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Seeing the impact

January 2024

“My favorite part of taking C4C students to Des Moines to deliver the items we donated to Hope Ministries is their ability to actually see who, where, and what our donations go towards,” said Jessica Heydon, Crusaders for Christ advisor. “It is one thing to tell students we are raking leaves to raise money to donate to others in need and a completely other thing to physically show them why we are raking leaves to raise money.”


On Dec. 14, students involved in Coon Rapids-Bayard’s Crusaders for Christ (C4C) organization traveled to Des Moines for a valuable learning experience. Crusaders for Christ is a club organized to help students explore their faith through helping others. In the fall, students raked leaves and used the funds generated to purchase items for homeless men and women of Iowa at Hope Ministries in Des Moines. There, they were also given a presentation that explained what Hope Ministries’ mission is and all that they provide for those in need. Students were also given a tour of the facilities.


“It was a great opportunity for students to see where and who the fruits of their labor are helping,” Heydon said. 


“Through this experience, I learned that some people are not as fortunate as others,” said freshman Jace Baker.


“I have to say it was amazing to see the gratitude that all of the people there had,” said freshman Kerra Hart. “Many people stopped us to tell us how grateful they were and how much they appreciated everything that we brought. Seeing how much it meant to them and the positive impact that it would make in the lives of the residents was my favorite thing about the trip.”


In addition to helping those at Hope Ministries, funds raised from raking leaves also allowed students to adopt ten Thomas Rest Haven residents through a partnership with Hardware Hank. Residents received a blanket and ornament through the students’ efforts. 


“It is my hope and prayer that each of the C4C students have a desire to continue selflessly helping others beyond their years at CR-B,” Heydon concluded. 

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