LaGrange backpacks

Members of LaGrange UMC pose with more than 500 backpacks, while their two pastors sit on the church roof.

LAGRANGE Ind. - The United Methodist Church of LaGrange, Ind., completed a successful fundraising campaign with an unusual twist.

Volunteers swarmed the church parking lot this past August to fill backpacks with school supplies for LaGrange's children. The event was part of a program called "Preacher on the Roof."

Pastors Chris Danielson and Denise Heller used a fire truck-and-ladder to climb to the top of the church on Aug. 15 and did not climb down until the congregation had met their goal of filling 502 backpacks. By 11:30 the next morning, the church had met its goal.

Janelle Godlewski, the event organizer, said she feels blessed and thankful with the outcome of the project.

"We couldn't believe it ourselves, but it just goes to show the power of prayer, the power of team work and the almighty power of Christ our Lord."

The backpacks were delivered to the United Fund of LaGrange County to be distributed to local schools.