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Garage sales, piggy banks add up to $2 million donation for Bayside

Funds will go to 31 local charities
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Imagine a teenager saving up to buy her first car, and then giving all that money away.

That's what Danielle Golson, 14, recently did when she donated the $1,200 in her car fund to Bayside Church in Granite Bay for its Compassion First Campaign.

Thousands of church members - the exact number is still being calculated - participated in the effort, raising $2 million in seven weeks for 31 nonprofit organizations.

"I just really felt God talked to me and was telling me to give up the money to the church," said Golson, who is a freshman at Granite Bay High School. "I think saving lives in Africa is more important than my own wants and needs."

Citrus Heights resident Claudia Diaz and her family held a garage sale to raise money for the campaign. They ended up donating $185.

"We participated to help the children in Africa and (Cambodia)," Diaz said.

Some of the campaign funds will go to Agape International Missions to help fight sex-trafficking of children in Cambodia, and money will go to groups such as World Vision that battle poverty in African countries.

Bayside's Pastor of Outreach Rev. Jim Holst said his church believes it has a responsibility to reach out a helping hand to the larger community. This philosophy inspired the campaign.

"We're called out to do that," Holst said. "We should be caring, compassionate people and we should be that way as individuals and we should be that way as a church."

He said Bayside, which regularly draws 10,000 to 12,000 at its weekend services, is known as a church that extends beyond its own walls. They believe in being internally strong by providing services and resources for members, while also keeping an eye on needs in the outside world.

During services Sunday, April 29, children and teenagers added their piggy banks of cash and coins - held inside Pringles cans and Ben and Jerry's ice cream containers - to a growing pile for the campaign.

"The best thing is that young kids put notes on their neighbors' doors saying they're raising money for those not as fortunate as us," Holst said. "They did yard work, babysitting ... it wasn't just money from their parents."

The $2 million pledged will help fund local charities, including Acres of Hope, Cycles 4 Hope, Union Gospel Mission, North Roseville REC Center, Mercy Ministries and Powerhouse Ministries.

The Compassion First Campaign also involves a serving component with hundreds of people signing up to volunteer at the Salvation Army and Powerhouse Ministries, which both serve the homeless, and as tutors for low-income students through Reading Partners.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.