A Warana church has racked up an incredible decade of donations for members of the Sunshine Coast community in need over the Christmas period.
This year the C3 Powerhouse church has raised $30,000 to organise 300 hampers filled with Christmas goodies, something senior pastor John Pearce says the entire congregation enjoys supporting. “We have a very generous group of people who love being part of the community and giving to the community,” Mr Pearce says.
“Early November every year we announce the donation campaign and people give spontaneously and generously. Then we have a team of 40 volunteers who come in for a few days and pack everything up.
“We have people who were recipients of hampers in years gone by now up on their feet and giving money to give someone else a hamper, so it’s great to see how it is being paid forward.”
Mr Pearce says over 10 years, the church has prepared close to $250,000 worth of hampers that are donated across the community where needed most.
“We work with chaplains through local schools and they pick up a few to give to families in need within their school community,” he says.
“We also work with child safety groups like Sunny Kids, Act for Kids and IFYS to give them out, and there are people within our own church community who are doing it tough so we send them out as well.”
The hampers are filled with non-perishable goods, including Christmas cakes, tinned meat and vegetables, and games so families can enjoy a Christmas feast without the associated expenses.
“Christmas can be really tough for lots of families, so for us this can be a really practical way to share love with people,” Mr Pearce says.
“It’s a chance to say we care and that there are people out there who care.”
As well as the annual hamper drive, C3 Powerhouse gives up to $50,000 annually to a range of organisations.
This December the church will donate $10,000 to IFYS for its homeless hub and $10,000 to Caloundra’s Gateway Care, which provides programs and services for residents in the Caloundra region to alleviate hardships.
“We try to give to community groups each year, somewhere between $20,000 to $50,000,” Mr Pearce says.
“There is a percentage we do locally and we also recently sent $10,000 over to Afghanistan to help with relief work. These funds are put aside for our board from what comes in from regular giving.”
Mr Pearce and his wife Danielle have been the senior ministers of C3 Powerhouse since 2000. Today the church has a community of 1000 people from all walks of life.