Florida Businesses Come Together for Good
Photography courtesy of Twelve Churches
There’s plenty of good news to report from Good News United Methodist Church in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida! Its members came together over the 2019 holiday season for a charity campaign in partnership with Twelve Churches ministry based in Tallahassee. Northwest Florida business leaders started the fund-raiser along with Chris Smith, the executive director of Twelve Churches. Aptly named Nourish Nicaragua, the campaign supports Campo Sagrado, an eleven-acre farm in Nicaragua.
Twelve Churches founded Campo Sagrado in 2018 to help people in and around the city of León, especially children, by growing food to distribute through the ministry’s six feeding centers located at partner churches in Nicaragua. Nutritious meals and worship activities feed the local children both physically and spiritually.
“In Nicaragua, childhood malnutrition is epidemic, so we strive to feed as many children as possible in the communities in which we serve,” said Jason Beer, Twelve Churches board member and owner of Pizza by the Sea in Santa Rosa Beach and Miramar Beach, Florida. “The more our farm produces, the more children we can feed—it’s really that simple.”
Planning the Nourish Nicaragua fund-raiser was a community effort spearheaded by Good News churchgoers and local business owners Kirby Williams of Shoreline Title, Margie Perry and Kristen Foley of Beau Interiors, Jason and Kristi Beer of Pizza by the Sea, and Jason and Anna-Lisa Daniel of Clay30A Garden and Gifts. The Beers, Williams, and Jason Daniel had visited Campo Sagrado and seen the needs of its workers and local churches firsthand. Meanwhile, Foley says, “We try to focus our giving on our core values as a company, and feeding children is something that’s close to our heart,” so Beau Interiors was eager to help. These businesses pledged to match up to $15,000 in donations from the community, church members, and their online fund-raiser at NourishNicaragua.com.
"After being on a mission trip with Twelve Churches and actually working on the farm and seeing the needs at the feeding centers, it was easy to support this farm that provides for the children around León.”
“After being on a mission trip with Twelve Churches and actually working on the farm and seeing the needs at the feeding centers, it was easy to support this farm that provides for the children around León,” Daniel says.
The farm, whose plowing methods previously involved its workers getting into a harness to pull the plow manually, needed a utility vehicle that would make that process much safer and more effective. The funds will also allow workers to build a shelter in the middle of the field. It will not only provide much-needed shade and a place to rest during hot days but will also be occupied by round-the-clock security, as food theft is common at the farm overnight.
Another initiative in the future for Campo Sagrado is building a greenhouse so the farm can produce food crops year-round. It currently produces plantains, guavas, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, bananas, squash, watermelons, eggs, and more.
“It was so great that Kirby and Jason Daniel recognized those needs, and that by combining campaign efforts through four local businesses, we were able to multiply the results and raise more for such a good cause.”
“It was so great that Kirby and Jason Daniel recognized those needs, and that by combining campaign efforts through four local businesses, we were able to multiply the results and raise more for such a good cause,” says Foley.
Thanks to overwhelming support from the community, the campaign reached its goal well ahead of schedule, with a total of over $24,000 (as of print date) since it began in November 2019.
“At Twelve Churches, we are extremely grateful that God provided generous individuals who answered the call to assist our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters in Christ,” says Jason Beer.
“The South Walton area has been blessed economically in recent years,” Williams adds. “People here are happy to learn about ways to pass on our blessings. When your dollars help ensure that 275 children get at least one nutritious daily meal, it’s a joy to give.”
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You can still donate to the Nourish Nicaragua fund-raiser by visiting NourishNicaragua.com. Learn more about Twelve Churches’ mission trips and other initiatives, including Campo Sagrado, at TwelveChurches.org. To support these local businesses doing good around the globe, stop by Beau Interiors (BeauHomeInteriors.com), Pizza by the Sea (PizzabytheSea.com), Clay Garden and Gifts (Clay30a.com), and Shoreline Title (ShorelineTitleLLC.com).