“God did with it what He does and just multiplied it,” says Dan Gulnac, lead pastor of Palmyra Grace Church in Palmyra, Pa. Palmyra Grace ended their second fiscal year in a row with an overage of money not spent. The congregation decided to tithe ten percent of the extra funds to bless those in their area.
“We wanted to meet the needs of our community and make Jesus famous,” says Dan.
Dan contacted the local school district and began to work with a school social worker to determine what the best use of the funds would be for students and their families. The social worker expressed that many students in the school district had accrued lunch debt. Palmyra Grace paid off the remaining balance of each student’s lunch account, thus impacting 160 families in the process.
Among the school’s need for wiping out lunch debt, the district’s literacy prep program was canceled due to lack of state funding. The program is designed to help preschool aged children who are considered at risk for not being prepared for kindergarten. Palmyra Grace stepped in and funded the program with their remaining funds.
The church had already seen more than 200 families impacted by the finances they were able to provide, but they still had money left over. Another opportunity arose to provide assistance with basic needs such as socks, underwear, and t-shirts. Palmyra provided gift cards to a local grocery outlet and also Walmart. The gift cards were distributed to students during the school’s designated lunch pickup.
“We’ve recently found out that every need from each family the social worker has met with during this time has been met because of our gift cards,” says Dan.
The church had originally intended the gift cards be used for the remaining of the school year and into the 2020-21 school year but plans were changed because of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Our plans changed but God knew that before we did,” says Dan.
Overall, the congregation of Palmyra Grace was able to bless 250 families.
“It started with a burden on my heart, if we had money left over to say that we put our trust in the Lord and not to put it in the bank for a rainy day. To at least tithe ten percent to bless our community. God did with it what He does and just multiplied it,” says Dan.
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