“Jan’s Cans” for Orphans

“Jan’s Cans” is a catchy phrase started by Debbie Ostema for her Sunday School class in 1998. She wanted them to learn about and be connected with missions. By collecting returnable bottles and cans the children helped other children across the world. Little did she know, her idea would become a church wide project that would continue for years.

Michigan’s bottle refund law makes it possible for funds to be raised to help orphans. Each refundable bottle or can collected through “Jan’s Cans” adds ten cents to the fund. Over the years these funds have helped to meet needs such as food, clothing, and medicine in the orphanages.

In Russia children usually finish their high school at about age 16. At that time some of the orphan children are able to attend college but many go into the world to fend for themselves. “Jan’s Cans” have made it possible to offer help to these children as they transcend from orphan life to independent living.  As we offer them practical help we also offer them spiritual encouragement through the love of Christ Jesus.

Debbie and family moved but the youth group took on the project. Currently the missions committee continues the work. Last year someone designed a beautiful garbage can complete with Russian drawings to receive “Jan’s Cans”. It sits in the lobby at the Charlevoix United Methodist Church. During Venetian it sits near the church’s famous foot long hotdog booth.

This is an example of a simple project that can be done to help further the work of missions. One simple ten cent donation does not seem like much but when added to others it grows. It is like planting seeds. They seem so small when you put them in the ground but God causes them to increase and soon there is a harvest. With each can or bottle dropped in the “Jan’s Cans” container there is an increase to help the children.

Anyone can contribute to Jan’s Cans. Just stop by the Charlevoix UMC at 102 State St, any day during office hours to drop off your bottles and cans. Or perhaps you may want to set up a “Jan’s Can” collection spot at your church.  “All” refundable containers are accepted.

For more information Contact Us. On behalf of the orphans we thank you for your help.

Posted in: Blog on April 22nd by Fruit of the Vine


  • Comment by Webination Station — April 29, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    Jan’s can’s looks like a great idea! You are really doing a great job managing your website. Don’t hesitate to call on us if you need any other assistance. God Bless…

  • Comment by Rev. Johnvictor.U. — August 24, 2011 @ 6:34 am

    It is wonderful ot hear about Jan’s Can’s for orphans. Pray so that we also follow that simple way to meet the needs of orphans in India. May God help you to go further in ministering many more.

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