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Pumpkins with a purpose: Church creates patch to raise money for local and global missions

Posted at 4:26 PM, Oct 17, 2023

PLAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A Stark County church has transformed its parking lot into a pumpkin patch to raise money for local and global missions.

Compassion Church in Plain Township partnered with Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers for the event that runs daily through Halloween.

The church received more than 800 pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, which were grown on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico.

The hours for the pumpkin fundraiser are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the church, located at 1920 Schneider St. NE.

Some of the money raised will benefit the church's Compassion Foster Closet, which provides clothing, backpacks and other items at no cost to foster families and some lower-income families.

"They can shop four times a year for clothing, diapers, wipes and formula," said Shannon Radcliff, the local and global mission director.

Other proceeds will go towards humanitarian aid projects in Honduras, India and Africa, including an effort supported by the church to build water wells in Kenya.

"One water well in Kenya is anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, so the water well we just did provides water for life for an entire community, so even though it seems like your $1 pumpkin doesn't matter, your $1 pumpkin does matter," Radcliff said.

Prices range from $1 to about $45, and the cost is determined by the size of the pumpkin.

Compassion Church doesn't have a specific goal in mind for the fundraiser. Kristina Pena, the financial director, said members are just glad to do their part to help people locally and in other countries.

"We would love for it to be thousands of dollars, but we're happy just having people come through and meeting people and getting to talk to them and connecting with the community," Pena said.