Orchard's Blog: Stories, News & Events

Try Pie Receives $50,000 Grant


“Last Friday night, Megan, two students and I went to the Community Foundation's Annual Event,” shared Sarah Turner, one of Try Pie’s Directors in an email to the Orchard Hill staff. “They had ordered pies for the event, so we were there partially out of our partnership with the Community Foundation and partially to be with the girls as they interact-ed with the guest and explained the flavors and the Try Pie program”

“A Long, tearful, joyful story short, Try Pie was surprised and awarded a $50,000 grant from the Bertch Family Trust to make the move to a storefront!!!”

Try Pie’s plans for renovating a storefront near the downtown area in Waterloo have been in the works for a while now. This Fall they launched a fundraising cam-paign through the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa to raise a minimum of $50,000 to make this dream a reality.

Try Pie, a program under Link Christian Community Devel-opment in partnership with Orchard Hill Church, engages teen girls using a mix of faith with real-life work and custom-er service experience through its pie making business. The new storefront will allow the group to grow its employment capacity to 20 young women and increase visibility of their pies.

“There's more to the story, and lots of work to do ahead, but we wanted to let you all know that with this gift, we've met (really surpassed) our minimum to raise to financially be able to say yes to this move,” continued Turner. “We'll leave the fund open for donations as support in the first year of operating will still be helpful and needed.”

To learn more about Try Pie and their exciting plans, please visit them online at trypie.org.

Days for Girls


For the fourth year in a row, a group from Orchard Hill set out to create 200+ feminine hygiene kits that will go to Haiti next March with the spring break mission trip. For 5 weeks this fall, 43 women met at Peet Junior High to help start sewing, ironing, cutting, pinning and piecing the kits together. The kits are finished over winter, then the kits and the girls who will be receiving them, are lovingly prayed over to be sent overseas in the spring.

Days for Girls was born out of the desire to see girls around the world attend school more regularly by providing them with washable feminine hygiene kits. Their research showed that within a year of receiving these kits, the number of girls dropping out of school decreased from 25% a year to 3%. This issue is a surprising, but instrumental key to social change.

“When I heard about the issue women around the world face, I was shocked that I had never thought about it before,” said Kara Vander Wiel, who oversees the kit creation. “We take a lot for granted in the U.S. and have the ability to help change this in the communities we partner with.”

Each kit includes a drawstring bag filled with 2 waterproof shields, 8 double-layer liners made out of flannel, two pairs of underwear, a washcloth, and bar of soap. They are designed to last for 3 years.

“Many of our young women use old rags or whatever they can find because they don’t have supplies. These kits are allowing them to stay in school every day,” said Kristie Mompremier from UCI, Orchard Hill’s partner in Haiti. “When giving these kits away, one of the main questions we get is, why would someone who doesn’t know me make this for me? This opens up the opportunity to share the gospel with them. We are finding that we could give away as many kits as you could make.”

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