Youth group rounds up some assistance for relief efforts overseas
by Bob Hart
EMPORIA — “There’s a Catholic cow in our yard!” boasted 3-year-old Audrey Scheeley to strangers in the grocery store last week.
The odd remark from the sweet little girl drew predictable smiles and laughter. But, as it turns out, little Audrey knew what she was talking about.
A “Crazy Cow” had indeed shown up on the Scheeley lawn — the result of a fundraising project conceived by Emporia’s Sacred Heart Parish youth director Cindy Roush to raise funds for Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
Inspired by a package of creative fundraising ideas she’d received in the mail, Roush took two clip art cows, enlarged them many times over, and then tapped some help for stage two.
“My husband Kent cut out the cows and did a base paint on them,” Roush said. “Then we had the Sacred Heart youth group do the final painting.”
Since then, Roush has been busy sneaking around town, planting the “Crazy Cows” in the yards of unsuspecting parishioners. The way the fundraising works is simple:
• For $5, a parishioner (or anyone else in town) can send a “Crazy Cow” to the yard of their choice.
• For $10, those waking up to a cow on their lawn can have the intruder removed — and decide where it goes next.
• For $15, anyone can choose to be “vaccinated” — the only sure-fire way to keep his or her lawn cow-free through April 5.
“We had no idea how it would go over,” Roush said. “But the parish has just loved it, as has the community.”
Roush said the idea sprang from a desire to try new, fresh ideas for involving students in charitable activities.
“We already had a ‘Homeless Night’ set up, and we do the Rice Bowls, of course,” she said. “But we just thought we could try something fun and different and see how it went. It’s been so popular, we may do more than two cows next year.”
The Lenten fundraiser, which began March 1, will continue through April 5. While the youth group has been the prime moo-ver behind the activity, no one’s been left out of the fun.
“We’re still doing it, and it’s a lot of fun,” said 6th-grader Noah Deere. Noah is too young at this point to be a member of the youth group, but looks forward to joining when he’s old enough.
“We’re helping get food for people who don’t have very much,” he said.
The fundraiser, which brought in more than $500 in its first week alone, is clearly a big success for Roush, but she’s quick to share the credit.
“It was [parishioner] Linda DeDonder who thought of CRS as the beneficiary,” Roush said. “And [parish staff member] Marilyn Krueger has been printing out all the pictures of people with the cows in their yards and sending them out to them.
“And, of course, without the generosity of the parish and the community, we wouldn’t be having the success we’re having.”
Those wishing to help support CRS in the name of Sacred Heart Parish may send donations to: Cindy Roush, Youth Director, Sacred Heart Church, 101 Cottonwood, Emporia KS 66801. Checks should be made payable to Sacred Heart Church, with Catholic Relief Services or CRS written in the memo line.
Where the cow cash goes
Catholic Relief Services helps fund development projects to increase food security in communities in over 40 countries around the world. CRS helps farmers improve crop yields; encourages the growth of small businesses; provides basic health and nutrition services; and addresses the needs of people affected by HIV and AIDS.
Twenty-five percent of contributions go to support hunger and poverty alleviation efforts in dioceses in the United States. For more information, visit the Web site at: http://crs.org.