Giving Tree

Sunbury United Methodist Church developed a giving tree as a way to educate their congregation about ZOE’s work and successfully raise money to be Hope Companions for a working group. We hope you can use their great idea as inspiration for your own congregation or group.

  1. First, they made a giving tree banner by gluing a tree shape on a four foot tall banner (can be felt or other fabric or even paper).
  2. They then put 100 individual leaves on the tree which could be easily removed. Each leaf represented a child in a working group.
  3. The banner was placed in a prominent place outside of the sanctuary.
  4. Members were asked to make a contribution by taking a leaf and writing a check to the church for $75 (the cost of one child for one year in a 100-member working group) with Zoe Empowers in the memo line. They were to take the leaf and put it in a visible place in their home (like the refrigerator) so they would be reminded to pray for their children.

Sunbury’s Presentation During Worship

A worship service was planned around the theme “Planting Seeds for Missions.” The service began with a video of Matthew West’s Do Something. Church members were asked if they had ever wondered if the seeds they had planted by sending money to a charity took root.

Success stories of the orphans in their Hope Companion working group with were shared by members of the church who had visited them. They shared with the congregation that that the members have graduated from ZOE’s three-year program and are financially independent, respected members of their community.

They ended the presentation with the good news that their working group had adopted eight other orphans into the group and plan to adopt another twelve by the end of this year. Though their group is no longer receiving any financial help from Sunbury UMC or from Zoe Empowers, because they have graduated, so many other orphans still need help.

The leaders challenged church members to partner with another working group by “purchasing a leaf from the Giving Tree.” All the leaves were gone before the end of their third service! When all the leaves were taken, the banner came down, and they had funded a new working group for one year. Next year and the following year they will put the tree up again with new leaves, and that will take care of their three-year commitment.