It is a pleasure to be part of your Pumpkin Patch family. You have taught our church something about love, trust, and respect. After a long weekend, one eleven-year-old boy was asked by his teacher to share what he did. Many other kids had gone on cruises, to Disney World or other vacations. David's response was, to help in the Pumpkin Patch, and he had a great weekend. Other kids were envious because of the pride he obviously displayed. I am eternally grateful for you sharing your project with us, for the purpose of glorifying God."

 

12886 Pam Masten Community Presbyterian Kissimmee FLPam Masten
Community Presbyterian Church (Kissimmee, FL)

In 2013 I had the privilege of coming on as an administrative assistant for several ministries here at Austin Oaks Church. I was told that I was going to help plan a Pumpkin Patch. I had ideas, fears, and downright excitement running through me the whole time. I had no idea what I was in for. Then I get the packet from my boss, and realized this was bigger than I thought. I finally asked what are the proceeds going to? He said, Redeemed Ministries, which is a Christian non-profit organization that helps stop human trafficking in the city of Austin. This gave me a bigger drive to get these pumpkins here and sold. I started getting posters made, flyers to hand out, and made announcements. We had many people come take pictures, buy pumpkins, and ask questions about Redeemed Ministries. We had the unfortunate ability to say human trafficking does happen in our city.

In 2014, we got the word out sooner, and were able to be more social media aware. We had return customers and new customers, and they were coming just because we were giving the proceeds to Redeemed Ministries once again. One Sunday a new member of our church came up to me and asked, "Why are we selling pumpkins?" His kids were begging for a pumpkin, and he didn't want to pay our prices. I told him about Redeemed Ministries and what they do, and then I told him how the Pumpkin Patch works. I said anything over the price of your pumpkins would be a donation to the Organization and 100% would go to them. He looked at me, nodded, and said, "Thank you for your help." I thought he was going to walk away. Instead he turns to his wife and kids, and asks them to go get a big pumpkin each and one small pumpkin each. I was floored when I priced all the pumpkins for him I told him it would be $250. He turned to his wife and said, "Make the check out for $2,000." I felt like a kid on Christmas. I didn't know what to do. I just hugged him with tears in my eyes and said, "THANK YOU!!" With donations and pumpkins sales this year we were able to give, $5,265.77. This year our goal is to give Redeemed Ministries over $7,000."

 

36025 Leah ThompsonLeah Thompson
Austin Oaks Church (Austin, TX)

What started out as a fundraiser for our youth has turned into a ministry by our whole congregation to our community! We are known in Casper as the "Pumpkin Church". The women's group baked pumpkin goodies from our damaged pumpkins, our youth lead games and activities and our preschool director offered story time! We have had a great time! The Pumpkin Patch has brought our entire church family together to work on a community project! It is so well received in our community and our youth have been able to serve on mission trips in AZ, TX, LA and WY as a result of our proceeds."

 

Jenny Black First Christian Casper WYJenny Black
First Christian Church (Casper, WY)

Managing the Pumpkin Patch at St. Richards Episcopal Church was by far the most fulfilling month of my life. I was blown away by the enthusiasm of our team, and by the willingness of our volunteers to help, over and over again. We knew that God was watching over us as he added additional blessings of great friends at Pumpkins USA, perfect weather, large crowds, and a masterly crafted fall festival and story time. As we were about to close our patch on our last evening, I slipped into a terrible funk, as the adrenaline began to drain from my body. As I sat down in a dark corner of the patch and silently asked God, "What am I going to do now, Lord? My job is finished." He answered me a few weeks later when our Rev. Mary asked if I would do it again next year. There was nothing to decide."

 

St Richards Round Rock TXBrian Beals
St. Richards Episcopal Church (Round Rock, TX)

Alamo Heights United Methodist Church started our Pumpkin Patch in 1995. We dedicated all proceeds to build homes for Habitat for Humanity. Our homes for Habitat have been accomplished strictly from funds raised through our Pumpkin Patch.

We involved all of our church family. I knew from the beginning that this project was too big for just one area to be able to facilitate. In order for it to accomplish what we hoped it would, it was necessary for this to be a church wide family mission project. All of our church family participates, from our senior adults to our toddlers. There is a place for everyone! We have even written our own children's story about the pumpkins and why we do this project.

Because we are giving all the profits to Habitat, we have created an ongoing interest for our local media. We have had incredible coverage from our local television stations, radio, and newspapers. The highlight of our patch last year was being on the national broadcast of the "Today Show" doing the "What a difference today makes" spot. We have actively sought and continued to develop an ongoing interest in our "Pumpkin Partners for Habitat" ministry.

God has truly blessed this project since its inception and it is for his glory that it continues to grow, to bring our church family closer, to provide homes for habitat, and to further his kingdom on earth. I am so grateful to Richard and Janice Hamby for their continued dedication to this project. With a Grateful Orange Heart!!!"

 

2672 Georganne CatalaniGeorganne Catalani
Alamo Heights United Methodist Church (San Antonio, TX)

Decorating the church lawn, the excitement of having the pumpkins, and planning and preparing all help to make the Pumpkin Patch one of the great events at our church. We are now famous for the pumpkin patch in our community. But the best thing every year is who shows up to help. It seems that one more person, one more family, one more organization comes forward to help... and they are people we never thought would do so. The Pumpkin Patch has allowed more people to be involved in our ministries and has even brought new members into the church. My only regret is that we haven't done this earlier."

 

Pastor Rick MoserPastor Rick Moser
Northwoods United Methodist Church (Jacksonville, NC)

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