Chilliwack locals raise almost $75,000 for grassroots efforts in Haiti

With a goal of raising $50,000, the Sardis Fellowship Baptist Church raised nearly $75,000

On Feb. 17, 2018, more than 300 people showed up at the Sardis Fellowship Baptist Church to support its silent auction and fundraising event for Haiti, and by the end of the night, almost $75,000 had been raised, which exceeded their goal by 50 per cent.

“It was truly amazing,” said Pastor Rod Heppell of the event’s turnout. “We raised $45,000 through the silent auction, $24,000 through extra gifts and donations, and $2,000 through ticket sales—plus some extra—for a grand total of $74,300.”

This brings the total raised for United Christians International (UCI), the organization in Caiman, Haiti, the Sardis Fellowship Baptist Church has been helping for the past four years, to more than $150,000.

READ MORE: Helping Haiti about more than money

“We donate 100 per cent of the proceeds,” said Heppell. But they get to decide how it’s spent.

This year’s goal was to raise $50,000 so UCI could build new dorms for its university students. However, the additional funds meant not only was the Sardis Fellowship able to surpass this year’s mark, but they were able to create bursaries that will be used to help pay an in-need student’s tuition.

“We’re all called to different things,” says Heppell of his congregation’s efforts to help a foriegn country. “Some (churches) help the homeless … and some host school lunch programs. They’re all great places (to put effort).”

READ MORE: Help for Haiti is on the way

And while Heppell says his parish has given financial gifts and volunteered hundreds of hours within Chilliwack. “Being poor isn’t a local issue,” so they help where help is needed, which explains why the church’s motto is “Centred in Christ, visible in community, (and) transforming our world.”

“It’s about helping the global community and helping where we can when we can,” added Heppell, who then related an old tale about a boy tossing starfish into the ocean.

“The beach was covered with starfish, and this boy picks them up one at a time and tosses them into the sea. But there’s an old man there who tells him not to bother—with so many starfish, he can’t hope to make a difference.

“The boy, picking up another starfish and throwing it into the sea says, ‘It makes a world of difference for that one!’

READ MORE: Chilliwack church aims to raise $50,000 for grassroots efforts in Haiti

“That’s all we’re doing,” says Heppell. “Trying to make a world of difference one (person) at a time.”

In addition to raising nearly $75,000, members of the Sardis Fellowship also flew to Caiman to help with the on-the-ground efforts of UCI and give back to their community as a whole.

“We took an entire (elementary) class to see the Citadelle, which they probably wouldn’t have had a chance to see otherwise.” Heppell said. “We brought food and goats to residents and helped build cement floors. We did a lot.”

And although they’ve reached the end of their missionary goals for Haiti, Heppell says it doesn’t mean they won’t go back, or look to help another group somewhere else.

“I think it’s both-and,” said the pastor. “We can help both at home and abroad. It doesn’t need to be one or the other … it’s an ongoing effort.”

To learn more about the Sardis Fellowship Baptist Church and its Haitian efforts, please email office@sardisfellowship.com, or call (604) 858 – 8432.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Around the BCHL: Merritt forward Mathieu Gosselin is BCHL Player of the Week

Around the BCHL is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

UFV hosts revitalized Literary Festival featuring some of its previous writers-in-residence

Taking over Mission’s festival, UFV hopes its Literary Festival will be just as popular

Final list of 2018 election candidates confirmed for Chilliwack and beyond

Friday was the deadline for filing nomination papers of candidates running in the 2018 elections

Earl Marriott superstars sink Sardis football Falcons

Byron Ruvalcaba and Sam La Roue led the Mariners to a 34-20 home-field win over Sardis.

UPDATE: Woman from Surrey killed in head-on collision in Chilliwack Saturday

Witnesses in the vehicle struck told first responders the woman appeared to be asleep at the wheel

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Man convicted of manslaughter in 2016 belt-strangling death in Abbotsford

Shayne McGenn found guilty in apartment killing of David Delaney

Tilray to export cannabis formulation to U.S. for clinical trial

Marijuana remains illegal in most of the U.S.

Court of appeal grants injunction on Taseko’s exploratory drilling in B.C. Interior

The decision provides temporary protection and relief, said Chief Joe Alphonse

Volunteer crew ready to build ramps for B.C. amputee

Jean Moulton will soon have an easier time getting in and out of her home.

VIDEO: B.C. tour offers unique underground glimpse of generating station

About 1,250 people expected at sold-out tour on Sunday

Allegations against Kavanaugh pose test for #MeToo movement

Aside from the Ford-Kavanaugh showdown, this has been a tumultuous season for the #MeToo movement

Around the BCHL: Merritt forward Mathieu Gosselin is BCHL Player of the Week

Around the BCHL is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read