MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota church has just made a big impact in one community. They gave their members a $100 bill and a challenge to help someone in need this holiday season.
What started as a typical Sunday service for Quarry Community Church in Monticello sparked a season of giving.
“It caught fire,” Pastor Michael Grose said.
During a busy holiday season, Grose believes people can lose sight of what’s important: helping others.
“We get wrapped up in this idea of more and wanting, but underneath that is a desire to give and so we wanted to catalyze on that, let’s take away the barriers for people, the barriers being I don’t have anything I don’t have enough money,” Grose said. “Let’s give people that opportunity.”
The church gave $100 bills to nearly 100 members to give to someone in need.
Church member Toni Knutson took the opportunity seriously. It took her two weeks until she finally decided to give it to a gas station worker.
“She was telling me they cut back on her hours, her seniority doesn’t matter and you could tell she was getting depressed and she said she’s the only one that makes money because her husband passed away from ALS a few years ago and she said and I really need the money,” said Knutson. “It’s one of those things where I blessed her in a way and it blesses me back to see her smile.”
Grose took part in the challenge, too. He saw a need in his own congregation — the family of 4-year-old Jonah diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy.
“He would have a seizure while walking down the street, while playing at the park,” said Justin Kittelson-Burk, Jonah’s dad.
A trip to the Mayo Clinic revealed the severity of Jonah’s disease.
“They said he’s roughly having 7-9 seizures per hour for the 24 hours although we might not be able to see all them that’s what he’s having,” said Kittelson-Burk.
Jonah’s parents felt helpless. Their only hope is a blood infusion treatment at the Mayo, which so far seems promising.
“That has essentially stopped his seizures during the day,” Kittelson-Burk said.
But the treatment is not covered by insurance. So the cost of the $2,000 infusion he needs every two weeks comes out of their pocket.
“It’s very difficult,” said his dad.
But that burden is one they’re not carrying alone thanks to others paying it forward. Members of their church have pitched in donations. They’ve even been on the receiving end of the $100 challenge — a gift that has meant more than dollars and cents.
“It’s the reminder that it’s not just us that’s in this, it’s them coming along with us,” said Kittelson-Burk.
Jonah’s parents wasted no time paying it forward themselves, giving their $100 to other parents of sick children being treated at the Mayo.
A family forced to be on the receiving end now has a chance to give back. Grose’s challenge started a chain reaction and reminded many what the season’s about.
“Deep down inside we want to be used for good things we want to bless people,” Grose said.
This was an act of faith for the church. The pastor says they don’t have a lot of money just lying around it was something they had to pray on. But it was their way of blessing the community.
As for Jonah, there is no end in sight for the treatments If you’d like to help the family, visit their Give Forward page.