Mina Project Wrap Up

We hear it a lot around here – “I’m so glad I go to Hope because they do such great things for the community.” Truth is, Hope doesn’t do great things – you do.

If we learned anything from our journey through the Mina Project 2016, it’s this: Anyone can use what they have to be a blessing, you just have to be willing to let God use you. This year we saw a handful of truly awe-inspiring projects. One fed 90 residents of the Raleigh Rescue Mission with enough money left over to make a $600 donation. Another pulled an entire community together for a Holly Springs boy with cancer.

But more often, we saw everyday acts of service and love turn $10 or $20 into a blessing for others. Soap-making, wood-working, baking and more. You name it, you did it. You fed the homeless, provided Christmas for single moms and paid medical bills. For some, the Mina Project turned personal as you walked from apprehension to obedience.

And while there’s no way to know the exact financial impact on the communities we serve, one thing’s for sure -- it wasn’t small. Every Mina Project story reported at least a double return on investment with many more yielding a five-, 10- and even 20-fold increase. Those are just the ones we heard about!

As we close out the Mina Project 2016, thank you for all your hard work! But don’t stop. Use what you learned to keep reaching the Triangle to change the world in 2017.

Now, enjoy flipping through these user-submitted posts!

Suggly Sweater 5k

An inspirational small group with seven pregnant couples took the Mina Project seriously and pooled their money and started the Suggly Sweater 5k.

They multiplied their $800 to be $8,000 in year one and $25,000 in year two to their selected charity.

Mina Luminaries Light up Christmas Nights

We received $30 of Mina money and turned it into almost $1500 by setting up and selling luminaries for the homes in our neighborhood on Christmas Eve. All the neighbors loved the idea and thought it was both a great addition to the seasonal lighting and way to celebrate the season together. Many families ended up helping in the efforts and shared their appreciation. We gave the funds that were raised to the House of Hope NC for their programs. - Skip and Erica Sizemore

Mina Supports Brain Tumor Center at Duke

I decided to rise to a challenge issued by Hope in October: to take a small sum of money, grow it, and then invest it in a good cause. After putting a lot of thought into it, I decided to register for the Angels Among Us 5K and to raise funds for a great cause. This is also a cause near and dear my heart as I had a brain tumor removed just this past fall. A few other folks have offered to take the journey with me and help raise money for the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center. I listed Hope as my first team donation on the paper form and have attached it as a picture.

Turning Talent Into Blessings for Nine Families

Our small group started out with about $110 for the Mina Project. We quickly decided that our project would be building holiday items out of pallet wood. One of our group members had built himself a pallet wood tree some years before and it seemed like a fun idea that would sell welll -- a good place to start. The pallet wood was free. Most of the work was pulling apart the pallets and then building the small and large trees. We sold small trees (3 feet tall) for $30, large trees (6 feet tall) for $50. We also painted Christmas trees on slats of pallet wood and sold those for $10 or 3 for $25. We had a very talented group member who came up with the idea of creating snowmen out of pieces of wood and we sold large ones for $30 and small ones for $15. We sold to friends, family and co-workers by word of mouth and on facebook. We also posted on local buy/sell/trade boards. A local gardening store offered to display our pieces and sell them for us. That was a huge win! We also set up shop at the Cary Farmer's Market on two different weekends to sell. We turned our $110 into almost $2,000. WOW! We were able to adopt two single moms through Hope for Christmas and provide gifts for them and their families as well as take care of some home projects for them. We also donated to three families with kids fighting illnesses/cancer, a family that lost everything in the hurricane, a woman needing emergency surgery, a family down on their luck and a group member's family member. All in all, Mina blessings went to nine families. We're so grateful our small talents turned into such big blessings for the community.

Mina Provides Much-Needed Gift Cards for Single Mom of Four

My husband and I received $40 for the Mina Project. We decided I would make cupcakes and sell them for the benefit of a young mother of four that I met at my kids' school one morning. It was clear that she was in need of help. We sold enough cupcakes to multiply our investment by 10 times yielding $420. It was an amazing experience. Many people chose to contribute rather than purchase cupcakes. We were able to give her gift cards to Target, Macy's and April's Braids and Beads before Christmas arrived!!

Mina Project Serves as Object Lesson for one Local Family

Me and my wife received $20 during the service. After pondering what we could do, we decided to make farmhouse style tables and sell them and use the money to purchase Christmas gifts for a single mother and her 5 children. We were able to sell several tables and through various other contributions, we ended up with $700 which we used to provide presents for the family. We were also able to have the family in our home and spend some time with them. Very rewarding experience for our family and a valuable lesson for our small children.

Mom of Teens Thankful to Give Back

Took the $10 and my two teenagers and made $180 to two different charities in Wake County. It was a blessing to us as a family as it was to the receivers of the gifts. Great idea and we are thankful!! Keep up the great work!!!

Walk Yields big Results for Disaster Relief

Our small group pulled our combined $80 to organize a walk on Dec. 31 at 9am. We were going to "Walk off 2016" and raise money for the NC Disaster Relief Fund to support Hurricane Matthew victims. We ended up with 16 walkers for a two-mile walk, raising more than $1,400 to give back to the community. Panera Bread of Garner donated bagels and coffee for the event. We had a great time and were blessed to be able to multiply what was given to us.

Mina Project Serves up More Than Food for Raleigh Rescue Mission

Our church challenged us to take $20 they gave us one Sunday in November and multiply it and give to someone in need before the end of the year: The Mina Project. We just completed our challenge today! We cooked and then served a sit down dinner for about 90 people in a homeless shelter. The kids did some stuffing, sealing and labeling of mailings for my firm then contributed their income to the project. We also set up a GoFundMe account for the first time and we want to say THANK YOU to Jeanne Og Jakob Eneby, Tony Guido Rossi Lundby, Anna Lee Baird, Robin Meehan, Cheryl Williams, Amy Jarrett and Wendy Jarett Scheid for supporting our project!!! We did the grocery shopping and reported to duty today at 2:30. We had a great teacher, Anthony, in their industrial kitchen to show us how it's done. I learned a lot from him today about cooking for a crowd. Normally they serve cafeteria style, but we wanted to do something special so we had Ellie Spencer as hostess, Abby, Simon Eneby Vistisen and John Spencer were servers, Luke and Jack Spencer were on the line and I was expediter. The guests seemed to get a kick out of us waiting on them! It was really a great experience for our family. We connected with some sweet people and had a wonderful time. We're all pooped tonight, though. We were hopping! We donated the food and labor for tonight's dinner and, with your help, made a donation of $600 to the shelter. That is enough to feed everyone there three meals a day for 1-2 days. Thank you Hope Community Church for spurring us into action. And thank you, friends, for your donations. We saw first hand that the Raleigh Rescue Mission does important work.

Homemade Crafts Provide Hurricane Relief for Haiti

Our small group made state sign cutouts and star cutouts with lights, as well as para cord bracelets. We made $578 which we are giving to the Hope for Haiti Foundation for hurricane relief.

Even Local Celebrities Love a Good Mina Project

Our Small Group received $430 in Mina money from Hope. Greg Fishel, chief meteorologist at WRAL and member of our small group, played golf in the dark with Dr. Jerry Markoch, band director at Athens Drive high school. They used lighted balls and flags to light up Raleigh golf Association the night of Nov 30. Friends and colleagues donated $2,595 to the Salvation Army's coats for the children

Mailbox Mina Benefits Single Mom

We raised $200 from the initial $20 that we received by painting and rehabbing mailboxes in our neighborhood. The kids pitched in going door-to-door and getting folks to make a donation. We gave the money to a single mom who worked at McDonalds that Sarah found.

Cookin' for a Cause

Cooking for a cause! I took the $20 Hope gave me and put it towards something I enjoy..baking. I made all kinds of baked goodies and shared my message. I was able to raise $100. I donated half to the Jimmy V foundation and the second half to the Alzheimer's Association, 2 two charities very near and dear to my heart. Thanks to Hope for this opportunity. Merry Christmas to all!

Couple Helps Animal Friends Through Mina Project

Right around the time of the launch of Mina Project, my husband and I went to volunteer at the Goathouse Refuge, a feline rescue in Pittsboro, NC. This rescue does everything possible to help rescued cats become healthy and find new homes, and is funded primarily by donations as well as money raised through art shows by the founder of the refuge. When the call went out for the Mina Project, we knew God was calling us to help the Goathouse Refuge. We decided to grow our Mina money through the sale of art in the spirit of the Goathouse Refuge. With the combined $60 we received as our Mina, we purchased paint and canvases and proceeded to paint personalized paintings of our friends' and classmates' pets, including dogs, cats, horses, and even a chameleon! In the end, we able to raise nearly $450 for the Goathouse Refuge. What was more, we were able to give special gifts for those who bought the paintings. Many of the paintings were memorials for pets who had passed away, or captured priceless memories of cherished animals to be given to parents or grandparents for Christmas. We were blessed to get to hear the stories of how meaningful these pets were, and connect with new classmates and co-workers through the Mina project. God is so good!

Sharing a Talent Reaps Unexpected Joy

Sharing my talent reaps unexpected joy (and $700)!

I received $20 at the Mina Service. I wasn't excited at first because we have done this project other times. I felt like I need to do something different or not at all. In the service I asked God to give me an idea if He really wanted me to do it. I instantly thought of how much people love their animals and thought it wasn't a bad idea.

I went home and did a sample of my dog to take to work. I hung it in my office and decided to let it speak for itself. Over the course of seven weeks, I did seven more paintings. I was able to raise $700 for the Raleigh Rescue Mission. I chose them because of the good work they are doing with the homeless and because they know how to multiply their resources to feed and shelter a maximum number of people.

What has been exceptional about this is the effect it has had on me. I have never sold my artwork and rarely have even given it away. It was a step of faith every time because I was worried about people liking the work I had done. The sharing felt like a major personal risk. The result was I had been given an opportunity to get to know several people at work that I did not know very well. By allowing me to be a part of something that is so personal to them, there was a new level of personal appreciation between us that I did not expect. I actually got to put my arms around people and share a little love with them over the joy they experienced in my art.

There is something about sharing the creative process that was an unexpected blessing to me, my co-workers and the Raleigh Rescue Mission and that's pretty amazing!

Blessing Others by Reaching Out

The Lord God trusted me with $100 of His money to build on for the Mina Project. The $100 Bill blew my mind first of all because it is not often I see that much money in one piece.

It took a while for me to figure out how to make this money grow. Not able to think of anything else to do, I decided to empty out my jar of coins, and ask friends and family members for donations. Notice I said I decided. I know it was the Lord working on me because I am not one to ask for anything from anyone. I did not ask because I expected no for an answer. For this project, I was able to raise $250 for a total of $350 with the Lord's help. With the help of Pastor Chris and his wife at Ship of Zion, I was introduced to two single parents in SE Raleigh. These were mothers who are struggling to make ends meet. I gave each of them a $150 Gift Card from Food Lion and $25 in cash. That was on Dec. 19. I must say, I think I got more of a blessing out of this than the ladies did. I have never seen such gratitude, or seen faces light up like theirs did. One lady even burst into tears, saying she didn’t think anyone cared.

I had a hard time reaching out and asking for donations, but the end results really warmed my heart. I thank God for using me! Charles P Gaulden

A Special Day for Special Needs

Our Holly Springs small group started with about $100 and decided to hold a cornhole tournament with a 50/50 raffle. God provided a beautiful, sunny December day and we were able to collect $360 for GiGi's Playhouse. GiGi's is a Down Syndrome Achievement Center and a valuable resource for families in our community!! We purchased four bookshelves for use in their literacy rooms and a Michael's gift card for supplies. We are excited to continue to partner with GiGi's in the future. Some of our kids are interested in volunteering in their programs!!! God is good!

A Little Effort Reaps big Rewards

This year my husband and I got $10 each for the Mina Project. The only skill that we could see as profitable was making a unique product: homemade flour tortillas. So, that's what we made and sold. We were able to make the money grow from $20 to $115. From the beginning we had set our hearts to help out House Hope of NC, a nonprofit based in Clayton. We are very happy with what resulted from a small effort.

Christmas Love Jars

We started with a Mina of $140. We created mason jars with cookie mix and homemade granola. We sold them for $8 each --$10 for granola with almonds. We ended up with $719 worth of clothes, winter jackets and toys for four kids at local elementary and middle schools.

Cornhole Tournament Provides Christmas Cheer to two Families

Our small group in Garner pulled our Mina money together, about $120. We held a cornhole tournament, established a GoFund me page and our youngest member held a bake sale to raise money for local children at Creech Road Elementary. We raised over $600! We provided clothes, shoes, coats & toys so five children could celebrate Christmas and feel God's presence. We were also able to give each family (two) a $100 gift card to Target. Thank you, Hope, for giving us the inspiration to spread God's Word to our community and allowing us to be God's servants. We are already excited about next year's annual tournament!

The Mina Project Creates new Christmas Tradition -- 1Ten

I multiplied the $10.00 x 10 and went out and gave it to the people at intersections or on the sidewalk in various denominations. I had the idea of forming a group for the next time and calling it "1Ten". From that "one ten" we multiplied and gave. I once heard that "it's the person that makes the sacrifice that gets the gift".....and that's so true.

Lighting up the Night in Memory of Young Girl

As a waitress at a local restaurant I came to know a sweet family with two young boys who would come into the restaurant every couple months or so. I remember when the mom was pregnant, then they had their daughter in a baby carrier, then she sat in a high chair. Then I saw on Facebook through a mutual friend that tragedy had struck their family. They found out their daughter who was about 2 at the time had a hole in her heart. She had surgery at UNC Children's Hospital, but unfortunately she passed away at the hospital this past summer from complications while recovering. I knew that their family made many sacrifices to remain at her side while she was there.

When we got the envelope for the Mina Project I knew exactly what we would do before we even pulled into our driveway on the way home. Our family waited till after Thanksgiving and passed out flyers to all the homes in our neighborhood with a short message about the Mina Project through Hope and about the family. We sold luminaries to raise money to help their family at Christmas time, inviting everyone to light them up on Christmas Eve as a memorial to her. We sold about 1,000 luminaries and turned our $20 into $1,150. A neighbor even gave us a turkey to give to them for Christmas dinner. I had a certified check made and anonymously gave them the check and the turkey and a letter that I wrote them. I told them we did a Mina Project through Hope Community Church and our family was praying for them, and I told them the name of our neighborhood so that on Christmas Eve they can take a drive through our neighborhood after dusk and see 1,000 luminaries lit up along our streets in memory of their sweet daughter.

Mina Family Festival Raises Money for Local Families in Need

Turning $80 into a fun, festive family festival to raise money for local families in need! Four friends decided to attend Sunday service together at the Apex campus on Oct. 23 when the Mina money was given out. Between the 4 of us, we received $80 total. We decided to team up together to do something incredible with the money we were entrusted with. Realizing that spreading the message of God’s love and goodness shouldn’t be limited to just this small group of friends, we began talking to others in our lives about ways we could multiply our Mina. It quickly became clear that our friends, families, and neighbors were meant to play a key role in making our plans for our Mina money a reality! For the recipient of our multiplied Mina money, we chose to “adopt” a family through Wake County’s Holiday Cheer program. We decided to take on a large family since we were hopeful we would have the funds needed to provide for them. After assembling a small planning committee, we got to work planning a fun-filled Christmas festival. By reaching out to our friends and family members, we were able to bring this incredible evening to life. Generous donations of an event venue, food, and supplies helped us set-up a magical event to bring members of our community together in the spirit of Christmas. This event allowed us to raise funds by selling refreshments, pictures with Santa, and ornaments. We also invited others selling small gifts and crafts for their own Mina projects to be vendors at our event. Since we had been paired with our family, we invited them to the event and provided their snacks and keepsakes free of charge so they could enjoy some Christmas fun! The children seemed to have a great time meeting Santa and enjoying some yummy treats. By the end of the night, we were blown away by the community’s generosity! We raised $400 at the event. In addition to the money raised at the event, generous co-workers and friends donated to our effort. An additional $500 was raised to help ensure we could provide all we could. This generosity allowed us to buy each of the 6 kids in the family 2 full outfits, socks, underwear, a hat/glove set, a heavy winter coat, a blanket, 2 toys, a book, pajamas, and a stocking. We were also able to provide the single mom with a winter coat, some small gifts, grocery gift cards, baby supplies, and a stocking. We were so honored to get to wrap and deliver these gifts to the family! We hope they feel loved and cared for by their surrounding community. In addition to providing for the family through the Holiday Cheer program, we also had enough money to donate to a friend who had her baby 3 months early. We were thrilled that we were able to help 2 families by multiplying our Mina money. We hope to make our festival an annual event so we can continue to meet the needs of local families during the Christmas season.

Furniture Restoration Leads to Abundant Generosity

This year my family went in with another family from Hope to combine our Mina money. We had $140 total. We decided to buy some used furniture and refinish it to sell. After we sold the furniture, we doubled our money. We used the money to buy socks and underwear for an organization called Note in the Pocket. They provide clothing to impoverished children of all ages in Wake County. Also, after sharing with co-workers about what we were doing, we had a chance to share what the Mina Project was all about. My co-workers also wanted to help and have donated money and clothing in addition to what we had to give to the organization. It was great to see how generosity spreads so quickly!

Move Over Bath and Body Works! Homemade Scrubs Make a Tidy Profit

Our group invested $30 to sell four-ounce jars of sugar scrub. Advertising on Facebook and neighborhood websites , we ended up with around $1,500! This money will be donated to a sweet family experiencing unexpected emotional and financial strains due to the premature birth and hospitalization of their new baby.

Flipping Clothing Makes a Tidy Profit Grow

I received $20 for Hope’s Mina Project and purchased some used clothing at a couple local thrift shops. I bought five items I knew would sell for a good profit. They sold within a month-and-a-half, making $120. I decided to give the money (a total of $140) to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (www.foodshuttle.org), “an innovative hunger-relief organization serving seven counties in and around the Triangle.” I designated that the money go to purchasing seeds to be used for next year’s crop, so that the gift could “keep on giving”, helping to feed those in need in our community.

Mina For Medical Bills

With the $10 I received at church, I purchased a 'Get Well Soon Card' and challenged a group of friends to fill the card with contributions via a Giving Tuesday campaign over the past few weeks. We raised $700! To God be the glory! The recipient is a close friend who suffered a concussion and traumatic brain injury nearly two years ago and has seen little to no improvement! She was already on disability and unable to work prior to the accident, with an insurance policy that covered little of her medical needs.

$10 Multiplies More Than 10 Times to Benefit Holly Springs Food Cupboard

With the $10 I received I purchased ingredients to make homemade dog treats then sold them to friends in my neighborhood. I donated the $120 profit to the Holly Springs Food Cupboard.

Cornhole Tournament

For our Mina Project, our small group came up with the idea to put on a cornhole tournament! The tournament was a huge success and we took our $40 and raised $500 for a great cause! One of my best friends works for Passage Home a nonprofit serving homeless families. Each year, they put together a Christmas "giving tree" drive so people can sponsor families to provide Christmas presents during the holidays. Our $500 provided gifts for mulitple families and we are beyond blessed by this project! Thank you!

Two Projects for the Price of One

Our small group in Holly Springs started out with $280. We did two projects. For the first we used the $280 to purchase enough fleece to make 60 blankets. As a group we made the blankets and then on Dec. 5 we visited an assisted living community in Raleigh. We brought cookies, sang Christmas carols with the residents and distributed the blankets to 60 residents. The second project was a raffle fund raising event. We raised $2,500 which we then distributed to five local families in need: 1) a family with five foster children, 2) a single mom with severe financial needs, 3) another single mom with severe financial needs 4) a single mom going through breast cancer treatment with severe financial needs 5) a family whose teenage son was hit by a car while on his motorcycle and is now a paraplegic. This family is now under financial stress due to medical bills, travel costs and living modifications that need to be made.

Use What you Know to Make Your Mina Grow

I got a $10 bill in my envelope this year. It took me awhile to come up with something. I just asked myself what am I good at that people want? I'm an esthetician, and most of my business is hair removal. So I decided to do a drawing for free hair removal for a year. Tickets were $20. I still have a week to go, but so far I've raised $600! I used the $10 to boost my Facebook post about the fundraiser. $400 went to the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford, NC, to help with Christmas gifts for the 77 kids there. $200 went to the Raleigh rescue mission for the kids' Christmas gifts. I've decided to make this an annual fundraiser :)

Good Eats, Good Music and a Good Time Supports Hurricane Matthew Victims

After receiving the Mina Project funds from Hope Community Church, our small group met and discussed how our we might use the Mina funds we received - a few hundred dollars - to show God's love to others. During that initial meeting and several thereafter, God began to do what He does best. Specifically, God inspired us to have a party - everyone loves a party - to which we would invite our friends and neighbors. Since Hurricane Matthew had wreaked such havoc on so many residents of Eastern North Carolina, we decided to host our friends and neighbors at no cost to them, feed them, provide some beverages and entertainment, and then ask them to contribute to local victims of Hurricane Matthew. Since God knew we needed a little help, He lead us to another small group, who agreed to partner with us, use their Mina funds (again, just a few hundred dollars), and provide delicious beef brisket for our guests. God then inspired 17 local blues legends to entertain our guests for three hours at no charge (other than some food and beverages). Also, God lead us to a brand new facility opened by Bond Brothers Beer Company in Downtown Cary, to provide us a room and beverages for our event. Finally, God put us in touch with the United Way Tar River Region - which serves Edgecombe and Nash Counties in North Carolina - which had a special fund set up specifically for Hurricane Matthew victims. On Dec. 10, we hosted our party at Bond Brothers Beer Company, and having built what God intended, our guests arrived, were entertained and fed, and then donated more than $10,000 to assist victims of Hurricane Matthew in in Edgecombe and Nash Counties. Praise be to God for not only allowing us to have a great time, but also allowing us to serve others at the same time.

Toys and joy From the Mina Project

I teamed up with my friend, Mike, who was hosting his annual Christmas party. We came up with the idea to give out a party favor to any guest who donated. We accepted cash donations and unwrapped toys. By the end of the night, the bin was overflowing with toys and we raised $250. I donated the toys to the Hope toy drive and donated the money to the local Toys for Tots. It was such a great experience and I am so thankful my fiends were so generous!

Mina Project Benefits "Shop With a Cop" for Knightdale Families in Need

Hello! My name is Becky Baylor and my husband and I live in Knightdale, NC. We worked with our Knightdale Small Group for our Mina Project. Together, we had $180. In the beginning stages, we knew we needed to find a way to multiply our money and mulled over many possible options. We immediately knew what to do after we raised the money. We knew that God was calling us to serve in our very own community of Knightdale. We wanted to partner with an organization that was already invested in the community, coming alongside them to bless their current work with extra funding this holiday season. I work at Hodge Road Elementary School with the most deserving, kind and diverse kids. 98% of my school is on free and reduced lunch meaning that their lunches are free due to challenging circumstances with their families and income. Most of my students do not speak English. Over 80% of our school is LEP (limited english proficiency)...the highest percentage in the state. We decided to partner with our local police department and their Shop with a Cop event. Knightdale Police Department has hosted Shop with a Cop for three years in a row, gradually increasing their funding and ability to serve more students in our community. This year, Lieutenant Guthrie, the powerhouse behind our local law enforcement's community involvement, worked with our school counselors to choose 12 deserving students from all 4 of our local elementary schools. LT Guthrie and the PD had raised enough funds for each child to shop at Target with $150. Our small group decided to raise extra funds in order to provide holiday meals prepared by Lowes Foods to each family this holiday season. Through our three wood design and wine nights, where friends came to our houses to paint wooden signs and sip on wine, we were able to raise nearly $1000. With this funding, we met with LT Guthrie and were able to RAISE the spending limit of every child from $150 to $200. We were also able to meet our original goal of providing a warm holiday meal to each family. When we told the moms and dads that we would be providing meals, they cried, hugged us and thanked us a million times. One of the families we were able to serve was without housing just last week. Mom was walking through a store and ran into what she calls an angel who is allowing them to stay with her until they can get back on their feet. Mom is overjoyed that she can now "give back" to her angel by sharing this holiday meal with her. We were able to shop with the students as they were loved on by the Knightdale PD. We served the families by wrapping all of their children's gifts. We are so thankful to our local police department and especially LT Guthrie for their dedication to meeting the needs of the families in our communities.

Mina Project: Cornhole for Creech Elementary School - Garner Edition

The Mina Project Brings Community Together, Creates "Hope for Alek"

This is the story of our Mina Project. "Hope for Alek." After we walked out of church the day we received our envelope with $10 in it. We sat at the table for lunch and discussed different options that we could do with this money. While sitting there my wife's and my cell phone started blowing up. Other friends were also brainstorming the same thing. Before long, a meeting was set up between about 10 families, and the plan was made. Alek Frank, a 14-year-old in our community, has a rare form of cancer. We decided he is who we would multiply our $220 for. This fundraiser had God's hand all over it. Every person and business, we approached, for donations, to buy raffle tickets, donate, or just pray was absolutely supportive. This small amount of money, in white envelopes, transformed into an amazing fundraiser, which came to reality on Dec. 3. That $220 turned into $5,000! This project and the "Parable of the Ten Minas" turned into a light that had nothing to do with money. I truly believe, the message in the Bible, is just an example of what a spark can do. It transformed, it turned entitlement into giving, it turned apathy into awareness, it turned desperation into Hope. A small envelope turned into a huge weight on the shoulders of all of us. There is a quote I believe sums it up. "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." ~Edward Everett Hale

Mina Project Provides Coats for Those in Need

Our family received $10 in "Mina Money." We looked for a need in the community and saw there was a need for warm coats as the weather gets colder. We were able to find a One Warm Coat drive that had already been set up by Salon Blu (three area locations). Their coat drive was set up to directly benefit those served by the Raleigh Rescue Mission. We posted to social media and asked friends and family to clean out their closets and donate any new or gently used coats. In return, we would put their name (one ticket for every coat donated) into a bag and draw one winner at the end of our drive. The winner would win a $10 gift certificate purchased with our "Mina Money." We are proud to say we collected and donated almost 25 coats which will definitely help keep members of our community warm this winter!!!

For an Aunt who Takes in Children, Mina Project Provides Christmas Blessing

My friend Tamekia's sister died in October and she bravely took custody of her four nieces. This in itself is a challenge, but she made just enough money to handle her own affairs, putting off other necessary items for her home until she could afford it. With the help of her church home/ group and coworkers, she was able to weather the transition. But when the Mina Project money was distributed, I immediately thought of Christmas for those four girls, along with her car and home issues that weren't "urgent." They are currently all staying in hotels and friends' houses as Tamekia's house is being repaired from mold, so who knows where Christmas will be? But at least they'll have presents! I raised money with a fundraiser and another single mom raised money by making and selling frozen meals. My single moms group then wrapped the presents and set up the stockings last Sunday. I will be delivering the presents and leftover money (all told the money was $850 with $330 cash to give her) sometime this next week.

Zumba Party

When we were given our Mina Project money a few years ago we started our project with ornaments and it didn't go as well as we had hoped. So we decided to host a Zumba party in the clubhouse of an Apex neighborhood. It was a great success and I think we raised around $800. When we were given the Mina Project this year we knew we wanted to do the Zumba party again and make it bigger and better! Hope's Apex campus graciously let us rent out the Middle School auditorium for the event. We created a flyer and eventbrite website and got to work. On the night of our event we had 60 to 70 people attend! Some went to Hope, some didn't and it was awesome! Between the donations and those attending we raised $2,500 for a a single mom with two children whose husband recently passed away. It was a great night and we hope to make this an annual event!

Mina Turns Hurricane Matthew Into an Unexpected Blessing for Widower. My husband and I teamed up with another couple in our small group to do our Mina Project. We decided that with our original amount of $20 we were going to make snowmen out of a couple of fallen trees left by hurricane Matthew and brownies to sell at a local high school's booster club fundraiser out in Chatham county. We sold the snowmen for $10 a piece and the brownies for $1 a piece. We wound up making $120 to give to our cause of choice, which was a family member of a Sanford attendee of Hope. The family member had lost his wife very recently and was now a single father that was about to go on disability right before his wife's unexpected passing. While we were not able to make a huge amount of money, our prayer is that we were able to show him love from God in the form of a stranger showing up.

Mina Feeds Homeless Veterans

Hello. I'm Melvina Croner. A member of Hope Community Church, Raleigh site. I work as a nurse at the Durham VA Medical Center, Durham NC. There are a lot of homeless veterans, young and old that come to their primary care and specialty appointments for care. Many are there all day, taking care of their appointments in order to cut back on travel expenses. They have no money to eat while there, so some patients with health issues like diabetes or cancer, etc., who require regular meals to keep their blood sugar in check or keep up their strength while they fight off cancer, don't get the nutrition they need. So many are hungry because of homelessness. I received $10 in my envelope. My coworkers joined in, increased to $50. For the Mina Project, the money was used to feed homeless veterans.

An Elegant Evening for a Great Cause

Our college guys small group took the $70 we collectively received and planned a bourbon tasting! The money went to buy food to prepare hors d'oeuvres. I'm originally from Kentucky, and donated some fine bourbons. We sold tickets for $30 each, dressed up in our finest, and served our guests samples of eight bourbons. We are thrilled to report we raised $960, which we decided to donate to the Raleigh Rescue Mission! Thanks to all who attended and supported us and to God for such a successful Mina project!! Mitch Dyer, Jack Ngangola, Miles Carr, Alex Lemus, Robert Sudkamp, Thomas Sessoms, and Tom Darrell

Crochet for Pediatric Brain Cancer Patients

My husband and I both received $10 in our envelopes. I crochet scarves, hats, and other cozy items. Using Facebook, we sold several items and used the Mina money for shipping orders to customers (I already had all the supplies needed for the items so there was no cost there). At the end of our project, we raised $200 which was donated to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation in Asheville, NC.

Wood Crafts for Moms in Need

We received $60 to invest in the Mina Project. Since my husband is a general contractor, we decided to use his wood-working talents and my crafting projects to make Christmas decor to sell. We made them out of donated pallets so that all we had to buy was the paint and a few craft supplies. I've attached a picture of one of the items. We made turned $60 into $385 and hope that the money can be used to help single moms buy gifts for Christmas!

Thank you for the blessing in trusting us to invest God's money for His kingdom!

Mina Project Benefits Women in Need

Hi, My name is Cher, I have been attending Hope-Holly Springs campus for about 2 years. I am not sure if I followed all of the rules of the mina project but I did my best.

I took my $10 and helped a charity called InterAct (they provide support and resources for domestic violence victims. Annually, they sponsor an event called Holiday Bazaar, which turns their office/shop into a store, where families come in and shop for gifts for Christmas for free.

I challenged my friends and family to donate at least $10 worth of items; clothes, shoes, costume jewelry and accessories. It may seem minor to some people but please remember most families literally have to leave their warm homes in the middle of the night with child in tow with no clothes, no shoes and must start all over.

I collected hundreds of items bags of lovely, elegant and useful clothing, the outpour was incredible. I plan to do a Mother's Day event to continue to help.

Thank you Hope for challenging us/me

Ask and you Will Receive! Mina Supports Food Cupboard

I was visiting Hope with my daughter & her family on the day the Mina Project envelopes were distributed. I honestly did not have time nor the creative mind to come up with a project to make or service to provide to earn funds. So my first thought was that I would just add my $10 to the $10 I was given in the envelope because 100% return is good, right?

However, I was inspired by Pastor Mike Lee's answer to the question of how his church gets so much funding to be able to do what they do, build a new campus, etc.. he said he simply asks. So, I decided to simply ask friends and family to add to the $10 I was given to grow the money more. I have a total now of $200 to donate, a 2000% return!

I will give this to the Holly Springs Food Cupboard to help feed our brothers and sisters who don't have the resources to stock their pantries like most of us do.

Thanks for this opportunity to be a part of something that makes a difference in a positive way!

Blessings to all,

Dianne Snyder

Crafty Mina Supports Food for the Hungry

I received $10 in my envelope. With my husband's help we cut some branches in our yard. I made wood slice ornaments and sold them at a craft show. The entry fee was $25 so after paying for that and a few materials, I made $131 at the craft show! My family and I are donating the money to Food For the Hungry.

From Wine Corks to Reindeer

My family and I each got an envelope with $10 in it for a combined $50. Jesus turned water into wine, and we turned wine into wine cork reindeer. We used our creative talents to come up with a happy little Christmas decor item that would make anyone's home more festive. We asked friends and family to donate their wine corks. Those corks -- coupled with a vision and a shopping trip to the craft store -- brought these wine cork reindeer to life. We encouraged our friends, and their friends, and our neighborhoods to deck their halls with one or gift one. We sold them for $5 each. One of our favorite parts was the time spent together to create them. We sold more than 100 wine cork reindeer in a weekend and are excited to give back to the community and God that gives us so much. Cheers!

Teacher Uses Mina to Spread Christmas Cheer

My small group started with $70.00. We spent $5.00 to advertise for a yard sale and made $860.00. I teach at a public school located in Southeast Raleigh. My small group and I used the money to buy Christmas gifts for six students, kindergarten through fourth grade, who are less fortunate. We will deliver the gifts and share the Christmas story and the love of God with these families.

"Operation School Lunch" in Full Swing Now

Our goal with Operation School Lunch is to provide hot school lunches for the elementary school children of Wake County. If you have listened to the news or read articles online, you may have heard of children with a delinquent or zero balance on their lunch, as a result, they aren’t receiving hot lunches. In some school districts they replace the hot lunch either with either cold lunch or a “milk and apple bag”. The food is often discarded due to sanitation guidelines. After hearing these stories, we wondered about our local schools. Are there children that go without lunch, or get a replacement lunch? If so, how many?

We are raising money to create a lunch account to cover any elementary student who needs a hot school lunch at Dillard Drive Elementary School. After talking to the appropriate people at the school, we discovered they give a good amount of replacement lunches. Our goal is to feed 20 students for 1 week. Once we surpass our goal, we will either continue to fund this lunch or support another Wake County school.

We are hosting a drawing for several items. The Relaxation drawing includes a $25.00 gift card to Barnes and Noble and $10.00 to Starbucks. We also have a drawing for a Tiffany & Co. bead bracelet. To enter, visit our site. You can visit our website.

Mina Gives the Gift of Time

Hope in Sanford small group decided to raffle our time! We sold more than 100 tickets and raised $540. The winner gets four hours of our time to use toward handyman repairs, housework, decorating, raking or whatever the need is. The icing on the cake is that the winner of the drawing last night has chosen to donate her ticket. So instead of helping at her home, we'll spend the donated hours at one of the homeless shelters in Sanford!

Combined with the Mina money we received, we now have $640 to put back into the community. On Black Friday we bought $500 worth of blankets for $100. These will be given to homeless next Tuesday night, along with pizza, drinks and dessert. The remainder of the money will be used to randomly help those we find in need between now and Christmas.

Small Mina Yields big Rewards for the Giver and the Gift

When Mike announced the Mina project I was one of those people who wanted to drop the money in the donation box on my way out. As a newly single, new mom of a baby, I had a rough year & felt woefully inadequate to grow anything for God. But when I was shopping for a coat for my son Malachi, God showed me how blessed I was to be able to provide for my son and placed it on my heart to do a coat drive. I used my $10 to buy a really big box and decorate it with lots of baby handprint turkeys. I introduced myself to my new neighbors as I handed out flyers and found needs in my community that I can address through prayer and small acts of kindness. I prayed for God to multiply the one coat I donated and today, I counted more than 50 coats that I'll be able to drop off at the Salvation Army! I hope the donation will bless those in need, but I know this project has already blessed me tremendously. When I felt like I had nothing to offer God showed me that He still can use me as long as I'm willing to show up. Thank you for this opportunity!

Mason Jar Mixes Provide Christmas for Families

Our small group decided to make and sell cookie mixes in mason jars. The money went directly to children and their families in need during the holiday season. We "adopted" four students (two each from two different elementary schools) and bought them winter clothing and some gifts for Christmas. The rest of the money was donated to middle school students in need. We were able to make close to 100 mason jars and raised $500 to go toward the children.

From Fear to Praise - and Pies

My husband accidentally grabbed an extra envelope (LOL) for the Mina Project, so we ended up with $30 between us. To be honest with you, I freaked out inside. I was frozen by fear of failing and asked God to help me with that and well, just help me. I really love to cook, so in the end it was obvious that I use that talent. I posted on NextDoor (neighborhood app) selling pies for Thanksgiving. My husband was the delivery boy ;) So far we have increased the money 150%. I am praying God will help me increase it further. I am so thankful He is faithful!!!!

A Small Mina Reaps big Increase for the Rescue Mission

I am new to Hope and have been attending for a few weeks now based on the recommendation of a friend.

I received $20 for the Mina Project and was able to grow that seed investment into $146 through a small fundraising project. This morning I made a $146 donation to the Raleigh Rescue mission.

The Mina project impacted me in several ways. First, I was proud that I was able to be a good steward of the funds invested in me and able to grow those funds to make a larger impact on the community.

Second, the Mina project placed me in situations where I had to talk about and share my faith with others. As a private person, this is an area that has been uncomfortable for me in the past.

Finally, the project helped me realize that we are all responsible for growing our relationship with God. He has invested in us and it is our responsibility to grow those investments through our actions and words and relationships with others.

Pancakes and Pajamas

This started as an event that a few friends, neighbors were going to volunteer / help my husband and me with as we sponsor a different organisation each year. When the Mina envelopes were passed out, it grew to so much more. Now we are a mix of four small groups, friends, neighbors, Hope family and local businesses joining us to bring some blessings to the Women's Center of Wake County.

Dec. 3, with a crew of 20 volunteers -- we will have fresh pancakes cooking on griddles, a toppings bar, drink station, dining tables and activities such as a bounce house, Duck Donuts, face painting, photo ops, craft table and a reindeer food station. Over $750 in raffle prizes! It took some planning, some money, and some people donating their time and their hearts and because of it -- the Wake County shelter will be stocked with gifts for the kids and money for items like bus passes and clothing.

MinaCon, We put the FUN in Fundraiser!

We hosted a tabletop game night fundraiser called MinaCon with 100% of the proceeds going to foster care and group homes. There will be many fun games available for play including the #1 rated social game - Two Rooms and a Boom. We provided free snacks and drinks for everyone as well as some great prizes to raffle away! We raised $250 with game and toy donations to donate as well.

MudLOVE For Matthew

I just launched a fundraiser in partnership with MudLOVE. I had $10 and added an additional $90 for th $100 setup fee. These NC-inspired products will provide funds to the NC Community Foundation to provide mid/long term support to those effected by flooding from hurricane Matthew.

Lovin' from the Oven

What an amazing experience! Our family received $80. We used it to buy ingredients to make granola bars (aka Bobby Bars). We posted our fundraiser on Facebook, emailed our kids' sports teams at MCHS and told our neighbors. We made A LOT of granola and raised $700!

With this money we purchased a GE Profile double wall oven. Found it on Craigslist! Was under a year old and the owner didn't like black and wanted stainless steel! It was perfect for the family we were helping!

Bob and I went over Saturday! Bob had to reconfigure the cabinet, but he made it a custom fit and it looks beautiful! This family was so appreciative! You see, they had been without an oven for a year. It's been difficult as the husband/dad has been dealing with cancer for some time! She texted and told me they made all kinds of cookies yesterday and loved her new oven!

God is so good!

Bob, Lori, Bobby, and Megan Marschewski

Cocoa for Flood Victims

Our daughter, Olivia, hosted a hot cocoa stand to raise money for the people who are still suffering and in need from the hurricane/flooding. She did a great job with her stand by simply asking for donations and sharing the flyer about the Mina Project. She raised $110 we'll send to the victims!

Soap for Hope

My two daughters started their own soap making business last year to earn extra spending money for themselves. For my Mina Project, I decided to "borrow" their business. I used the $10 that I received to purchase soap making supplies (making to most of my funds with a 55% off coupon at Michael's!) After posting on various Facebook sites and sharing my cause with my coworkers, I have been able to multiple my $10 to over $200 and I'm not done yet! I have decided to gift the funds to a friend of mine that was in a previous small group with me. She is a single mother of four (one of which has special needs and is wheelchair bound) who works multiple jobs (and attends nursing school) to support her children. She is fighting many legal battles to receive child support from her ex-husband, who was abusive. She suffers from Lupus herself yet she is a competitive triathlete. She is an inspiration and a survivor. Despite her struggles, she gives God the glory for how far He has brought her. I would like to surprise her with money this Christmas to be able to do something special for her children!

Trick or Treat so Others Eat

Our family decided to take our $10 and use it for the food pantry but we figured since Halloween was around the corner, we would "trick or treat so others can eat." We took fliers around the neighborhood a week before Halloween informing our neighbors that we would be collecting cans. Tonight we collected over 50 items and more keep coming in! God is good!

Helping a Young Mother

Meet Rosa! She's displaced from her family, living with my neighbors upstairs. She's having a baby with my neighbors brother, who unfortunately is unemployed. She's only 20 years old and unemployed as well. They don't have much and there are 13 people, including five children under the age of 10, all living in a two-bedroom apartment above us (my husband, our daughter and me).

Before service today I was telling my mother how I would love to do something for her but we're on a budget ourselves. At the end of service, Pastor Mike spoke about the Mina story and then the envelopes were passed out. I immediately began to cry because I knew this was God answering my request. Between my mother and I we were given $40.

I was on a mission to help Rosa! I called her and she said they still needed a car seat and stroller. So I called a local consignment store for children and they referred me to Kid to Kid, right there in Crossroads. We went inside, found the car seat, but didn't have enough for a stroller. I got to the register to pay and see that gorgeous stroller and asked how much were they selling it for and she said it was a donation and they couldn't sell it.

I told them about Rosa and asked it they'd donate it to us for her. My daughter then added three onesies. I went to pay and my total... $40. Altogether, we received the car seat, stroller and onesies for $40. I researched the stroller and it's retailed for, at the least, $400. Thank you so much for helping me help someone else. - Nikoe Williams

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