How Our Mission Trip is Funded

By Vined W. Cornens

Our church’s mission trip takes our youth to different places in North America to help out in places and build community, responsibility, and leadership skills among our youth. We have recently visited Alabama in the summer of 2022, and this summer we are going to Duluth, Minnesota. Along the way there, we stop at places for food, we play card games on the bus, we have conversations, and we stay at hotels. However, we couldn’t do this all without funding. This article is about how we fund our mission trip and how you can help too.

First, you will need to understand what we are fundraising for. I interviewed Kristin Muckian from our church for this article. Here is her description of the mission trip: “The Youth Service Trip is an annual trip offered to kids who will be going in 8th grade through high school. We load up a coach bus and spend a week volunteering in non profit organizations performing a wide range of jobs. We have traveled to cities such as Birmingham (Alabama), Santa Fe (New Mexico); Alamosa (Colorado), Earlsville (Maryland). Previous trips have also gone to Maine, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.”

This year, we are going to Duluth, Minnesota on our mission trip. As Kristin states, “We are working with an organization, Service Learning Camps (SLC), who will set up all of our work sites throughout the week. The sites are still being determined and dependent on the groups before us (what projects they get completed) but I anticipate both indoor and outdoor work sites from food pantry to garden/park clean up.”

But before we go on our mission trip, we have to pay for transportation, food, and housing. We do this by organizing fun community events that raise money for the church and the mission trip. Each year, there are many, usually 5 or more. Kristin states that “the key to funding our mission trip is our church community!” Our church has done hundreds of fundraising events in the past. We have had bake sales, church t-shirt sales, ‘garage’ sales, yard work donations, Culver’s nights, church tailgates, parents night out events, and community events like Brat Fest. We have had church members who graciously donated funds to our scholarship fund and also “match” funds we raised at our events! Kristin emphasizes, “I cannot state it enough, we could not do this annual trip without the amazing ORUCC family!”

Personally, I have participated in many fundraising events with the church and gone on one mission trip. The first fundraiser that I remember doing was a church bake sale where we sold cookies and baked goods for $10 a dozen. The children helped during the service getting the tables set up and putting cookies on plates. They also volunteered to collect money from people buying cookies, restock plates that had been emptied, and wash empty platters and trays. We did this twice and earned a total of around $1000 each time, including generous donations. The mission trip needs over $10,000 to run, so we were able to get almost 1/5 of the way there with those two fundraisers.

Another fundraiser that we have done in the past and will do again this summer is volunteering at Brat Fest. For every eight hours of volunteering that one person does, the church earns a set amount of money and the volunteer gets a free brat lunch and t-shirt. 

Recently, we helped two members of our beloved church community with their backyard garden (which is huge!). We love to help our church community with home projects and things that many people might need help on (like moving massive piles of mulch and dirt).

All in all, we cannot state it enough that we are extremely grateful for the members of our church community helping raise funds for our mission trip and helping the church youth develop leadership, community, and working skills.