Several United Methodist churches in Boone County, Indiana came together to spread cheer and show their appreciation for the first responders who serve Whitestown, Lebanon, and Zionsville, Indiana this Christmas season. 

Residents from Boone County donated more than 140 dozen treats ranging from Christmas cookies and candy canes to healthier alternatives such as apples, oranges, and granola bars. The treat packages were then packaged on Sunday, December 17 by more than 40 volunteers from around the community and later dropped off on Monday, December 18 to the first responders. 

The event, Spread Cheer 2017, was organized by Rooted Community Church, a new faith community being planted by the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church in Whitestown. Seth Neckers, planter of Rooted Community Church and pastor of Otterbein United Methodist Church, sought to involve the entire community, posting a video on the Rooted Community Church Facebook page that shared about the event and the goal. This idea sparked participation from Otterbein United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Centenary United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Zionsville United Methodist Church, Salem United Methodist Church in Zionsville, as well as Sundance Community Church and Lebanon First Presbyterian as well as members throughout the community who are not affiliated with a church. 

“It was great to see the community come together and own the mission of this event. Everyone seemed to jump in and run with it,” said Chassity Neckers, who organized the event on behalf of Rooted Community Church. 

“We wanted an event that directly tied into one of our core values, thankfulness and this event was a great way to demonstrate that,” said Seth Neckers. 

Plans are underway for next year.