August 20, 2017

Simpsonwood UMC’s Great Day of Service was a banner day for all!

In an act of faith, Simpsonwood UMC donated 10,881 cans to the Norcross Cooperative Ministry, the largest ever, one-time donation. Over 100 volunteers helped deliver, sort, and shelve all the cans, also the largest onsite volunteer group the Co-op has ever seen.

The Challenge

It began with a challenge to the children of the church.  Bryan Coats, Director of Children’s Ministries, challenged the children to bring in 10,000 cans during the summer.  During Vacation Bible School in July, the children donated over 1,500 pounds of food, and raised an additional $1,800 for the Norcross Co-op.

Corrie Austin and friend raise money to buy cans for the Norcross Co-op

Several children were so passionate about serving others, they came up with ways to raise awareness, and money to buy more cans.   Corrie Austin (6th grade) set up a popsicle stand which raised money to buy cans for the Co-op.

“Our children have such big hearts!” said Associate Pastor,  Amanda Lane, “At Simpsonwood, we talk about how there are children who live in our community, and who are the same age as the children of our church, but there’s one difference.  Some children live with hunger and food insecurity.  So our children wanted to do something about it!  I am blown away by the initiative they have taken, to raise money, to donate cans, and to help others!”

Luke Wynn collects canned goods from neighbors.

Luke Wynn (1st grade) went door-to-door asking neighbors to donate cans.  He ended up collecting a truck-full from his neighbors.

The adults of the church must have been inspired by the children.  People looked for deals and discounts so that they could buy more cans.  Several people put “canned goods” on their grocery list on a weekly basis. Simpsonwood’s Preschool Summer Camps pitched in and donated items.  Many from the congregation also encouraged their friends, neighbors, and coworkers to donate as well.  Before the end of June, the altar was overflowing with donations.

Donation of cans at Simpsonwood United Methodist Church.

Excitement Grows

Throughout the summer, as the can collection grew, the community’s excitement grew as well.

On August 20, 2017, the congregation celebrated the gifts and outpouring of love that had been donated.  During worship, a blessing was prayed over the cans.  Shirley Cabe, Executive Director of Norcross Co-op came and spoke.  “I am quite emotional today as I stand before you to give thanks f or the largest one time donation that the Co-op has ever received,” said Cabe.

Volunteers celebrated the summer-long effort through a Great Day of Service.  Donations were loaded, transported, sorted, and shelves were stocked at the Co-op location on Mitchel Road.  All of this was done in less than 2 hours.

Shirley Cabe, Executive Director of Norcross Cooperative Ministry.

Young and old alike worked alongside each other to help battle hunger. Lunch was served, and the volunteers learned about the scope of ministry that the Co-op offers.

“I never knew that serving could be so much fun!” one teenager exclaimed.

The effort that was put forth this summer by Simpsonwood church and the local community shows that faith, passion, and excitement can come together to make a big impact.

Wendy Willis, Director of Missions and Connections at Simpsonwood UMC, said of the day, “I witnessed the collective efforts of countless people culminate into a celebratory community effort to help people that we may never meet.  All ages worked together with patience and joy in the heat of the day to accomplish our goal in record time.  The largest one-time gift the Norcross Co-op has ever received as well as the biggest onsite volunteer serve.  “Thank you” just doesn’t cut it.  God is so good. ”


Read the Thank you from the Co-op