Creekside Church raises $16,000 for schools, donates paper

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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When local schools needed paper, Creekside Church in Rocklin was there to fill that need. Beginning in November, Creekside Church Pastor Ryan MacDiarmid said he brought up the idea of putting half the money that would normally be spent toward gifts for immediate family members, back into the community. What MacDiarmid and the church congregation didn’t know, was just how successful that request would be. After collecting donations for about a month, they raised approximately $16,000 — almost four times what their initial goal amount was. And instead of helping out two Rocklin schools with their paper needs, they were able to assist seven schools within Rocklin and Roseville. The $16,000 donation resulted in between 50 and 60 cases of paper at each of the seven school sites, which amounts to approximately 250,000 sheets of paper at each school. In each of Ruhkala Elementary’s classrooms, two boxes of paper sit, with another bunch of cases parked in the teachers’ lounge, said Ruhkala Elementary School Principal Melody Thorson. The school received 50 cases of paper, the first portion at the beginning of December and the remainder last week, Thorson said. “Every classroom has their resource,” she said. The donation saved the district thousands of dollars as a case of white paper costs approximately $100, Thorson said. Ruhkala has been saving already by cutting out colored paper, which is more costly than white, and has hung up reminders to “use paper sparingly” signs. Ruhkala was just one of the schools that received a donation. Cobblestone, Rocklin and Rock Creek elementaries, all in Rocklin, were recipients of the paper, as well as Kaseberg, Coyote Ridge and Junction elementary schools in Roseville. Erin Traynor, the events coordinator for Creekside Church, said the idea was spurred with one of the sermons encouraging attendees to “love your neighbors as yourself” and to help directly in the community. “As a mom, I spend way too much on my kids,” Traynor said of her Christmas gift spending. Traynor said she was happy to give something back locally and said she was surprised with the outcome. “It was pretty amazing to watch the money coming in each week,” she said. “It just was like seeing a miracle.” MacDiarmid said he was equally amazed at the result. “We were totally surprised. Everyone was giving, but everyone was blown away,” he said. “It wasn’t really any one donor that gave a ton,” but instead the result of each member giving what they could afford. Being a smaller congregation of approximately 100 families, MacDiarmid said it shows the difference they can make. “It certainly has given us a lot of confidence in our ability to make an impact,” he said. At Ruhkala Elementary, Thorson said the donation was a welcome help. “We were just thrilled to pieces,” she said. “We (schools) are so truly affected by the economy … every little bit helps.” Lauren Gibbs can be reached at