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Penny war helps Ugandan orphans

Susan has been sponsored by the Lighthouse Christian Church children's ministry for the last several years. The Kids Club annually holds its Penny Wars to raise $700 for the sponsorship.

For the last four or five years the Lighthouse Christian Church Kids Club has sponsored two Ugandan orphans. To collect money to sponsor Ivan and Susan, the Kids Club annually holds a penny war.

Kids Club is Lighthouse's children ministry. It serves children from 6 weeks through fifth grade.

The kids bring in their pennies, nickels and dimes in an effort to raise $700 for the one-year sponsorship of the two children. The sponsorship is through an organization called Hope 4 Kids International.

Pastor Bill Goodwin said the money sent so far has allowed Hope 4 Kids to provide both children with mattresses, mosquito nets to prevent malaria, school uniforms, vaccines and food.

"The sponsorships have radically changed the environment of these two children's lives," said Goodwin.

The sponsorship also provides valuable experiences for children in the Kids Club. Goodwin said they learn they can make a difference in someone's life. It also shows that not everyone around the world has the same resources as we do in the United States.

Ivan and Susan send letters to the Kids Club several times a year to share details about their lives. Goodwin said the sponsorship has been a good way to expose children in the church to another culture.

Goodwin said each year the kids are enthusiastic about the Penny Wars and have a lot of fun with it.

"The kids do a great job bringing in their pennies," said Goodwin.

The Kids Club is in the midst of the month long war. They will stop taking donations March 11. Goodwin said the various classes compete to raise the most money. The class with the most will get a party.

Goodwin said members of the congregations have traveled to Uganda and had the opportunity to meet Ivan and Susan. He said the sponsorship is a special thing that has provided the church a connection in East Africa.

Overall, Goodwin said the sponsorships have been a benefit for the whole congregation and that they will continue to do it indefinitely.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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