Cows came to mind when Linda Kovacs and Carole Butler’s fifth grade Sunday School class at Friendship United Methodist Church decided to go beyond prayer to help people in need.
They’d learned that Heifer, an international organization, depends on cows to end hunger and poverty. By giving families a hand-up — not just a hand-out — Heifer hopes to empower them to achieve self-reliance and hope. With gifts of livestock and training, families improve their nutrition and generate sustainable income. In exchange, the families agree to give one of their milk cow’s calves to another family in need, creating a network of hope.
The 10- and 11-year-olds made it their goal to raise $500, enough to buy one cow.
To cheer them on, Friendship United Methodist Pastor Byron Brought promised that if they met their goal, he would dress up in a cow costume and treat them all to ice cream.
Inspired, the nine kids more than doubled their goal, raising $1,200, enough to buy two cows. That’s all the more amazing as their fund-raising campaign was a contest to name Pastor Brought’s cow. Name submissions cost $1, with many parishioners donating more. Winning names were Cheez Steak, offered by Emily Anderson of Owings, and Byronita, offered by Dacey Collinson of Friendship.
On March 13, Pastor Brought kept his promise by parading around the church campus as Byronita. The congregation then celebrated with ice cream.
“We’re so happy,” said Sunderland Elementary fifth-grader Jonathan Wilkerson, 10. “Pastor Byron looked too cool as a cow!”