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Seed Project raises $10K to help families

On Dec. 16, First United Methodist Church of Norwood praised with a few more smiles and tears than normal — happy tears, that is. It was a day of celebration that called for a prayerful blessing over an altar filled with Christmas gifts.

Weeks ago the church’s children were commissioned with a special task. Led by Scott and Stephanie Gresham of Norwood, each child was given $5 and asked to use that money as a “seed.” The $5 could be used to buy recipe ingredients, supplies for crafts or however the children needed in order to make their $5 grow. Hence, the name of this assignment: The Seed Project.

The way it works is the children use their cash to create something they can sell — a product like bird feeders, cutting boards, artwork, Christmas ornaments, baked goods, babysitting or yard work services, etc.

Each Sunday for three weeks, the children, set up a market in between the contemporary and traditional services. Members of the congregation and visitors purchased items and services, making donations of time and money.

Lifetime church member Chris Lisenby donated his time by smoking pork for families who pre-ordered and all proceeds went to the project.

“You see, the seed project isn’t just any project,” Stephanie Gresham said. “Its purpose is to raise funds to contribute to the angel tree of Stanly County and other surrounding needy families.”

After raising funds, they were each given an angel from the angel tree and $150 for shopping. The angel included a name with sizes and list of items, some necessities like school uniforms, shoes and coats, as well as some items each child wanted.

On Sunday, Gresham, who has helped to spear-head this project with her husband, made a highly-anticipated announcement.

“We hit an all-time high. This church family, with the help of visitors and complete strangers, raised over $10,000 to help 62 less fortunate children,” she said.

She explained that additional funds will also provide groceries to several area families.

As the children hauled in packages, the congregation sat in gratitude.

Pastor Bill Roberts led the congregation in prayer before donations were loaded onto a U-Haul truck, donated by Tillery Motorsports.

When asked about The Seed Project, Gresham explained: “Our children participated in a Seed Project at another church many years ago when they were young. They loved everything about the project, from making and selling their crafts to knowing they were helping others, and we wanted to bring it to our church so that others could experience the blessing. Everyone loves it, and it teaches such valuable lessons. Plus, we all get to experience the true meaning and joy of Christmas.”