FBCO Exceeds 2021 Goals for Lottie Moon, Giving Tree Ministries

FBCO’s original Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal for 2021 was $30,000. Thanks to members’ faithfulness in giving the goal was exceeded by over $10,000. The total offering collected was $40,560.78.

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering supports Southern Baptist’s missions work overseas. The total amount collected each year–100%–goes to missions work.

It’s named for Lottie Moon, who served sacrificially in China in the early 20th century. (Learn more about her here.)

Another annual Christmas ministry is the HOPE Ministries Giving Tree. FBCO members “adopt” children or families and donate household items and Christmas gifts through O’Fallon’s HOPE Ministries food pantry.

HOPE operates the pantry all year to alleviate hunger and stretch needy families’ funds. At Christmas, the pantry organizes the Giving Tree ministry to provide gifts and household items to local families.

Multiple local churches participate in the Giving Tree program. FBCO’s participation is organized by member Barb Bateman. (Read about her 25-year ministry with the Giving Tree in this story.)

Barb reports that in 2021 “from Hope Food Pantry we adopted 22 families, representing 60 kids. We adopted one family from our church with four kids.” Those numbers, however, provided over 155 opportunities for church members to contribute to the Giving Tree with personal gifts and baskets of necessary household items—everything from toys to toothpaste.

Last year, a new component was added to FBCO’s Giving Tree portion when the church adopted a local elementary school.

Forest Park Elementary, in O’Fallon’s city center, is “a lower income school,” according to Barb. “Students sometimes arrive at school in the winter with not enough clothing on to stay warm. The (school’s) request was for comfy clothes and socks for boys and girls.”

The Adult 5 Earlybird and Adult 5B Early LIFE groups supplied those items as well as basic school supplies and indoor games.

Barb and pastors Brandon Kiesling and Andrew Scheltens delivered the items to the school.

“The reception from the school was amazing,” she says.  “We had an appointment to meet the counselor with the items. Also there to meet us was the principal, an assistant principal, the library lady, some students, and a couple teachers.”

“We also received numerous handmade cards from the students for the items.  This was a great way to open the door for Brandon and Andrew to make connections for the future in community service.”