Category Archives: Love Makes Cents

Love Makes Cents 2017

By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Creative Arts Director

Woodland Hills Church


For a number of years, we have used the month of February in Heroes Gate to give kids the opportunity to show Christ-like love to kids around the world through giving.  Children kindergarten-6th grade each receives a cardboard bank box he/she can use for collecting donations, and preschoolers are encouraged to visit the LMC table in the hallway between preschool and elementary to pick up a box if they want to help.

Over the years, we’ve partnered with several ministries that are doing amazing work in the lives of kids in Haiti, Rwanda, Costa Rica, and Mexico.  This year, we’re returning to our partnership with Living Hope International’s Esperanza Viva Youth Homes in Mexico.  These ministries, located in the cities of Puebla and Matamoros, provide 24/7 care and love to children and youth whose families can no longer care for them.  Many of the children at Esperanza Viva have had to endure life on the streets, abuse and rejection by family members, and neglect and malnutrition.  Arriving at Esperanza Viva, they are enveloped by people who show them the love of Christ, provide them with an education, and care for their needs.  Many of the more than 500 children who have called Esperanza Viva home over the years have gone on to post-secondary school and/or gone into ministry work.

In 2015, we partnered with Esperanza Viva through Love Makes Cents to purchase new bedding, blankets, and pillows for the kids there.  The kids raised an amazing $1,622.48 that year over the course of the four weeks of February!  Here are some pictures we received afterwards of the kids enjoying their new bedding.


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This year, we’re excited to help Esperanza Viva purchase some new mattresses as well as 15 bicycles for the kids to use as they get exercise and enjoy time outdoors.  We’re encouraging the kids of Heroes Gate to help us raise money to buy the “beds and bikes” in a variety of ways including sacrificing from their own piggy banks, doing extra chores around the home or for family members, or even selling some of their old toys.  An additional way we are encouraging kids to consider giving is through a matching partnership with you!  We would love it if you would prayerfully consider matching whatever donations your child is able to raise this month.  It would be an excellent way to not only encourage your child to give, but it would be an example to them of sacrificial giving on your part, as well.

If you have questions about Love Makes Cents or our partnership with Esperanza Viva, you can contact Patrick Showers at

Last Call for Love Makes Cents Banks!

We took the February Love Makes Cents donations to the bank yesterday and, though we can’t reveal the total just yet (waiting to surprise the kids on Sunday), we CAN say Heroes Gate kids and families are incredibly generous!  We are so proud of the way our kids stepped up to the plate and chose to make a difference by sharing God’s love in this way with kids in an entirely different country!

However, this is the final week for Love Makes Cents donations to go toward Camp Penuel.  Any donations we receive after this weekend will go into the WHC General Fund (which includes our Missions budget which supports Camp Penuel and other former LMC partners).  If your child forgot to turn in his or her donation last Sunday, don’t forget to bring it in this coming Sunday so it can be added to our final grand total!

Love Makes Cents Boxes Due Sunday

Just a quick reminder that our Love Makes Cents campaign to raise funds to help kids in Costa Rica attend Camp Penuel will be ending this coming Sunday.  We’d love to have all the money the kids have raised to be brought in this weekend.  We’ve been hearing some great fundraising stories and ideas from the kids and are excited to see how much they’ve raised together!

Love Makes Cents 2016 – Camp Penuel Costa Rica


By Patrick Showers

In February, Heroes Gate and Club 56 children are challenged to raise money to help peers living in Costa Rica attend a Christian camp. While to us this may not seem like an important focal point for raising funds, the value is driven by two reasons. First, we work with Camp Penuel staff to determine how our efforts can directly affect at-risk children in this country. Many of the kids who attend Camp Penuel come from poverty and live in shantytowns where food and resources are scarce. Second, we seek to find a way to connect the need to the everyday things we take for granted in Minnesota. This way we hope to give children an opportunity to see the world beyond their day-to-day experiences and develop a compassion for others around the world.

Camp Penuel Costa Rica has a specific focus to give children ages 7-11 the opportunity to know their heavenly Father through Christ Jesus and the abundant life that he offers through the power and love of the Holy Spirit. The vision is to rally a multi-ethnic team of support to work towards providing facilities of excellence and diversity so that each child can have a wealth of new, safe, and fun experiences that they will remember for their lifetime, but more importantly, that are God-anointed and forever will change their lives for good.

This organization values mission teams to support and enhance their work. Our church has sent several teams there, including a recent group in January that included several volunteers from Heroes Gate.

Love Makes Cents has been a Heroes Gate learning element for almost a decade, and we continue to be amazed at the generosity and compassion of the children. They find a way to fill their banks and meet the financial goal every time. They’ve provided for kids in Haiti, Mexico, Rwanda, and now Costa Rica. Their gifts, instead of being minor or unimportant, continue to enhance the spiritual and physical impact of each ministry organization.

We encourage you to discuss why giving is an important part of our role as followers of Christ with your children: our generosity stems from the selfless love and endless provision of Christ, and we are blessed when we give just as much as those who receive it. Over the years, I’ve seen kids give all they had and then work hard to find other sources of money to give. I’ve also heard kids tell their parents that they don’t want to give their money away and refuse to take a LMC bank box. Both responses are normal for children. Giving doesn’t come easy to everyone, and LMC seeks to provide a venue for families to pass on their values regarding generosity to their kids.

Ways to help kids learn more about Camp Penuel Costa Rica:

  • Visit their website and look at the pictures posted there.
  • Using a map of North America, locate Exparza, Costa Rica and the town you live in. Have kids measure the distance between using their arm or a household item, or older kids can figure out the miles with the key.
  • Look for opportunities to have kids brainstorm things they are thankful for in their lives.   Meals, clothes, toys, family, friends, a good school, teachers, and being able to attend church are a few ideas.  Ask your kids to think of things they might not have if your family didn’t have a lot of money, didn’t know Jesus, or had never been out of the city.       Have kids pray for children in Costa Rica to be blessed with things your kids are glad to have in their lives.
  • Share about the ways you give, why you give, and who receives it.
  • Come up with a plan to help your children consistently give and determine who will receive their gifts. Perhaps put together a jar or bank with a picture of the recipient ministry on the outside.

Remember to bring in LMC banks Sunday, February 28th to your child’s classroom. Preschool children can also grab a LMC bank from their station located near the middle of the Early Childhood hallway, or they can drop their money into the offering box in that same location (HG offerings in February go toward Love Makes Cents).


Love Makes Cents Final Update

We have our grand total for Love Makes Cents: The kids of Heroes Gate raised $1,622.48!  Wow!  We are so proud of our kids who have given generously and shown such amazing love to other kids in need!  Every penny will be going to Esperanza Viva Children’s Home, based in Puebla, Mexico, where they will use the money to buy pillows, blankets, and other nighttime necessities to help give the kids there “sweet dreams” each night.  Thanks again so much to those who were able to donate!

Love Makes Cents Update

Our kids here at Woodland Hills are awesome!  We were so excited to tell them last Sunday that they had raised $1,221.74 for our Love Makes Cents campaign to help the kids of Esperanza Viva Children’s Home in Mexico to have some new bedding and other necessities!  This coming Sunday, we will announce the new and final total, having added in what was brought in last week.  Let’s just say, we’re so proud of our kids, their generosity, and their willingness to help other kids in need!

Love Makes Cents Update

LMC Logo Sweet Dreams

The official end to our Love Makes Cents campaign was last Sunday, and many kids brought in banks full of change and money.  We were astounded and blessed by the amount of money the kids raised this past month!  The total total so far will be revealed on Sunday morning, but, suffice it to say, the kids at Esperanza Viva will be VERY blessed by the kids of Heroes Gate!

If your child forgot to turn in his/her bank this past Sunday (or have additional money to add), we are still accepting LMC banks this coming Sunday.  So don’t forget to bring them in!