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Missions’ deadlines force students to get creative

It’s crunch time. Fifty percent missions’ deadlines are coming up. Students are working on creative fundraisers to achieve the deadlines without losing any members.

More than 400 students signed up to carry the gospel to more than 35 national and international locations.

Spring missions’ deadline was on Jan. 22, while the summer missions doesn’t come until Feb. 12.

Team Costa Rica has been working without a team leader. Assistant Team Leader Joni McLeod took responsibility of the missionaries in the group, leading the team’s two fundraisers so far. The team went Christmas caroling, and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they hit the streets once again.

“We went door-to-door selling toilet paper for any donation on Martin Luther King Jr. day,” McLeod said. “Some of their reactions were really great. A lot of people just laughed and didn’t want toilet paper but still donated.”

Team Japan went door-to-door for two hours, selling origami hearts for any kind of donation.

“It was successful,” said Assistant Team Leader Dany Khari. “Our team bonded more and plus it was our first time going out, so we kind of broke the ice on fundraising,”

For Brianna Campbell on team Puerto Rico, an idea helped her not only complete her 50 percent spring deadline, but also helped her get to 100 percent.

“I’ve done paintings on canvases with quotes, scriptures or song lyrics,” said Campbell. “So I took all of them from the walls in my room and I was like ‘I’ll just go try and sell these.’”

Campbell got the approval from the mission’s office and sold the paintings in the fishbowl. On her first fundraising day, Campbell made $100 and by the end of the week, she had $1000.

“People started to ask me if I did custom [paintings], and more people wanted them,” said Campbell. “They were messaging me on Facebook.”

Campbell will continue fundraising. The donations will go to Puerto Rico’s team members.

Missions Director Bobby Parks sees the students’ creativity as a tool that can be used in the future.

“For a lot of people, fundraising is sometimes scary or challenging,” Parks said. “Some students say, ‘I don’t want to ask people for money.’ But honestly, people spend their money on six dollar Starbuck’s drinks. They spend it on stuff that is not really worthwhile. So why not give them an opportunity to say, ‘Hey, here’s a way to partner with us, to see the kingdom advance.’”

Financial deadlines can be a stressful process for students, but for McLeod, they also offer the opportunity to share the burden with her team members.

“I’ve been in so many situations where God has provided miraculously in the last minute for missions,” said McLeod. “I have faith He is going to provide.”

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