Church member raising money one can at a time

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 30, 2003

FRANKLIN FURNACE - As far as Daniel "Buck" Blankenship is concerned, "every penny counts," especially when it comes to helping his church.

Blankenship is pitching in to help raise money for the Plymouth Heights Church of the Nazarene's building expansion in Franklin Furnace. He has put garbage cans around the community to collect aluminum cans that he recycles and then donates the money to the church.

He has placed bins at eight locations in Lawrence and Scioto counties and one in Greenup County, Ky. Local spots include the Park Avenue BP station in Ironton, the BP in Franklin Furnace, the post offices in Franklin Furnace and Haverhill, Hopper's Carry-Out, Hopper's Bait Shop and others.

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In just a few weeks, Blankenship has raised $534 that he will contribute to the fundraising campaign.

"I just feel like the Lord put it on my heart to do this," he said. "So I just started collecting cans. I got $100 on the first load and said 'Wow, I am going to keep doing this.'"

The church is planning to borrow money to add on a $400,000 to $500,000 building. They needed to purchase the five adjacent lots of land near its 1321 Braunlin Road location for $125,000, but wanted to do it without going into more debt, Pastor Tim Throckmorton said.

After $75,000 was taken from the building fund,

the church set a goal of raising the needed $50,000 within six months. With a month to go, they are only $3,400 short, Throckmorton said.

Many of the church's 165 members are doing their part to raise money. Some are selling crafts or cookbooks and Buck is collecting cans, he said.

"The church is made up of people. Pastors are only as good as the congregation in terms of effectiveness," Throckmorton said. "Buck and many others are using their abilities and gifts to contribute to the big plan."

The existing building is 40 years old and can only seat about 160 people. The new building will seat 350 to 400 in the worship area and will also have office space. The old building will continue to be used as classrooms and other space, he said.

"We are reaching back into the past and grabbing the seed planted by the founders," Throckmorton said. "We will be taking that vision into the future."

Blankenship said it is important for everyone to do their duty to the Lord and pull together to help the church grow.

"I am not seeking recognition," Blankenship said. "It is all for the church. (Jesus) died for us, so we shouldn't be afraid to get our hands dirty."

Anyone who would like more information about the church or the "Building Bridges to the Future" fundraising campaign can call Throckmorton at (740) 354-9021.