On June 1, 2014 River Oaks celebrated God’s blessing on the church as we celebrated our 25th anniversary! We set a goal to raise $25,000 and asked 185 volunteers to help with projects that would give back and bless the organizations and ministries that gave us a ‘roof over our heads’ in our formative years as well as blessing Children’s Lifeline in Haiti; a ministry that has become so important to us today in allowing us to serve ‘the least of these’.
The History Behind the Project
On the first Sunday in June of 1989, the First Evangelical Free Church of Elkhart (soon to become River Oaks Community Church) held its first public service at Mary Beck Elementary School with 70 in attendance. The core group met at Youth For Christ’s Lifeline facility every Sunday night through the summer of 1989 to discuss and decide on the major ministry philosophy of the church. Over the next 2 ½ years the church attendance grew to 250 and needed to find a different facility to meet in. The Elkhart YMCA was River Oak’s second home. From January 1992 through September 1993 the YMCA was our church home and attendance grew to over 500. During those years, finances were raised to purchase land and construct our own facility. In September of 1993 River Oaks relocated to its present facility.
The Financial Goal: Raise $25,000 by June 1
We exceeded this goal with a total of $31,821 raised!
- $5,000 was given to Mary Beck School to purchase three “Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention kits”
- $5,000 was given to The Elkhart Youth and Community Center (formerly the YMCA of Elkhart) to purchase summer camp equipment
- $10,000 was given to Kids Against Hunger for food supplies for the Haiti Pack-a-Thon
- $5,000 will be given to Children’s Lifeline to assist with current ministry needs
- The remaining dollars will go to Children’s Lifeline as an unrestricted gift
The Volunteer Goal: Around 200 volunteers helped on May 31!
- Close to 200 volunteers gathered at River Oaks to combine and package ingredients during the Haiti Pack-a-thon. For the morning we were all a part of the ‘food industry’. In 90 minutes we packaged 42,768 meals in 198 boxes on 6 skids! This food will all be shipped to Kentucky and then the US Military will ship the skids to Children’s Lifeline in Port Au Prince, Haiti.
- 15-20 volunteers gathered for general clean up, trash removal and painting at The Elkhart Youth and Community Center. The group also went above and beyond to purchase flowers and mulch to beautiful the EYCC grounds.