Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 4, 2013

Learning through giving

By GRETCHEN MURRAY
Special to the Record-Eagle

---- — SUTTONS BAY — The children of Suttons Bay Congregational Church are opening their hearts — and their toy chests — to help other children in their community.

The congregation’s youth plan to sell their carefully used toys and games during the second annual Kids Caring for Kids used toy sale taking place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church, located on the corner of Madison and Lincoln streets in Suttons Bay.

Church pastor Rev. Dr. Robin Long said the toy sale is part of the church’s Kids Serve program that teaches children the value of service to others.

“The kids staff the sale tables themselves, and have to learn a little about bargaining, using their math skills and resisting the urge to buy each other’s toys,” Long said. “They donated 10 percent of last year’s sale to the Leelanau County Baby Project. This year they’ve upped the ante.”

Long said this year, 20 percent of the proceeds of the toy sale will go to the Leelanau Family Coordinating Council to help fund The Leelanau Laundry Project, a community effort that helps provide laundry facilities to low-income and older adults.

Dee Glass, the Laundry Project’s onsite coordinator, said program volunteers are stationed at the Suttons Bay Laundromat on the mornings of the first and third Wednesdays of each month to help those needing financial assistance getting their laundry done.

“There’s no criteria,” Glass said. “If they come in and ask for help, that’s all we need.”

Glass said the program incurs costs for soap and laundry products and pays the site for its use of the washers and dryers.

Congregation member Cindy Opie of Suttons Bay said her three boys participated in last year’s sale, and are busily sorting through their toys, rounding up miniature cars, stuffed animals, action figures, books, games and outgrown bikes for Saturday’s sale.

“It’s good for (the boys) to help other people,” Opie said. “They’re giving up toys that they don’t use that often, and they understand that the funds go to programs that support children in the community. As a parent, I see it as an opportunity to teach my kids life lessons and important skills as they grow up.”

For more information on the upcoming sale, call the church office, 231-271-6036 or visit the church’s website www.sbcongregational.org.