A former Soviet era holiday home on the Pärnu River in central Estonia has become an active campsite for Pathfinders, youth, and even nearby churches. Purchased in 2016, the beautiful 2.5-hectare (6.2-acre) site is slowly being upgraded into a fully functioning church campground.
But how to make it better? In particular, the main building is in need of renovation and improvement. Although the Estonian Conference has developed a renovation plan and has the relevant permissions, the budget is tight.
Jaanus-Janari Kogerman, treasurer and Pathfinder director for the Estonian Conference, had an idea.
“Some of the windows were in a very poor condition, so they couldn’t be opened, let alone keep the building warm,” he says. As a result, he decided to share a birthday appeal on his Facebook page, following the growing example of his friends from other countries who highlight charity fundraisers for their birthdays.
“While all kinds of great projects in distant lands sound very good,” Kogerman says, “I wanted to raise money for the Samliku campsite – and specifically for windows.”
This is where E-Monday came into play–a day of discount sales in e-shops. Based on the experience of his foreign friends, Kogerman aimed for around €300 (US $337).
“I did not expect more,” he said. But that limit was exceeded in just one day.
In total, 30 people donated €2,515 (US $2,830). As this was €1,000 (US $1,100) more than the cost of the windows, it means that every room in the building can now be adequately ventilated and there is still some money left to purchase doors or windows as needed.
“It’s not about my birthday, but something much more,” Kogerman exclaims, totally delighted with the result.
The result? Sunday, June 21, saw a workday as church members came together from at least six congregations, using their skills to change the windows, prune or remove old trees, chop firewood, and cut the grass. One supporter even arranged delivery of a truckload of wood chips to improve some of the tracks.