Children in a Zillah church group have set a goal of raising enough money to purchase a goat for each of 10 impoverished families in Bangladesh.

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ZILLAH, Yakima County — From one kid to another. So to speak.

Youngsters from a church group in Zillah have banded together to provide more than 3,000 quarts of milk a year to families in Bangladesh by purchasing goats for impoverished families there.

Youngsters in the Awana ministry program at Faith Community Church in Zillah have a goal of raising $500, which will supply one goat each to 10 families, along with instructions and immunizations for the goats.

“It’s a cool thing,” explained Earl Holden, Awana commander for the Zillah church. “The kids are getting excited.”

The idea came about because the church has had missionaries working in Bangladesh in the past, Holden said.

In addition, the Awana group has had experience donating money to causes the youngsters feel are important.

Last year they raised money to help with medical expenses for a Zillah family whose son was undergoing cancer treatments. He’s doing well now, said Holden, a retired teacher.

So this year they decided to help the needy in a poor country. Goats give about a quart of milk a day and usually have babies twice a year, Holden explained, so a goat can be an important resource for a family.

Awana members range in age from 3 years old through sixth grade and meet every Wednesday night at the church. They come from all over the community, Holden said, and don’t have to attend the church to belong.

More than 40 children come to Awana meetings every week; about 25 adults volunteer to help run meetings. “It’s really been a successful program,” Holden said.

Nehemiah and Seraphina Petersen have been attending Awana for five years. They like the idea of raising money for the goats, according to their mother, Tabitha Petersen. “My kids like helping people, period, whether it’s for goats or a clothes drive or earthquake relief.”

Nehemiah, a third-grader, and Seraphina, a second-grader, are donating some of the money they get paid for doing chores around the house to the goat fund. They save 10 percent of what they earn and give 10 percent away to a good cause, such as the goats, and then they can keep the rest, their mother explained.

Other children in Awana also raise money in similar ways to donate to the group effort.

Once enough money is accumulated to buy 10 goats, the Awana group will partner with World Review, a Christian relief organization that works with Christian Reformed churches, to purchase and distribute the goats.

To make the concept of buying goats more concrete, Dr. Gary Visser, a Sunnyside veterinarian, brought a goat to a recent Awana meeting so youngsters could interact with the animal in the parking lot.

“It made it a more tangible piece for everyone,” Tabitha Petersen said.