On Friday, June 29, 2012, Michael Onstott climbed atop his church roof to spend three days in an effort to raise $2,000 for Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC) through the national fund-raising campaign called "Up in the Air for Kids."
For the past 10 years of the "Up in the Air for Kids" campaign, children's pastors and leaders have been living on top of billboards, scissor lifts and rooftops for up to seven days non-stop.
Currently serving as the children's director for Northfield Church in Gering, Nebraska, Onstott hoped to "blow the roof" off his fund-raising goal - and he did - with donations coming in just over the $2,000 mark.
Onstott has selected one of the hottest times of the year to endure the baking heat atop his church roof so he can raise funds for a worthy cause. With temperatures up to 101 degrees on Friday, Onstott found ways to cool down during the day, such as allowing kids to toss water balloons at him and sitting in a wading pool. Onstott also adds that canopies were available to block the scorching sunrays.
"People think I'm kind of crazy. I camped on top of our church from 8 a.m. on Friday [June 29], all the way through 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. It's was hot, but I did it for a good cause," he says. "I tried to stay hydrated and out of the sun, plus a little breeze made everything bearable."
The event wasn't without it's challenges, but Onstatt is happy with the success of the fundraiser and is already looking forward to doing it again a second time next year. "Friday night, a sudden gust of wind ended up catching the Buddy Barrel and canopies and damaging them," he says. "And Sunday night, almost the same thing happened - it got so windy my computer was knocked into the pool. Other than that, it went pretty smooth. It was our first time doing this, so there was definitely a learning curve."
Church members helped tremendously, Onstatt says. Aside from handing out fliers about BGMC and the church to supporters, church members brought food and drinks, kept him company and made sure everything was running smoothly. "The support from the church was invaluable," he says.
"Multiple thousands of dollars have been generated through our 'Up in the Air for Kids' endeavors," says Marshall Bruner, compassion ministries coordinator for BGMC. "Mike and the other children's leaders who have preceded him by going 'Up' for kids have sacrificed their comfort, energy, and time so that BGMC can meet critical needs around the globe."
Onstott has been promoting his fund-raising event through radio interviews and promo flyers. Local newspapers, television stations and radio stations were at the church over the weekend to help promote Onstatt's fundraiser.
For more information about the "Up the Air for Kids" campaign, click here.