When you think of holidays and giving back to those in need, you probably immediately think of Thanksgiving or Christmas, right? Being thankful, giving gifts and giving to others just seem to go hand in hand. Well, there are many churches in the OKC metro area making October a season of giving back as well.
The last week of September through the end of October always means pumpkins for my family. Not just because the stores are bursting with Halloween decorations, costumes and candy, but also because our church, St. Matthew United Methodist in Midwest City, hosts a Pumpkin Patch and Pumpkin Festival to raise money for local mission projects. Members of the congregation, young and old, work together to unload a semi-truck full of pumpkins, set up the patch and take turns selling pumpkins all to help others in the community. The profits made from the sale of pumpkins and the Pumpkin Festival are distributed in the Mid-Del area by grants to agencies that help others in need. Last year, profits from the patch provided grants totaling $14,750 to organizations including Infant Crisis Services, Mid-Del Youth and Family Services, Mid-Del Schools Homeless Program, Mobile Meals and more.
The St. Matthew Pumpkin Patch offers pumpkins and gourds of all shapes, sizes and colors as well as hay bales. You can stop by to shop for pumpkins, take photos in the patch or schedule a story time for your group in the Punkin Seed Theater.
The second Saturday in October especially exciting because the church hosts a Pumpkin Festival. Activities at the festival include inflatables, children’s games, face painting, a bake sale, musical entertainment from local groups and shopping opportunities from gently used books, toys and other items to handcrafted objects and a silent auction.
There are several church-run, non-profit pumpkin patches throughout the OKC metro area that help support mission projects and various charitable organizations. When you purchase your fall pumpkins from one of these patches, you can be sure that you are not just getting a great pumpkin; you are helping others in need.
Where to Go (through October 31):
- St. Matthew United Methodist Church (300 N Air Depot, Midwest City) benefits local mission projects in the Mid-Del area. Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, noon-8pm. 732-6831, www.stmatthew.org.
- Southern Hills Christian Church (3207 S Boulevard, Edmond) benefits the church’s Children’s and Youth programs as well as Habitat for Humanity. Open 10am-7pm daily. 341-0766, www.southernhillschristian.org.
- McFarlin United Methodist Church (419 S University, Norman) supports adult choirs and student ministries. Monday-Saturday, 9:30am-7pm; Sunday, noon-7pm. 321-3484, www.mcfarlinumc.org.
What to Do:
Pumpkin Festival at St. Matthew United Methodist Church (300 N Air Depot, Midwest City) includes pumpkin patch, crafts, rummage sale, silent auction, bake sale, children’s games and crafts, inflatables, concessions, entertainment and more. Proceeds benefit local missions and non-profits. Admission is FREE, children’s activities require tickets available for a minimal cost. 9am-4pm. 732-6831, www.stmatthew.org.
FREE PumpkinFest at Choctaw United Methodist Church (1200 N Choctaw Rd, Choctaw) features snacks, games, inflatable toys and live music for everyone. Children (senior in high school and younger) may pick out a pumpkin to take home while supplies last. 1-4pm. 390-8151, www.choctawumc.com.
FREE Fall Festival at Church of the Servant (14343 N MacArthur) features carnival games, moon bounce, giant slide, cakewalk, bingo, clowns and more. Donations for Infant Crisis Services will be received. Food available for purchase. 6-8:30pm. 721-4141.
FREE Fall Festival at Council Road Baptist Church The Cube (7903 NW 30th, Bethany) features inflatables, petting zoo, pony rides, fire engine, food available for purchase, face painting, photo booth and drawings for prizes. All proceeds and donations go to the Boys Ranch Town in Edmond. 10am-2pm. www.councilroad.org.
And for Fall Fun events of all kinds, visit our 2012 Fall Fun Guide.