In my office, hanging on the wall, is a large bell with a braided cord hanging from the clapper. It is a quality bell, so when I pull on the cord, there is a loud, resonating ring that can be heard in other offices and even downstairs. I love to ring that bell, but I’m pretty stingy with my rings. I only ring it when The Foundation receives a special gift.
Particularly large gifts get an automatic ring. When I open the mail and find a check from a very generous donor, I jump out of my chair and ring the bell. On occasion, those rings have startled my co-workers and even brought our Head of School up the stairs to learn why I am ringing the bell. But it isn’t just large gifts that get me ringing the bell. There are also special gifts that encourage me or affirm that we are doing something right.
Last week The Foundation received an online donation from a member of the class of 2016. It wasn’t the only donation we received for Campaign 125 last week and it certainly wasn’t the largest we received, but to me it was one of the most significant. I don’t know this student well, but I’m pretty sure that he has significant obligations towards his current expenses: tuition, room and board, textbooks, and those miscellaneous expenses that college kids encounter every day. And yet, this young alumnus sent what had to be a sacrificial gift to Campaign 125 because it is important to him to see our track and field constructed. His gift got me out of my chair to ring the bell.
Yesterday morning, I found an envelope on my desk. Inside the envelope, was a ziplock baggie. Inside the baggie, were three one dollar bills and four quarters. On the outside of the baggie was a post-it note: We’re teaching our boys about tithing. This is Tom and Jerry’s (not their real names) contribution from their summer lemonade stand. They want it to go toward the track. You guessed it. I got up and rang the bell, loudly. These two young boys could have given their tithe to anyone, but they chose to give it to Eastern Christian for the new track. These are boys with vision, since neither of them are old enough to be running track yet.
From the beginning, we felt God leading us to the projects in Campaign 125: Student safety, classroom renovations, and outdoor athletic facilities. Our direction was affirmed with the lead gift we received allowing us to move forward with planning. It was affirmed again when the board, administrators, and many faculty members made commitments that allowed us to accomplish so much work over the course of the summer. And now, for me, it has been affirmed again by these very special gifts from two current students and one young alumnus.
If you are ready to join this important campaign which is already blessing every single student at Eastern Christian, go to easternchristian-org.northstar.ac/125. You can learn about the specifics of Campaign 125 as well as make a donation or faith promise to the campaign.
Join Campaign 125 and help me ring the bell!