ‘em out and fill ‘em up!

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