kickball game
Photo by Dana Reiter

Jared Reiter, 12, gets ready to run during a kickball tournament he organized. Reiter used the tournament to raise funds for MCC school kits through his congregation, Pigeon River Mennonite Church. 

Many churches collect supplies for MCC kits, for which we are grateful. But Pigeon River Mennonite Church in Pigeon, Mich., took a unique approach.

Rather than having the adults in the congregation simply purchase the supplies for their school kit drive, the children were given seed money (two dollars each) and encouraged to grow that money however they chose.

The approximately 25 children took a variety of approaches to “invest” their money. Jared Reiter, a 12-year-old in the congregation, organized a kickball tournament on a Sunday afternoon. Participants were asked to make a donation for their participation. For two hours, the young and the young-at-heart participated in fun-filled games, while onlookers cheered them on.

Between the games and a concessions stand, Reiter and his friend, Kaylee Maust, raised over $400 for the school kit project. “It was a really fun day, and it was nice that we raised money to help others,” said Reiter.

When all was said and done, the children from Pigeon River raised a combined total of over $3,000.

Elaine Ropp, along with her husband, Duane, had the privilege of using that money to purchase school kit supplies. “We had a good time doing it, but we about lost count with that many kits!” said Ropp.

Once the supplies were purchased, the children and adults worked together to pack over 800 school kit bags during an intergenerational Sunday School time.