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This past January, the Scholarship & Education Working Group of the Iringa Committee challenged St. Paul Area Synod congregations to "raise the roof" for the students at Mtera Secondary School, one of the schools of the Iringa Diocese. Our goal was to raise $16,500 by June 1 to roof this building one iron sheet at a time. We asked you to help us meet this goal by purchasing iron sheets that cost $15 each, including rivets and labor.
Thanks to the generosity of seven SPAS congregations that took on this challenge, we have raised $11,726, which means we have about $4,774 to go. Most of these congregations donated funds from their budget, but one congregation, Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Paul, put this challenge to their Sunday school students. Emily King, Director of Education at Immanuel explained the project:
The kids voted in January to fund the Raise the Roof project in spring as one of three projects for the year. Our goal this spring was to raise $210, which would buy 14 sheets. Attendance has been spotty through the winter, and our offering hadn't been significant, so I decided to sweeten the deal for them. Thanks to a few big offering gifts on top of our weekly collection, we needed to raise $72 more in March, April and May. This meant averaging $9 a week for the remaining 8 weeks - a stretch goal, because offering had dropped off so much.
I created a poster with an empty ice cream cone and the promise of an ice cream party if we reached our goal. Each ice cream scoop was worth $9. We started really slowly, but as the kids saw our progress, offering started coming in faster! Some Sunday school classes took home jars to fill, which helped our totals grow quickly. A woman who shares our space during the week even donated $10 because she saw the sign. We surpassed our goal, so our ice cream party was on May 5. We have talked several times about how important it is to have a roof over your head when you're at school. The kids have shown a lot of compassion throughout the fundraising for this project.
Can you imagine eating your meals, taking a test, or studying in a building without a roof? That's the current reality for students at Mtera Secondary School. The working group has determined not to release any of the funds for the roof until we can pay for entire roof and we're so close. Together, we can do this. We only need to buy 318 iron sheets to meet our goal. How many iron sheets will you contribute to help us provide a roof for these kids at Mtera Secondary School?
Individual gifts can be given online or checks can be mailed to Greg Triplett c/o St. Paul Area Synod - ELCA , 105 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103. Whichever way you give, be sure to indicate donations are for "Raise the Roof - Mtera."
Asante sana! Many Thanks!
The Rev. Lynda Thompson
Chair - Scholarship & Education Working Group