Several HL churches start new food drive tradition

June 9, 2008

By Jennifer Gallus
Staff Writer

What began as a challenge last year and resulted in a lady’s bald head has turned into a very meaningful project for five Howard Lake churches.

Many may remember the picture in last year’s Herald Journal of Betty Workman getting her head shaved during Good Neighbor Days after “losing” a challenge.

Losing the challenge was a good thing – for a mission project.

Workman challenged First Presbyterian youth to collect 1,000 pounds of food in 30 days time, and if they did, she’d allow them to shave her head bald at Good Neighbor Days.

Not only did the youth meet the goal, they far exceeded it by raising 4,500 pounds of non-perishable food. The result was enjoyed by many youth as they shaved and witnessed the ceremonial buzz job.

The outpouring of support for the food drive surprised and shocked members of First Presbyterian.

“Last year’s overwhelming support shows the generosity of this community,” said Nic Workman, member of First Presbyterian and food drive chairman.

“People would give without a second thought. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would collect so many donations,” Workman said.

The Fired Up Lions were so impressed that they approached the church group and asked if they’d turn the event into an annual collection project culminating during Good Neighbor Days.

The church accepted and decided to solicit the help of other churches in Howard Lake, as well.

“Hopefully, this turns into an annual event, and each year, the responsibility of coordinating the drive could be shared by a different church,” Workman said.

So far, joining First Presbyterian this year is St. John’s Lutheran, Blessed Hope, Open Arms, and Howard Lake Christian.

Members of First Presbyterian and Blessed Hope spent one hour Wednesday evening going door-to-door in Howard Lake and asking for donations. Within 40 minutes, one of the carloads of volunteers had collected $40 in cash and several bags of groceries.

More door-to-door solicitations are planned for the upcoming weeks. The group estimates that $1 donated equals one pound of food.

A shipping container has been placed right behind Crow River Tax Service, which is where the non-perishable food donations will be stored until the collection is complete.

The drive started last week and will end on the last day of Good Neighbor Days.

A booth will be set up just outside the shipping container during Good Neighbor Days for donations brought during those days.

Anytime between now and Good Neighbor Days, donations may be dropped at any of the participating churches.

Food and monetary donations are being accepted and will go to the Wright County Food Shelf.

Do you know more about this subject, or have a comment? E-mail news@hjpub.com