Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
On Tuesday, October 29, Oesterlen welcomed more than 450 children (approximately 800 people in total!), gave away more than 15,000 pieces of candy and fed those in our community with more than 300 hot dogs. In addition we provided a safe space for our neighbors to have fun with their families, learn about the critical ministries provided here at Oesterlen and offered staff a reminder of the tenderness and beauty of the children that are within our community. Families were grateful not only to have the safe space of our campus but also to be welcomed in an environment that looked beyond their vulnerability and embraced each person.
A special thank you to the following groups and individuals who made the event possible:
-Thrivent who donated ALL of the hot dogs, buns, condiments, 200 bags of chips and all paper ware needed for the food. What a huge expense! Thrivent also donated their time on Tuesday to grill all the hot dogs and serve our attendees!
-The Women’s Auxiliary donated 300 bags of chips for the event and Susan Blanford, the Secretary of the Women’s Auxiliary, was on hand to work with Thrivent and make sure everything went smoothly at the food table. Thank you Susan and the Women’s Auxiliary!
-Staff, board members and local churches all donated candy to help Oesterlen get a kick start on the event. Thanks to all who donated, you provided more than 3,000 pieces that made a huge dent in our final cost!
-Thanks to a grant through the Department of Youth Services that was awarded this summer, we were able to use funds from the Youth Enrichment Grant to purchase ALL of the candy and decorations. The Youth Enrichment Grant is intended to help grow participation in Oesterlen programming, making it the perfect complement to this event.
-More than a dozen volunteers from Wittenberg were on hand to make sure that games went smoothly and candy was distributed to all trunks. Without them, we would have been lost!
-Members of Leadership Clark County were on hand to ensure that participants were having a great time and capturing the memories at the selfie station. They had such a great time that they have already signed up to help wrap Christmas Gifts!
Amelia Oesterlen is surely be smiling from heaven to see all of the children happy at Trunk or Treat. Surely, Amelia founded Oesterlen with the gospel purpose that Jesus declares, “Let the children come to me!”