Students, staff families, faculty, and even alumni gathered at the starting line. Faces painted, decked in glow sticks and commemorative T-shirts, all attendees were ready to start walking or running—united for a greater cause. The first run during a Mission Project in two years was about to begin!
Finding the Goal
Student Body President Bryan Paul (Jr., NC), with his fellow officers, organized the fundraisers for this year’s Mission Project. “We chose the Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF), so we can reach children in poverty-stricken communities but also give a clear presentation of the gospel through the local churches in the community,” he said.
Since 1991, CHF has been sharing the gospel through local churches and food pack distribution in almost 30 countries plus the U.S. On December 16, 2021, a typhoon struck the southeastern Philippines leaving thousands homeless and hungry. Since that day, the Student Body officers began working with Anthony Kasper, CHF director of donor engagement.
“We bring hope to suffering children through the local church. That’s really where we set ourselves apart,” Anthony explained. “While the food box brings hope to the children, it’s not us doing it—it’s a local church coming to help them out.” Once the connection is made, the local church becomes a resource to help with other needs and establish trust to share the gospel with them.
Raising the Support
At the beginning of February, the Student Body kicked off their various fundraising campaigns. Participants donated through a Valentine’s Flower Fundraiser, a Round-Up (to the next dollar) campaign at on-campus stores, the Text-to-Give campaign, a 5K T-shirt purchase, and finally, the run last Friday night.
“I love that the Mission Project is children-centered, something everyone can be passionate about,” said Kasie Hunter (Sr., FL). On Valentine’s Day, students anonymously purchased 4,603 flowers for their friends. At pickup, the recipient could discover the giver’s identity by giving at least a dollar. “I thought the Flower Fund was an awesome opportunity to give to someone here on campus but also help a child in need.”
“I rounded up my transaction at the Campus Store. Knowing that what I was giving can help spread the truth of the gospel was a blessing,” said Micaiah Jeremiah (Fr., Cayman Islands). “The great spirit of generosity manifested in the students during the Mission Project this year.”
Student Body Vice President Alyssa Shirley (Sr., OH) loved seeing the student body unite over this Mission Project. “I got to participate by giving for the Flower Fundraiser and the Round-Up option,” she said. “Both made me feel thrilled to know that I have an impact not only physically for a child in need of food, but also the spiritual food that comes from God’s Word.”
Family, friends, and alumni were invited to donate through the Text-to-Give option. And this year, the Alumni Association partnered with the student body through donations and offsetting the T-shirt cost.
“I love how on fire the student body is about the Mission Project,” said Emily Whipple (Elementary Education ’13). She and her husband drove to campus from Atlanta, GA, to run her first 5K. “I know I’m not on campus, but I can tell it was something they were passionate about.” They were not prepared for the contagious excitement of the night. “There was just something about being in the moment with everyone else. I can’t quite put it into words,” she said. “I smiled the entire time; I loved helping out such a good cause.”
Meeting the Need
Through this year’s Mission Project fundraisers, the PCC student body raised $43,973.70 for the Children’s Hunger Fund’s ministry in the Philippines. Focusing on local church ministry made this year’s Mission Project unique from supporting individual missionaries or Bible translation ministries. “CHF has a great model of getting food to needy countries and communities by giving the food to the local churches around the area,” said Vinny Lieb, the program coordinator for Student Activities. “This allows those local churches to share the gospel while meeting the physical need.”
“In some families, kids grow up in poverty; and that’s all they know,” said CHF director Anthony Kasper. “CHF seeks to break that cycle of poverty. We’ve seen families transformed from drug, alcohol, and physical abuse. The change is incredible—and it all starts with the box of food.”
“Being Filipino, it’s awesome to see my country cared for and seen,” said Paula Gaspi (Sr., WA). “Growing up, I’ve always seen my mom watch the Filipino news. They always showed how in need the people are there, but I’ve always wondered who would help reach them.”
Knowing that she and the student body brought honor and glory to God by getting involved, Maddie Alcorn (Jr., TN), Student Body secretary, said, “We might not be there to see the results right away. But in the future, we’ll get to see how we were able to help those who needed it. As students get involved, we are furthering the kingdom of God together. That’s what it’s about.”