Monday, November 17, 2008

Trick or treating for Canned Food. . .

One came as a hippie, another as a pirate, still another as Willy Wonka. Then there were the three cowboys. Make that, cowgirls. There was the man with the cape – let’s call him the caped crusader. Still another came in a mask that has been in his family all his life.

About 15 in all for a fun filled Halloween night of trick-or-treating.
But these high school students and leaders were not in it for the candy.
Instead when they approached doors in the Tualatin neighborhood near church, they asked for mac and cheese. Or tuna fish. Or canned beans or corn or fruit cocktail or Campbells soup.

High School Ministry Youth Pastor Branden Campbell dubbed the evening Trick- or-Treat-for-Canned Food.

Last year, he’d done something similar with students from the Spokane church where he was youth pastor, and decided he wanted to get kids here reaching out as well. On a night traditionally all about what you can get, not what you can give.

“It was hilarious. You say ‘Trick or canned food’ – or Mac and Cheese and Tuna Fish,’ and you’d get a funny look at first,” Branden says. “Most did not listen and they’d put candy in our bags and we would stop them and we’d say ‘No we are collecting food for the Tualatin Food bank.”

They were collecting items for the Tualatin School House Pantry. With the economy in the shape it is in, Branden found out that the local food collection agency was in need. Rolling Hills partners with this local food bank, whose mission is to provide emergency food to those in need, to help eliminate hunger.
After an hour and a half of trick-or-treating for food staples, students and leaders collected 650 pounds of food.

Branden’s passion is outreach.

“That is the mission of Jesus. Look at who He came to reach out to. The prostitutes, the sinners, the broken hearted.”

Plus, Branden notes, “Outreach gets the focus of kids off of Planet Me. I think that the message of Jesus is selflessonly something we should do but who we are.”
For more information and photos and other service projects at Rolling Hills, visit :

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