by Jim Boyle
More than 40 people from three different churches collected about 700 pounds of food for the CAER food shelf, raised a total of $1,743.06 for Great River Family Promise (GRFP) and gained insight into the plight of the hungry and homeless.
Members of Central Lutheran Church, the Church of St. Andrew and River of Life combined efforts to pull off the successful drive and Box City homeless demonstration, which started with a canned goods collection in Elk River neighborhoods. Once it wrapped that up, each participating youth was given $1 to buy themselves dinner. They were allowed to do this as a small group (some groups had as many as 10, while others were as small as five members).
After a discussion around the dinner challenge, the overall group divided up into smaller groups and played a fixed game of Monopoly. That means the kids all began the game with varying amounts of money and property to highlight how some people are born into wealth and some are behind the 8-ball, and how and why that affects the disparity among adults.
After Monopoly a speaker talked about what the response to poverty and homelessness can and should be, followed by Maggie Parish sharing about GRFP.
“We ended the night by playing some games outside in the parking lot and watching ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ with Will Smith,” said Ryan Braley, the director of student ministries at Central Lutheran Church. “The next morning we woke everyone up and had some plain oatmeal for breakfast.”
The event ended in a prayer and worship time.
“It was a great event,” said Parish.