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Using our talents to help

Using our talents to help

Major Elaine Holder (Clowne) describes how corps members shared their gifts to support the helping-hand appeal.

The theme of the 2019 helping-hand appeal, Community Shares, caught our imaginations at Clowne Corps. My husband, Major Mark Holder, and I were led to consider the similarities between the projects in Kenya and the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. With that in mind, and supported by Regional Specialist for Family Ministries Dean Coates, who is also the corps bandmaster, the idea of a talents scheme was presented during a Sunday morning meeting.

In the Bible a ‘talent’ was an amount of money. So, the offer of a monetary talent was made to everyone in the congregation. They were given a slip of paper, which they could exchange for £5 from the corps secretary. The idea was that they could use this £5 to make a purchase that could then be sold on to generate further income.

For example, someone could spend their £5 on ingredients to bake cakes, and the cakes could be sold to make a small profit. That money could then be reinvested to make more purchases and generate further income. All the money raised would be given to the helping-hand appeal.

A good number of people got behind this idea and used their talents – their money and abilities – to support their neighbours in The Salvation Army in Kenya.

A great start was made when one person gifted the money needed to provide the talents. As the money that people generated started to come in, so did the stories of how they had used their talents to achieve this.

Violet Green, No 1 on the roll, loves to bake and brought teacakes to the home league regularly throughout the year, which the members were happy to purchase.

A number of other people also made and sold cakes through the year to raise money. Three people got together and decided to do something similar, but with a twist. By pooling their monetary talents, they purchased a range of flavoured teas, coffees and cold drinks for an evening inspired by The Great British Bake Off.

People were invited to bake a cake and enter it into the competition. An admission fee entitled guests to a ‘fancy drink’ and a slice of cake after the winner had been chosen. Judges were selected at random from those attending and they had the pleasure of tasting all the entries. There was such an abundance of cakes that people were able to make further purchases to take away with them, which raised even more money for the helping-hand appeal.

The band held an open practice, entitled ‘Brass and Strawberries’, and an invitation was given to come and play or just listen. The bandmaster pooled his monetary talent with that of another congregation member to buy the strawberries, which were served with jelly and cream during the evening. A number of people who were new to the Army came along and enjoyed listening to the music…

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