USA (MNN) — Would you pay $20 for a basic t-shirt? Maybe not. But what if your $20 went to feed 40 people, the the t-shirt was just a bonus?
This was the idea behind the "Love South Sudan" campaign led by Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) at George Mason University recently.
"They just started promoting it the last couple of months," says Seed Program director Monica Timbie. "They told kids they could get involved by buying a t-shirt or by coming and helping pack the seeds."
The group sold t-shirts for $20 each. "A $20 t-shirt is something that most college students don't really put into their regular budget," points out Timbie. But, she says, "They saw that this t-shirt was more than just a fun t-shirt to wear: they actually got to help 40 families by just donating $20."
Hundreds of students got involved–not just Christians, but kids from various religious and socio-economic backgrounds. According to Timbie, between 600 and 700 mostly un-churched students showed up to help on packing day, packaging Harvester Packs full of seeds good for South Sudan's climate and for the diets of those who will plant them.
As students worked side-by-side to help families thousands of miles away, opportunities were created for the Gospel right in the States. "We want to be able not only to help people in far away countries who are in desperate need of food and seeds, but we want to be able to come alongside them also and be able to really help the people in their own community, in their own lives, who are also in desperate need of food–spiritual food," says Timbie.
"We didn't present the Gospel word-for-word. We were able to say, ‘We're a Christian organization that sees people as more than just the physical, and we're here to help provide for the needs of people both physically and spiritually.' As the students from the Campus Crusade chapter worked side-by-side along with other students on their own campus, they were able to start building relationships."
At the end of the project, the students raised $20,000 to spread the hope of the Gospel in Sudan and built bridges for ministry opportunities in their own community.
This project can be replicated at other schools–Christian or secular. If you are involved with a ministry that would be interested, or you would simply like more information, contact GAiN here, or visit gainusa.org/seeds.