The 2015 Thanksgiving Ingathering brought together more than $1 million in cash/checks, in-kind contributions, and special activities. The report, presented Friday, December 4, at the Ingathering committee meeting, detailed the number of kits, sweaters and cartons of books destined for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the Iowa Nigeria Partnership (INP). In addition, the financial support raised for related missions was tallied.
annual Thanksgiving Ingathering was held on Saturday, November 7, 2015, at five sites across Iowa – Cherokee, Cedar Falls, Greenfield, Mt. Pleasant, and Webster City. “The Thanksgiving Ingathering is a way for Iowa United Methodists to address hunger problems locally and around the world.,” according to the Ingathering booklet. “Micah 6:8 says that the lord requires us ‘to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ When we share from our abundance we are acting justly and reflecting our desire to serve God.”
The first Thanksgiving Ingathering was held on November 1, 1980 on the campus of Westmar College in LeMars. People brought blankets, kits, corn, and even animals. The event grew from a casual conversation between Art Richardson and Bill “concerning the hunger and poverty around the world when so many were living in luxury,” according to the history
. In 1982 “plans were made to supply animals and grain for Heifer Project so an area was designed for the "5 Baas", "3 Bunters", "10 Hopping Multipliers", and a few Grunters". A semi load of corn that had been donated by area farmers was delivered to Arkansas as well.” Between 1983 and 1992 four more sites were added, bringing the total to five. Over the years crafts were added as were quilts to be auctioned – one brought $3100, in 1999, at Greenfield!
Click here to read the news report
on the Ingathering
Click here to see brief video interviews
from the Greenfield site
Nearly 37,000 kits were gathered for UMCOR – health kits, sewing kits, school kits, layette kits, and birthing kits. In addition almost 3000 baby jackets and sweaters and over 6000 empty school bags were presented.
Almost 4400 kits were designated for the Iowa Nigeria Partnership including almost 2800 layette kits. Bishop Trimble blessed a newborn child who was wrapped in one of the layette kits during a visit to Nigeria in the summer of 2010. The maternal grandmother told the Bishop that had it not been for the Iowa-donated layette kit her hours-old grandchild would have had nothing to be brought home in from the birthing hospital.
With the inclusion of over 10,000 “miscellaneous kits,” the total of kits and books exceeded 60,000.
Mission agencies receiving financial support of nearly $300,000 through the Ingathering include: Church World Service, UMCOR, INP, the INP artemesia seed program, Heifer International, Self-Help International, the P.E.T. (Personal Energy Transportation) project.
Final results detail $303,022 presented as cash and checks, $704,438 as in-kind values, and $14,698 from “special activities,” for a total of $1,022,158. Totals from the three categories from the five sites are: Mt. Pleasant - $296,026; Greenfield - $230,801; Cedar Falls - $207,477; Cherokee - $155,249; and Webster City - $132,605. The 2015 Thanksgiving Ingathering continues the string of collections exceeding $1 million.