Money raised from Lubbock pumpkin patch goes to Navajo Reservation

First Cumberland Presbyterian Church has been hosting this event for 20 years
Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 9:02 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The 20th annual First Cumberland Presbyterian Church pumpkin patch opened Saturday, and the money you spend there can make an impact in Lubbock and New Mexico.

“We get our pumpkins from the Navajo reservation, and they ship them to us at no cost,” senior pastor, Nate Mathews, said. “Sixty percent of the proceeds go back to their education program and then 40% stays here for ministries within the church.”

The church has been a part of the Pumpkin USA fundraiser for 20 years. This fundraiser helps fund everything the Navajo reservation does.

“It helps them to be able to do the education on the reservation, and so they really appreciate it. This is one of the things that they are very grateful for,” Mathews said. “The more they sell, the more we participate, the more people we get on our lawn, the more it helps them.”

According to Pumpkin USA’s website, this fundraiser also employs 700 Native Americans in New Mexico during the harvest months. Forty-two percent of people in this area are unemployed.

In the Hub City, it helps the church focus on the community beyond its walls.

“Having these funds allows us to, to feed others, to do family assistance, to help others out at Grace Campus, Family Promise, or Open Door. It allows our deacons to go out and partner with the schools and food pantries,” Mathews said. “So, it really is important because we’re making a difference in the lives of others.”

Mathews says this pumpkin patch isn’t just about the money raised, it’s been a staple in the Lubbock community for generations.

“We have people who have been coming to this patch for many many years, almost 20 years for some of them,” Mathews said. “We have stories where people came as children, and now they’re bringing their children, and that’s just a really cool thing to get to witness and see, and be a part of that.”

Traditional orange pumpkins aren’t all that’s for sale. Mathews says you can stock up on pumpkin bread, too.

The pumpkin patch is open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.