PET MO-Columbia update 10/21/13

Goal to date: 1512 Actual to date: 1470

*** PET went to a party Saturday and 3,000 persons came. The party-goers
represented 29 faith groups in Missouri, and the party was called The
Festival of Sharing. Each fall (third weekend in October) those folks gather
to celebrate the harvest and to bring about $1,000,000 worth of items and
money to help the poor and disenfranchised of Missouri and the world. The
event is about 35 years old.

A part of the excitement of the day is the youth involvement, with a
record 569 youth in attendance. The youth provide most of the muscle for the
Festival. They gather on Friday for classes on world poverty/hunger, and to
physically prepare the setting for the Festival. On Saturday they were the
legs and muscles for getting things done.

Here are some things I saw Saturday:

  • Three PETs and a promotional booth headed by Roger Hofmeister and Don O’Bannon.
  • Youth sorting and packaging thousands of school kits, layettes, prison kits, health kits, and a wide variety of other such kits.
  • Youth packaging tons of rice and beans into 2# packages for delivery to Missouri food banks.
  • The loading of a 53′ semi-trailer with clean-up buckets, kits and other items for Church World Service delivery overseas and in the USA.
  • Dozens of inspirational and educational booths promoting mission projects across the nation and around the world.
  • Booths selling Fair Trade products that guarantee a fair wage to the native craft persons who make them.
  • Two goats promoting Heifer Project.
  • A long table of volunteers sorting vegetable seed packets for distribution to garden projects.
  • A colorful parade of the flags of all 29 faith groups.
  • Church food booths providing nourishment for the crowd. I bought my ham sandwich from some PET volunteers from Hallsville who each year have a booth.
  • Hundreds of absolutely beautiful quilts made by church quilting groups. The money from the sale of the quilts is used to buy sturdy CWS blankets at $5.00 each for refugees.
  • A long line of trucks and trailers, picking up donated food and paper items for food banks all over Missouri.
  • 3,000 wonderful people working together without any regard at all for denominational affiliation or lack of it.
  • A wonderful fellowship among friends who make the Festival a must-go annual pilgrimage. I was privileged to meet many folks with whom I have worked for years. One fellow said, “I almost did not come today, but I knew you would be here.”

All that, and much more.




“A child is not a thing to mold, but a person to unfold.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Mel West

(P.S. In case you didn’t remember or know, Mel also started this event 25+ years ago. Another one of his babies. Attached are a couple of pictures from 2009. Kathy)

101_1412 Festival sorting and 2009

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