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All I Want for Christmas Is . . .

For Grace Christian Reformed Church in Welland, Ontario, Christmas is a time to raise money for giving, not getting.

Last year, members decided to try to raise enough money to buy 100 goats for communities in need around the world. Their goal was about $3,000. But when the results were tallied, the church had raised more than three times that amount.

The “Gotta Get a Goat” fundraiser was inspired by a sister church. “It grew from a successful campaign previously done with sheep in Ottawa,” said Richard Saari, a deacon at Grace. The animals were purchased through the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee’s gift catalogue.

Goats, which provide milk, meat, and income, can be lifesavers for struggling families.

How did the members of Grace manage to run such a successful campaign? By reaching into their own pockets and by reaching out to the community.

When the local newspaper ran a story about the goat fundraiser, donations to the campaign doubled.

With an awareness of their own abundance at Christmas, the church wanted to bless others. “God invites us to disperse these resources to help people who are in need,” said Saari.

This Christmas the church’s focus is a “Houses for Haiti” campaign. The goal is to provide one house for a family in Haiti, though Saari stated that if they can again harness the resources of both the congregation and the community, they hope to exceed that goal.

“The CRWRC campaign is in its second year at the church and it appears it may become a permanent part of Grace CRC,” said Saari.

For more information about the CRWRC gift-giving catalog, visit www.crwrc.org.

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