Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bible Camp Kids Raise a Cool Thousand for Children's Hospital

Children learn about charity, saving and how every little penny adds up over four-day summer program at Fellowship Church in Middletown.

A group of Middletown-area kids attending summer Bible camp recently gathered enough loose change to make a $1,100 donation to the Hartford children’s hospital.

In four days.

Fellowship Church on Saybrook Road hosted 104 children from July 5-8 in grades kindergarten to sixth, and using the PandaMania curriculum, participants rotated through stations like drama, music and crafts throughout the day, while hearing stories to help them understand God.

On family night, a check for $1,100 was presented to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

“We have had several children in he past year who went to the CCMC,” said Lara SantaMaria, director of children’s ministries at Fellowship.

“One little boy who was born with a rare disease actually was going regularly and now he’s considered cured. The parents talked a lot about it and the great care they received.”

Each day, SantaMaria said, children were asked to go home and collect different coins: pennies on Monday, nickels on Tuesday, ect. "We asked people to dig out their piggy banks," she said. "Obviously, the families helped."

Still, she said, “I was surprised they raised so much money — in change."

“They’re very competitive, so we had a competition between the boys and the girls,” she explained, and instead of declaring a winner, the children were told, “anyone who goes to the Connecticut Children’s Center is actually a winner.”

More than 55 volunteers were involved throughout the week.