In her 1905 book Bright Ideas for Entertaining, author Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott offers up “Measuring Parties” as a way to encourage people to give to a charitable cause. Community Bible Church in Central City, Nebraska thought this would be a fun way to help raise money and awareness for MAF – and they were right.
With the nephew of one of the church members serving as an MAF pilot, Community Bible Church holds a special fundraising effort each year to support him and MAF. And the measuring party was just the spark to make this event stand out.
Each member was given a small drawstring cloth sack and asked to donate a certain amount based on his or her height. The church also hosted a pot luck meal following the measuring party service and decorated the church with small planes hanging from the ceiling of the hallways. Elementary-age children were given a gift bag with an MAF cutout plane they could assemble.
Here is the original poem Mrs. Linscott included in her book that she suggested accompany the invitation to a measuring party:
A measuring party we give for you,
‘Tis something pleasant as well as new.
The invitation carries a sack,
For use in bringing or sending back
Five cents for every foot you’re tall,
Measure yourself against the wall.
An extra cent for each inch you’ll give,
And thereby show how high you live.
Then with music and song, recitation and pleasure,
We will meet one and all at our party of measure.
If your church has used some creative ways to encourage people to give to MAF, we would love to hear about them so we can share them with other churches. Please email any ideas to MAF’s church relations manager, Aaron Bear at firstname.lastname@example.org.