By Kara Witherow, Editor
What would you do with 48,000 pieces of candy?
Cordele First United Methodist Church asked themselves that question when a semi-truck carrying 48 cases of candy, unable to deliver the order, donated its entire load to the church a few weeks ago.
While several cases were given to the church’s food pantry, the timing turned out to be perfect to turn their small church-wide Easter egg hunt into a community outreach event, and church leaders quickly jumped on the idea.
“We thought we could use this donation to really bless other people,” said Kathy Minor, Cordele First UMC’s Director of Children’s Ministries.
Minor asked church members to donate plastic eggs and requested that volunteers help fill them. There were so many eggs to fill – 5,000 – that she asked children, youth, Sunday school classes, “the folding ladies” who volunteer to fold the bulletins, and others to stuff eggs, and there were still eggs to fill. So Minor took eggs and candy to the local assisted living facility, Cordelia Manor, where several church members live, and asked them to help stuff eggs.
The usual spots for the church’s annual egg hunt – a congregant’s front or back yard or the church’s lawn – weren’t large enough for the larger planned hunt, so they rented the local Lion’s Club fairground.
When the community-wide hunt featuring 5,000 eggs, 10,000 pieces of candy, and lots of fun was held Sunday, March 25, 100 children showed up for the fun, which featured a bounce house, door prizes, and stations where children could make resurrection eggs to learn the story of Jesus’ journey from the cross to his resurrection.
“It’s given some excitement to an event that’s usually pretty internally focused,” Minor said. “It was a small church thing that was turned into a big community outreach.”