Kingsport Times News Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pumpkin sale benefits Navajo growers, Kingsport community

October 27th, 2011 2:06 am by Kevin Castle

   INDIAN SPRINGS — The annual ritual of turning the front lawn of Cassidy United Methodist Church orange is now taking place, with pumpkins peppering the landscape.

   The seeds that made this seasonal decoration were planted in the soil of New Mexico on a Native American reservation. The seeds the church will plant as a result of selling these pumpkins can’t be counted in either yield or investment.

   “All of the money we collect from the sales benefits mission work,” said church member Wendy Gordon. “Some of the funds will go right back to the reservation to help the people there, while some will stay here in Kingsport to help our outreach.”

   The Indian Springs worship center made arrangements years ago with the Navajo nation to enter into the mutual plan.

   “The patch we get the pumpkins from employs over 1,000 workers. We’re glad we help them that way, but we are also happy of the way the program helps more than just fund salaries,” said Gordon.

   The money raised also benefits a construction collective that the church uses to help rebuild and refurbish homes in Sullivan County and surrounding areas.

   “We made a decision as a church to be more aggressive in reaching out to the immediate community. This aids in that,” Gordon said. “They have done everything from patch roofs to build porches for handicapped. We’re also giving physical and financial support to the Kitchen of Hope in downtown Kingsport, helping out there on Thursdays with meal preparation.”

   Since the pumpkins and gourds began rolling off the truck years ago, Gordon said some local families have made it a tradition to come to the grounds and have their kids pick out a pumpkin for a jack-o’-lantern or other fall decoration.

   “That is one of the great satisfactions we get, seeing families come and share in what we have,” she said. “Watching kids’ eyes light up is just a great feeling, but we also get to meet

   Please see CASSIDY, PA G E 2B neighbors that we never got a chance to meet and talk with before, giving us another part of outreach to Kingsport, Blountville and other communities that surround us.”

   The Cassidy Pumpkin Patch is open from 3 to 7 p.m. through this F r i d a y.

   The church will also host a Trunk or Treat with free treats given out by participating families Saturday beginning at 6 p.m.

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