Eighth grader raises $608 for Habitat

Chelsea Peck
Pictured are, from left, Greg Woith, executive director of the greater Peoria area Habitat for Humanity, Braden Bisping, Bob Gleason, Habitat for Humanity coordinator for Bethel Lutheran Church, and Dan Kniep, who donated the vehicle.

Bethel Lutheran School has instilled the importance of community service in its students since before Principal John Jacob began.

“This is my 10th year at the school. Before I even came they were doing this,” Jacob said. “Being a Christian school, we believe we should help people. That’s just part of our culture.”

On Nov. 15, eighth-grader Braden Bisping presented the local Habitat for Humanity with a check for $608.

“To date, of all the projects, that was the most money raised,” Jacob said.

To raise the money Bisping set up a “car bash” in the parking lot of Bethel Lutheran Church.

A car was donated by Dan Kniep Auto and Truck Sales.

The car bash was held before the Morton versus Metamora football game. People paid to hit the car with a sledgehammer.

Bisping said when he was thinking of an idea for the fundraiser he remembered an old TV show he used to watch where they did a car bash and decided that would be the perfect way to raise money.

“It was really neat. He (Bob Woith, executive director of Habitat for Humanity-greater Peoria area) told us how all the  money I raised would pay for half of the structure of the building. Me and mom thought that was a cool thing,” Bisping said.

Bisping charged $1 for one hit, $3 for two hits and $5 for five hits.

Each eighth-grade student had to design and implement their own service project. Some raised money and others were acts of service, such as going to nursing homes.

“We want our students to make a difference in the community and in the world by making a positive impact in peoples’ lives,” Jacob said.

Bethel Lutheran kindergarten and first-grade classes write letters to soldiers or sing at nursing homes and fifth graders visit the South Side Mission.

“Every class does something a little different,” Jacob said.

When asked if he would want to do a car bash fundraiser again, Bisping said “yes,” although he was not sure where he could do it.

“I’d have to do it at maybe a basketball game or something, but it would be pretty cold,” he said.