It started with a random comment at a 4H meeting.
The swing set at the park in our small rural community was in sad state and the baby swing was broken.
“We should take it on as a 4H project!” they said.
Great idea! But we’re a very small club. We would need to raise some money.
The easiest fund-raiser for a club of six kids? A soup supper.
Excitement built as we set a date, planned a menu and and printed hand-outs.
The kids made posters and the leaders and the moms (all five of us) started baking, cutting veggies, and making soup.
The food started arriving early on the night of the supper.
And so did the community.
Lots of them.
On a raw March evening with the skies threatening snow, we packed the tables in our community hall.
Moms dished the soups, but our 4H kids were a part of everything else – keeping veggie plates filled, plating desserts, pouring drinks, busing tables, washing dishes.
And they were excited! You could see it in their eyes. This was big. Way bigger than we imagined.
Half way through we started adding to the soups to stretch them.
And still they came.
A cross section of community. Retired couples, young families, grandparents with grandchildren.
All there for the kids. For the park. For the future.
Some even brought desserts to add to our offerings.
The tables were never empty and our donation box was filling up.
When the last guest buttoned up and headed out in the cold and those now exhausted kids had helped clean up, we opened up the donation box and counted the money.
Their excitement was infectious as the pile of bills added up!
And up and up.
The total surpassing our expectations by many, many dollars.
This went way way beyond just a new baby swing and some fresh paint!
This could get memorial trees for our two 4H members killed in a car accident last summer!
This could get a handicapped swing!
The ideas were flying as we turned out the lights and headed home.
Exhausted but exhilarated.
Those six kids learned some very valuable lessons that night.
About having an idea and how to make it happen.
About working hard and serving others.
And about community and what can happen when we work together.
It was a pretty super soup supper!