Outreach Campaign At First UMC Cedar Hill Marches On
Members given $200 apiece to help “Do Something … to Glorify God”
For the seventh consecutive year, First UMC Cedar Hill is working on its Lenten campaign to “Do Something.” The missions committee of the church provides $200 to any member who knows a person or group in need in the community. The church is active in the community year-round but has a special focus during Lent.
Missions chair Debbie Gallagher was inspired by the song “Do Something” by Matthew West. She wanted to help others but was unsure how until she read an article about a church giving church members $2,000 to give back to the community. The funds originally came from selling a parcel of land.
“After thinking about it for a few days I realized we could [do something similar], just on a smaller scale,” she said.
The church started the program with $5,000, giving out $200 at a time. Because of the number of willing participants, the fund soon ran out of money. A church member then stepped in and has made up the difference so anyone can participate each year. Some use their funds to participate or add to the funds from the church.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the program?
“When this ‘shelter in place’ started, I was disappointed about not being able to share with everyone each Sunday,” Gallagher said. “However, I now realize what a blessing this has been for everyone during this time. Our theme this year is 'Do Something … to Glorify God.' ”
This year, the church has had 45 people giving out $9,000. Recipients include:
- A person whose work hours were cut and needed car repairs
- Overworked healthcare workers at Parkland Hospital were provided lunch
- A couple who had both lost their jobs received funds for groceries.
Church member J.W. Burkey took the $200 and multiplied it to give $420 to the Soupmobile Church in Dallas.
“The goal of ‘Do Something’ is not just to help someone, but to make sure that God gets the glory for it,” he said. “Soupmobile is very different in that they don't just feed people, they are a church in which the homeless are considered members. They are feeding souls as well as stomachs.”
Said Rev. Keva Green, senior pastor at First UMC Cedar Hill: “I was particularly delighted to hear from a new guest family who picked up the $200 and had their children get involved in putting together care packages for the homeless. The experience was certainly a blessing for the homeless community, but it also had a big impact on these children to recognize the need others have.”
Projects are local and international. Some are short-term, but some are ongoing – including helping the Trinity Mission Orphanage in Kenya in need of clean water. The children need their well repaired. They walk 4½ miles one way to get water that is salty because of the volcanic soil. Two of the 86 children living there have fallen ill. The “Do Something … to Glorify God” campaign is working to raise almost $17,000 to repair the well.
“We try to meet needs all year round, but, especially during this Lenten season, it is a big focus – and of course now with the coronavirus, the needs have escalated,” Rev. Green said. “But, I do not doubt that this faithful family of believers at the First United Methodist Church of Cedar Hill will continue to step up and give and serve and do whatever it takes to show God's love to others.”
If you want to help First UMC Cedar Hill raise the funds, email Rev. Keva Green.
Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2020