Outreach’s network of supporters covers a diverse range of ages and backgrounds, but besides their respective support, they share one other aspect: they’re all wonderful people.

Case in point: the Shawnee Drive Community of Christ congregation! A recent visit to their annual fundraiser left us nearly speechless with gratitude for their dedication and generosity, as their 30 members came together to donate nearly $13,000 to Outreach’s educational initiatives in Haiti. Astonishing.

“Small but mighty!” said Steve Kellogg, Outreach’s Development Officer after attending the event. “The Shawnee congregation overflowed with enthusiasm as we talked during supper before the silent auction about how many had been saving all year to participate in this Outreach fundraiser. They hoped to beat last year’s total contribution, and were thrilled for themselves and for Outreach when they succeeded!”

Orval Fisher, Outreach’s Chief Operating Officer, was equally impressed. “It’s always humbling to be with donors who work hard to raise money in support of our mission,” he said. “I come away from experiences like that even more committed to using the resources entrusted to us in eliminating poverty around the world.”

As if all of this wasn’t already about the loveliest thing we could imagine, the Shawnee Drive congregation went and wrote a delightful poem for the occasion, listing all the members who contributed to their shared success:

Give a Hand!

What great things a few good hands can do!
Haitian American Neighbors for Development (HAND) comes true,
For at Shawnee Drive members and friends came through
With a financial boost of the type philanthropists look up to,
Nobody rich, many on fixed income,
Yet, thirty adults generated an annual sum
Extending a hand, open fingers and thumb,
To provide Haitians a better outcome.
Jeff and HeiAta prepared Barbeque,
With early morning assistance from John and Ryker after two,
Haumana, the pineapple upside down cake and fruit salad too,
Rina made rice and beans, two kinds of poi goo.
Ken painted flowers, Anna brought photos,
Terry and Merry made quilts, someone contributed throws,
Rina offered pearls and Brenda bought three of those,
First Watch contributed ten breakfasts, the Grays procured that repose,
Tehani came early to cook and decorate,
Steve kept the church open for those early and those late,
Kellogg and Fisher came to honor us with current info to relate,
Hartfords came from Wichita, four bishops to relate,
Weigands are a fixture here, contributors we appreciate,
Nancy, Loree, Robert and the Muellers responded to the call,
Beth Blum contributed, The Blessing was given by David Hall,
Julianne etched the Tree of Life on a log for Paul,
We will add a new Outreach International plaque on the wall.
Someone gave a couple of teddy bears,
And signed baseballs were given by a kid who cares,
Boas, and etched glasses, among items traded for shares
Supporting the fundraiser for Haitian repairs,
Ryker and John each played the ukulele,
Privileged to perform and for grandma Rina to play,
Rina entertained us with a musical bouquet,
By singing, with her daughters, what a blessed day.
Thank you Shawnee Drive for again exceeding expectation,
Nearly $13,000 raised for the people of the Haitian nation,
Contributing to the Kingdom of God, responding to the invitation
To share, to care, to love, to partner in Christ’s Kingdom foundation.

You guys are great, and we’re honored to have you as a part of our team. Keep up the great work!