Maggie Methodist joins coin campaign
The Maggie Valley Methodist Church is embarking on a campaign in the heat of summer to ensure that those who need heat in the winter won’t do without.
Church member Judy Ferris, who owns The Chocolate Bear in Waynesville, became aware of the Million Coin Campaign: Cash Conquers Cold and collected through her business.
She then thought about all the ways her church, Maggie Valley United Methodist Church, helps the community and asked whether the congregation might be interested in helping the community collect 1 million coins which will provide funds to help people stay warm during the winter.
The answer was a resounding “yes,” and Sunday, about 200 containers were distributed to church members so they could fill them with coins and return then to the church by October. Members of the church's youth group helped with the project.
The Million Coin Campaign is an effort started more than a year ago as a response to needs in the community.
Patsy Dowling, director of Mountain Projects, Inc., told congregation members Sunday she became starkly aware of the situation several years ago when a family asked for help to pay a utility bill.
“We search for funds everywhere, and just couldn’t help them,” she said.
As a result, the power was shut off, and she read in horror several days later the family, including elementary age school children, had perished in a fire.
“I just couldn’t stop thinking of how awful it was for those girls during their last days on earth,” she said, “getting up in the dark, being cold and not having water.”
She assurred the congregation that 100 percent of the proceeds will be used to help with winter costs, including help for keeping the Haywood Christian Emergency Shelter going in the winter.
The coin campaign is just one of many outreach efforts spearheaded by Maggie Valley United Methodist Church.
Each Monday, church members offer a free meal to those in need. Last week, more than 150 were served.
The church also collects garage sale or flea market items and holds a sale in the barn behind their church at 4192 Soco Road. Each sale designated proceeds to a specific project. Sometimes they go toward helping a family that has experienced hardship such as a fire or a medical crisis. Other times, funds will be used to restock the food pantry, which is open from 10 a.m. to noon every Monday and Wednesday. There have been sales designated to purchase Bibles or to help a mission project in Ecuador, said Renee Mackey, choir director and church secretary.
Anyone with items to donate can drop them off at the church, or in front of the barn, where it will be stored until the next sale.
“We hold a lot of sales during the summer,” she said, “sometimes one or two a month. This church is so giving. Anytime there’s a need, they want to help.”
Help the Million Coin Campaign
If your church wants to help collect coins for the winter heating effort, contact any of the participating organizations — Mountain Projects, Inc. at 452-1447; Haywood Christian Ministry at 456-4838 or the Haywood Christian Emergency Shelter at 506-7875.
To obtain a copy of the campaign logo to use on collection containers, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
All coins will ultimately be deposited in a secure box in the lobby by the Waynesville Police Department. Those who want to get an idea of what 1 million looks like can stop by the municipal building — and perhaps bring extra coins along to help the effort.