Since the beginning of March, several herds of cows have been seen 'grazing' on property around the Plateau. These are special cows, however.
They don't make noise and they don't create cow pies. Instead, these wooden cows are a rather fun and novel way that members of in Enumclaw are raising awareness and money to fund a mission trip to Zambia this summer.
This July, church members will be working in conjunction with a non-profit organization called Village Steps which works with children orphaned by HIV and AIDS. On site, they'll be working on a water pump house, toilet facilities and sex education/health education, among other things, organizer Ronda Henry said.
To get there, the members need help. Henry passed along a few pictures of the cows in action this year and offered some more information about the history. The idea began last year when church members started to place flamingos around town for the same purpose. They have been traveling to Africa since 2008, having worked on projects in both Zambia and in South Africa.
The team received a great response from the community but rather than use flamingos again, they went with cows this year, said Henry. Several church members created 10 larger cows and woodshop students at White River High School made an additional 25 cows -- smaller ones though.
The cows are on a tight schedule that Henry oversees; team members move them at dusk each night to their new locations which have been at residences, businesses, office parks and more. At a new location, the cows are accompanied by a letter explaining who the members are, what the church is doing and what the fundraiser is for. Property owners can opt in and make a donation, or simply say thanks for the fun display. They also have the option of paying a 'herding fee' of $25 along with an address of where they'd like the cows to go next.
The effort has netted single donations up to $250. "People are telling us they're touched by what we're doing," Henry said.
At the end of the campaign, the cows will be auctioned off at the church's May 20 auction. At present, it looks like the cows will be on the move at least through this week before team members gather next Tuesday to reassess their fundraising goals, Henry said.
Would you like to learn more about the church's trip or make a contribution to their effort? Call the Calvary Presbyterian Church office at 360-825-3820 for more information.