Paul Jeffrey

Two little pigs?

Four of the 10 women of the Callie B. Walsh Circle at Riverview Presbyterian Church in Fort Mill, South Carolina, are, from left to right, Teresa Sims, Freda Baker, Anne Roof and Margaret Clark.

The classic tale was short one pig until a Presbyterian Women’s circle rose to the Presbyterian Giving Catalog’s National Pig Day challenge

by Emily Enders Odom, Mission Engagement & Support

Like many congregations during the global pandemic, Riverview Presbyterian Church in Fort Mill, South Carolina, saw its worship attendance fall.

But never its spirit nor its mission giving.

“We have always been a small community church,” said Freda Baker, moderator of Riverview’s Callie B. Walsh Circle. “We have 100 members and an average attendance each week of around 22. It was better before COVID, but COVID has changed us all. We used to have two circles but are down to one. Our ladies participated in five mission projects last year and are on track to do so for 2022. Presbyterian Giving Catalog was one of the mission projects.”

One of those projects, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog’s Piglet Challenge, really struck a chord.

Because piglets are critically important toward creating a sustainable source of income for families in need all across the world, the Giving Catalog shines a spotlight on pigs every year on National Pig Day, March 1, through its Piglet Challenge.

“Our ladies have always been generous, and we were delighted to participate in the National Pig Day Challenge in 2021,” Baker said. “We sent in our monies for Two Little Piglets!”

The number two, however, gave one circle member pause.

Although satisfied with their level of giving, she nevertheless wanted to know why they didn’t purchase three little piglets to match the familiar fable.

“Since that became an ongoing joke for the rest of the year,” said Baker, “we assured her that on the next Piglet Day Challenge we would make sure to purchase Three Little Piglets! It was a joyous day when we received confirmation that our check was received and that our Three Little Piglets would soon be on their way to a family!”

Thanks to the Callie B. Walsh Circle, the ambitious, 100-piglet goal of this year’s challenge was met … with one little piggie to spare!

“When the 24 hours of the challenge elapsed, we were at 101 piglets,” said Lauren Rogers, the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s project manager for Digital Fundraising. “I know it was the Presbyterian Women circle’s third little pig that put us over the top!”

For 2022, two little pigs just wasn’t enough.

At $40 per piglet, that translates into a total of $4,040 raised by 71 faithful donors across the PC(USA), including Ray Stephens, a member of Westover Hills Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, for whose family piglets have always had a special place.

Stephens made a gift of three piglets, one in honor of each of their grandchildren, Elliot, Mitchel and Kendal.

“This brings back happy memories of raising our daughter Karen a long time ago on a limited income,” he wrote in a comment accompanying his gift. “A cheap and always entertaining activity was going to the local university [Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia] livestock barns and visiting the piglets. More times than not, one or more would get loose and our daughter would make sure that they didn’t get away or go back into the wrong pen.”

By the end of the 24-hour challenge, even the most rambunctious of pigs had become everyone’s hero.

“The Presbyterian Women of Riverview Presbyterian give thanks to God for providing not only for our needs, but also for enabling us to share our gifts of piglets,” said Baker. “Presbyterian Women everywhere need encouragement to show that not only are we studying the Bible and having fun, but we’re also participating in programs that help with the welfare of others. Presbyterian Women have long been great supporters of missions of all kinds. Bless the families who will receive these piglets and blessings to those who keep the Presbyterian Giving Catalog going.”