Thursday, February 23, 2017

Super Bowl of Backpack Parties

You learn something new every day. Today, I learned that Life Community Church in Hilliard, Ohio is highly efficient. I was able to speak to LCC member, Petra Wallenmeyer, about how a highly efficient church turned a Super Bowl party into a backpack filling extravaganza!

Are You Ready for Some Backpacks?

Petra is quick to point out she didn’t head up this event, and that many people were actively involved. A small group at LCC came up with the idea of having a backpack filling event. Petra’s small group helped set up the supplies. The first announcement was made sometime around the beginning of December, which mainly told people to be thinking about it. The announcements kept coming, as did the specific details.

Even though the event was planned months after the back to school sales, the church had an inspired way to collect supplies. All of the small group leaders received an email with sign up information. The list was broken down into four main categories: Little Girls, Big Girls, Little Boys, Big Boys. Under each category, the needed supplies were listed, along with the quantities to be purchased. Each small group leader checked the box of what his group would do and let his group know what they would be providing. Petra’s group supplied boys’ socks!

Everyone  brought a dish or dessert to the church on Super Bowl Sunday. They were ready for some football, but they were also ready for some volunteerism!

Better Than Seeing Lady Gaga

Petra said, “During the first half of the game, people were talking. Guys were watching the game, of course. During halftime, we turned off the television and went into the other room where things were set up.”

Partygoers grabbed a backpack and got in line. The room was set up with tables which served as filling stations. A volunteer at each station put a different type of supply into each backpack. Quality control people checked through the completed backpacks to make sure everything was there.

Room for Expansion

What would Petra change? Not much! She thinks it worked out really well. It went so smoothly and there were so many participants that she didn’t even get through the line twice! She said she might want to see the stations spread out so that they will have more room. And, she would also like to see them expand. The group filled 100 backpacks with minimal effort.

“It was easy to buy when things were broken down into categories. I think we could go bigger very easily,” Petra stated. She continued, “For me, the biggest thing that stood out was how easy it was. One small group took care of most of the planning. Our congregation isn’t huge. Once the goal was set and the sign up email went out, the execution and getting the supplies was really simple. The whole process was simple! There wasn’t an overwhelming amount of effort because the whole church shared it it. With everybody pitching in, the work was done within about twenty minutes. Having a set time, date, and place, it was very easy to carry out.”

Now, that’s a halftime show worth repeating!

- posted by Christi

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