Coucil Bluffs, Iowa Peanut Brittle Fundraiser

As everyone surely knows already, January 26 is National Peanut Brittle Day. And as we celebrated this momentous occasion this year, we realized we owe a special debt of gratitude to the Volunteer Network group of the Council Bluffs, Iowa Community of Christ congregation.

This congregation is known far and wide for the excellence of their homemade peanut brittle. They’ve been making it in November to sell over the holiday season for the last 30 years, and the proceeds of their expert candy craft support Outreach and its important field work in communities all over the world.

Council Bluffs, Iowa Busy Kitchen

Unforeseen Setbacks

Last year, however, this Volunteer Network group found themselves facing an unexpected obstacle. Sure, there were the continued COVID shutdowns. Sure, there were an unusually large number of people staying home sick. But, as if that wasn’t enough, the fire sprinkler system at the church had activated and flooded the building. But, for the dedicated folks at the Council Bluffs Community of Christ congregation, this was just another challenge to overcome.

Volunteer Network Dedication

Carolyn Bothwell, the Outreach Partnership contact person said, “We debated about whether to do it or not last fall.” Of course, their giving spirits won the debate. “We decided to go ahead, though, as people were already calling us in early October, asking us if the peanut brittle would be available.” There was no way this Volunteer Network group was going to let down their peanut brittle buyers, or the people who ultimately benefit from the proceeds.

Drying Peanut brittle

Not only did they go forward, they decided to go big. “We decided to go bigger than we ever have before, making 1,800 pounds of peanut brittle.” And, as you would totally expect, “we were sold out by Christmas!”

Delicious Word of Mouth

Carolyn stated how they achieved that level of success with their sales. “Well, we don’t really advertise other than putting it on our marquee in front of the church. It’s really just word-of-mouth. We’re lucky that it’s been so successful and popular. We’ve had a local restaurant and a beauty parlor sell it, as well as a couple of other places.”

Word of mouth and helpful neighbors are always a plus, but we suspect the peanut brittle is also pretty darn spectacular. When you set such high expectations, and then meet those expectations, year after year, success is nearly inevitable. That is, unless there’s a pandemic, or a flood, or something catastrophic like that. Then, your peanut brittle has to be downright magical. It seems as though it is.

“A lot of times, people just show up at the church to get some. We’ve been doing this for so long now that people have just come to expect it.”

Selfless Efforts

These congregation members put in all this work for the sake of others. But Carolyn is quick to point out how they benefit themselves. “It’s a collective effort, but the group has enjoyed a lot of good fellowship in the process.” This thought is at the very core of our Volunteer network.

We’re so impressed with and grateful for the commitment that went into this project in 2021, and every year before, we want to celebrate their accomplishment with them. January 26th is National Peanut Brittle Day. Maybe it should also be Council Bluffs Community of Christ Day.


How to Help

Feeling inspired to organize your own fundraiser? You can set one up on Facebook or JustGiving. Or you can donate here.

Coucil Bluffs, Iowa Peanut Brittle Fundraiser

As everyone surely knows already, January 26 is National Peanut Brittle Day. And as we celebrated this momentous occasion this year, we realized we owe a special debt of gratitude to the Council Bluffs, Iowa Community of Christ congregation.

This congregation is known far and wide for the excellence of their homemade peanut brittle. They’ve been making it in November to sell over the holiday season for the last 30 years, and the proceeds of their expert candy craft support Outreach and its important field work in communities all over the world.

Council Bluffs, Iowa Busy Kitchen

Last year, however, they found themselves facing an unexpected obstacle. Sure, there were the continued COVID shutdowns. Sure, there were an unusually large number of people staying home sick. But, as if that wasn’t enough, the fire sprinkler system at the church had been activated and flooded the building. But, for the dedicated folks at the Council Bluffs Community of Christ congregation, this was just another challenge to overcome.

Carolyn Bothwell, the Outreach Partnership contact person said, “We debated about whether to do it or not last fall.” Of course, their giving spirits won the debate. “We decided to go ahead, though, as people were already calling us in early October, asking us if the peanut brittle would be available.” There was no way they were going to let down their peanut brittle buyers, or the people who ultimately benefit from the proceeds.

Drying Peanut brittle

Not only did they go forward, they decided to go big. “We decided to go bigger than we ever have before, making 1,800 pounds of peanut brittle.” And, as you would totally expect, “we were sold out by Christmas!”

Delicious Word of Mouth

When asked how they achieved that level of success with their sales, Carolyn said, “Well, we don’t really advertise other than putting it on our marquee in front of the church. It’s really just word-of-mouth. We’re lucky that it’s been so successful and popular, and that we’ve had a local restaurant and a beauty parlor sell it, as well as a couple of other places.”

Word of mouth and helpful neighbors are always a plus, but we suspect the peanut brittle is also pretty darn spectacular. When you set such high expectations, and then meet those expectations, year after year, success is nearly inevitable. That is, unless there’s a pandemic, or a flood, or something catastrophic like that. Then, your peanut brittle has to be downright magical. It seems as though it is.

“A lot of times, people just show up at the church to get some. We’ve been doing this for so long now that people have just come to expect it.”

These congregation members put in all this work for the sake of others, but Carolyn is quick to point out how they benefit themselves. “It’s a collective effort, but the group has enjoyed a lot of good fellowship in the process.”

We’re so impressed with and grateful for the commitment that went into this project in 2021, and every year before, we want to celebrate their accomplishment with them. January 26th is National Peanut Brittle Day. Maybe it should also be Council Bluffs Community of Christ Day.


How to Help

Feeling inspired to organize your own fundraiser? You can set one up on Facebook or JustGiving.