The Big Give graces Cornwall with charity

Shawna O'Neill, Special to TC Media 
The Big Give graces Cornwall with charity
Chelsea Looyen enjoys volunteering with her church

CORNWALL, Ontario – On Saturday, June 2, three churches in the city participated in The Big Give. Attendees could donate or take from a rummage sale, and services were provided by hairdressers, a nail technician and a massage therapist.

“We like to take advantage of opportunities to bless the community,” said Miia Naugler, The Big Give coordinator for the Harvest Christian Fellowship. “We thought this would be a great opportunity to do that. So everything was free. People like to give when they’re getting something. They have a hard time just being blessed without feeling that they have to contribute something back.”

Naugler is a member of the Harvest Christian Fellowship and has been organizing The Big Give at her church for the last four years. The church had over 20 volunteers helping with this year’s event.

According to Naugler, Immanuel Christian Reformed Church has also been participating in The Big Give for the last four years, and The First Baptist Church of Cornwall participated for the first time this year. This year 130 churches participated across Canada.

“One of the great things about this event is people were able to get some of their practical needs met with furniture and appliances, but there were also a lot of things that people want like toys and clothes – just things that a lot of us take for granted. We can receive blessing and we can give blessing and I think that’s something people tend to forget,” said Naugler.

Chelsea Looyen, 11, a volunteer at The Big Give, also volunteers with the church’s media team and children’s group, and she has spearheaded a Bible study group at her elementary school. Looyen said she loves her church and likes to take initiative whenever possible.

Naugler believes that teaching practical skills to children within the church is essential for life experience. Children have the opportunity to volunteer within a multimedia team and at a café, located in the church. 

“I think it’s important for the community to have opportunities for people to be generous with what they have, and with their time. But it’s also important for people to be able to receive that generosity,” said Naugler.

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