Salt and Light

great ideas from youth groups like yours
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Last year, we asked you to send your best group ideas to our Salt & Light "Idea-a-Thon." Each winner grabbed $100 for their group. You'll find the winning ideas, as well as the runners-up, in this and upcoming issues of Campus Life.

"Up" for a Good Cause

Imagine getting paid to pull an all-nighter—and imagine that the money would go for a really good cause. You just might jump at the chance, right? Well, the youth group at Faith Fellowship Ministries in Franklinville, New Jersey, sure did when they decided to hold a no-sleep lock-in to raise money for one of their church's missionary families.

Group members spent a few weeks gathering pledges from their families and friends. The longer they promised to stay awake, the more money they'd make. The goal was for them to stay up for the whole event, all 15 hours of it. So some folks pitched in a dollar or two for each hour the students stayed awake, while others gave one big pledge for the night.

Then the real fun started. The group gathered at the church at 7 p.m. on a Friday and got settled in for a night of fun. They started out with some mellow group games, but as the night went on and eyes threatened to close, things got rowdier.

The group played a late night game of kick-the-can in the dark church hallways and fueled up on an endless supply of chips, sodas and pizza. Those who wanted a little less activity stuck with board games and peaceful conversation.

Around 3 a.m., things calmed down a little too much and most of the group found sleep a pretty tempting option. But there was money to be raised! Group member Shannon Minter (pictured above, far left) says, "That's when our youth leader broke out a tape of Praise Aerobics. Needless to say, that didn't go over well. After about a minute, we all fled the room! But it served its purpose and got us up and running around for the rest of the night."

At 8 a.m., a group of parents showed up to cook breakfast for the sleep-starved youth group. After breakfast, the group packed up, headed home and—you guessed it—slept.

But that wasn't the end of it. The next few weeks were spent collecting pledge money from sponsors. In the end, the Faith Fellowship youth group raised nearly $1,500—enough to help the missionary family buy a car they desperately needed. Shannon says, "When the missionaries came to the church and were presented with the car, it was such a thrill to know we had contributed the majority of the money. In our own way were helping spread God's Word to people who need him."

Scrambling for Dollars

The youth group at Community Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan has a fund-raiser called Sell an Egg, and it works something like this:

The youth group divides into teams of three or four people. Each team starts knocking on doors. At the first house, they give the owner a flyer telling a little about the youth group and the church. Then they ask for an egg. They take the egg to the next house, hand out another flyer and try to sell that same egg for whatever price the homeowner is willing to pay. The team picks up a new egg at the next house, sells it at the house after that, and so on.

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