December 19, 2018 10:17 PM
Riverside Church in Big Lake has a passionate and devoted congregation.
And this holiday season, members were asked to do something special for others.
Pastor Tom Lundeen said that for one week - Dec. 10-16 - every donation that was given to the church will now be given away to help others.
"Originally, the idea would have to come from just the fact of Christmas, because it is the ultimate expression of generosity," Lundeen said.
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Three areas were chosen for donations - local food shelves and care organizations, supporting outreach workers and helping people in Florida impacted by Hurricane Michael and those affected by the wildfires in California.
"We have a history of doing this, these types of things," Lundeen said. "But we have never seen the kind of response, and the kind of expression of generosity, that we saw this past week."
Church members donated more than $208,000.
Of that total, $145,000 will be split between the food shelves and those in California and Florida. While $63,000 will be given to help send outreach workers globally.
Pastor Skip Machmer said it's all a blessing from god.
"Being able to talk to the people that these resources are going directly to has been a pretty incredible experience," Machmer said. "Talking right to the people who are living right where the hurricane went through, right where the fires went through, is such a neat conversation to have."
Updated: December 19, 2018 10:17 PM
Created: December 19, 2018 09:35 PM
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