Tyler Comp's sister and brother-in-law, Heather and Brett Seybold, are missionaries serving in Peine, Germany. Young Tyler, a 5th grader at Cornerstone Christian Academy, is proud of them and wanted to help.
Teresa Nees, Tyler's teacher, bought a gallon bottle from Mason's Root Beer in Washington, Indiana, recently for $2.
"I knew I wanted to do something to help others," Nees said. "The whole idea started with that little bottle. I knew I could use it in a positive way."
Knowing of Tyler's interest in his sister's mission, Nees suggested that the children start a mission of their own.
They decided to collect pennies in the gallon bottle to send to the Seybolds. There's a sign on the bottle that says "A mission for a mission". All of the students put their names on the back and the sign will be sent to Tyler's sister and brother-in-law along with the money.
"Their congregation has grown so much they need a bigger place to worship," Nees said, explaining the Seybold's need for assistance. "We felt by collecting pennies it would not be a financial burden for anyone wanting to participate."
The enthusiastic youngsters were anxious to show what they'd accumulated but made it clear that they weren't done yet.
"We want to send the first gift by Christmas," Amanda Thomlinson said.
"But that's not all," interjected James Bryan.
"It will be an on going project," explained Nees. "We're planning a field trip to the bank in a couple weeks to cash in the money for a cashier's check that we'll send to Germany before Christmas. But the project will continue after that. I'm estimating we have a couple hundred dollars now."
"We started with just our class," Jessica Tallman said, looking at Tyler who is the son of Greg Comp, the church's minister. "Then I suggested that we take it to the other classes here in Cornerstone."
Bryan Vermillion interjected, "I got the idea to put it in the church. We got mostly pennies but some people gave bigger coins and some bills too."
"We even got some money from a lady who lives at Cooper Towers," Hannah Stewart added.
"Yeah, she called after she read about it in the paper," said Michael Lagro.
When asked how they felt about their venture, Kirsten Miller said, "I think it's a good project. It'll help some people in Germany get a bigger church."
"I feel great about it," Tyler beamed. "My sister can have more money for her mission. I just wanted to help."