The HUMC Pumpkin Patch Is Back
Clear off the hearth, sweep the stoop, and sharpen the carving knives: the annual “Pumpkin Patch” at Hampstead United Methodist Church (HUMC) is returning soon. Festivities will kick off with a “Pumpkin Toss” on Saturday October 1 at 9am – volunteers in the community are needed, assembly-line style, to help unload the semi-truck that holds thousands of pumpkins. A second truck will be dropping off another load of pumpkins on Saturday, October 15 at 9am, so there will be two chances to participate in the Pumpkin Toss.
The Pumpkin Patch will be open through October 31, welcoming patrons Monday through Saturday, 10 to 7pm, and Sunday, 11am to 7pm.
Located off of Highway 17 in central Hampstead beside the Dunkin Donuts, the Pumpkin Patch is set up on HUMC’s sprawling front lawn, under the beautiful live Southern Oak trees that form a canopy over the patch. Lights in the trees and fun things for kids to do ensure a magical Fall adventure for all. There are plenty of places for selfies and photo ops for the entire family, not to mention picnic tables to socialize and enjoy the atmosphere, and each year brings new enhancements and creative adornments.
Pulling together HUMC’s annual Pumpkin Patch requires a small army of nationwide contributors. The process starts with pumpkins harvested directly from the fields of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, which helps with their 48% unemployment rate. The pumpkins are quickly trucked across the country in a 40-foot semi-truck to the church parking lot, where the Pumpkin Toss volunteers take over.
Each Pumpkin Toss involves over a hundred volunteers off-loading, sizing, and positioning the entire truckload of over 3,000 pumpkins for sale. It takes about 3 hours. These volunteers are not all HUMC members, as with every year, the “all are welcome” community event attracts community members, students from the Topsail High School, baseball and football teams, scouting organizations, and Marine volunteers from Camp Lejeune. The Church is honored by and welcomes all the volunteers.
Your pumpkin purchase money is well spent. All the net proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch sale goes to the youth group at HUMC. The youth group will first tithe 10% to the church, then 10% to a charity determined by the youth group (such as United Methodist Home for Children and Habitat for Humanity), and the balance is kept by the youth group. The funds enable each youth to be able to go on conference events, mission trips and special occasions, and youth members who work the patch accumulate “pumpkin bucks” as an additional means of providing funds to the group. It is the largest fundraiser of the year for the youth group.
There cannot be a more complete and memorable fundraiser than this Pumpkin Patch partnership with the Navajo Indian Reservation, HUMC, and the Hampstead community. So many people benefit from and enjoy the event with the sale of each pumpkin. Besides the second Pumpkin Toss taking place on October 15, that evening there will be Teacher and Staff Appreciation Night with cider, games, live music and more fun as we honor the hard work being done to nurture growth in our young people.
The Pumpkin Patch has a Facebook page, “HUMC Pumpkin Patch” which posts pictures and announcements.
Also find information on https://www.facebook.com/HampsteadUMC/.
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Part of Issue 21: