National Girls Ministries Smashes Coins for Kids Record
|National Girls Ministries Director Candy Tolbert displays the record Coins for Kids offering amount. She also sports pink and purple highlights in her hair to keep her pledge to leaders if giving exceeded $200,000.|
In a late giving surge that even caught National Girls Ministries leaders a bit off guard, the annual Coins for Kids/BGMC missionary project - this year, the Place of Joy in South Africa - not only broke the project giving record of $178,270, but crushed it as nearly $20,000 was given the last week to push the total to $201,263!
National Girls Ministries (NGM) Director Candy Tolbert explains that the Place of Joy project was so successful because it captured the hearts of those who learned about it.
"Girls Ministries district directors, church sponsors and their clubs truly caught the vision for this past year's Coins for Kids/BGMC project," says an appreciative Tolbert. "Soon, children suffering due to AIDS in South Africa will have a place to eat as they learn about the love of Jesus!"
AG World Missions missionaries Earl and Laura Goodrich, who work hand-in-hand with national church leaders in South Africa, explain that the kitchen centers enable Place of Joy resource centers to feed children, all who either have AIDS, have lost a parent to AIDS or are now part of a child-led household. According to Greg and Emily Johns, AGWM area directors for South Africa, 1,000 people die every day in South Africa due to AIDS and there are 1,500 new infections every day - and the children pay the price.
Tolbert says that the centers' impact on the children lives is clear. "By feeding, caring for, educating and sharing Christ with these children on a regular basis, their futures are transformed," she says.
Although the Place of Joy project was readily embraced, Tolbert says the reason the giving record was a bit surprising was the unprecedented giving in the project's final month.
"We're in middle of changing our Coins for Kids project giving to the calendar year, instead of April through March," Tolbert says. "We received what we thought was a final push in giving in November and December for South Africa - as our new program for Camp Yupik in Alaska began in January. We had, for this year only, a three-month overlap, but instead of fading, giving to South Africa remained strong and spiked this last month."
As a result of the record giving, Tolbert is pink with joy for the Place of Joy - literally. "I promised if we broke $200,000, that I would have pink and purple hair - now, I do," she says, proudly displaying pink and purple highlights.