This week’s story was written by Nancy Fox of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Leesburg, Va.
Every year, vacation Bible school participants at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Leesburg, Va., select an outreach program to be the recipient of the daily offerings. This year the ELCA Malaria Campaign was chosen. The teachers loved the resources that were available, and although they did not use the Malaria Campaign vacation Bible school curriculum, they incorporated many of the curriculum’s ideas into their own program. Each day at opening, Marla the Mosquito and Plasmo the Parasite visited, using the script from the materials provided by the campaign as a starting point. The teachers liked to improvise the remainder of the opening.
Marla and Plasmo Marla looking upset with her potato bug purse!
At closing each day, the offering totals were announced, along with how many mosquito nets that money would purchase. Marla wore a different color net each day to show the children the progress they were making toward reaching the goal of 200 nets! During snack time, a storyteller read a section from “Mimi’s Village” to help the children understand more about malaria. The book did a great job of helping the children make the connection between basic health care and malaria treatment and prevention.
Everyone, staff and children alike, seemed very connected to the cause and excited to be able to help. In fact, Marla was supposed to miss a day of vacation Bible school due to a previously scheduled appointment but was so touched by the children’s response to her and the ELCA Malaria Campaign that she rearranged her schedule so she could be present for the entire week. The children loved seeing her buzz around during the day.
There were 145 children, grades pre-K through sixth, and approximately 70 volunteers involved in vacation Bible school at Holy Trinity. The total offering for the week was $2,051.07, or 205 mosquito nets!