PARKESBURG, Pennsylvania (BRN) — This past year has been tough on all of us in different ways, but it has been extra harsh for first responders. That is why Pastor Mike Bailey and Impact Church Parkesburg in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania, wanted to express appreciation to their local fire company in a really sweet way—with cupcakes. And they accomplished it through the Connect Card Challenge.

Impact Church at Keystone Valley Fire Department

What is the Connect Card Challenge? I’m glad that you asked.

Pastor’s wife and social media manager Beka Bailey describes it this way, “We have Connect Cards available each week for people to give us or update their contact information, share a prayer request or request more information about something,” said Bailey.

Easter Sunday attendees were encouraged to complete a card, with an incentive attached this time around. For each card completed, the church would donate a cupcake to a local first responder. Impact wanted to have a higher engagement and connection with guests so they tied it to a fun outreach with the local first responders.

A typical Sunday usually yields 3-10 cards. Easter Sunday had a whopping 48, many belonging to first-time guests!

Who supplied the cupcakes? I’m glad that you asked!

Impact has partnered with a brand new local cupcake bakery in town to provide the cupcakes. “We made custom coupon cards and send them in the mail to all our first time-guests for a free cupcake on IMPACT Church,” said Bailey.

The bakery owner was excited about the first responder Easter project and it’s a win-win situation for the bakery and the church. The church receives discount on each cupcake and the bakery owner gains new customers one Connect Card at a time.

The delivery of the cupcakes marked the beginning of sweet relationship.

“The first responders were excited to see us pull in. They were warm, caring, showed the kids around the firehouse, and were so grateful for the special treat. They invited us back to their Prayer at the Pole for National Day of Prayer. It was great to make a connection with them,” said Bailey.

So what’s next for Impact? I’m glad that you asked!

The church is scheduling a drop off at their police station next week with the remainder of the cupcakes! Believe it or not, the local fire station and police station have a total of 48 personnel combined—identical to the number of Connect Cards received on Easter Sunday! The cards supplied cupcakes for both departments!

Impact is excited to make connections and build relationships with the people in their community. “We want them to see faces instead of buildings when they hear our church name or pass by our church on the road,” said Bailey.

This relationship, forged by cupcakes, has opened doors for Impact to join the fire department for next week’s Prayer at the Pole and the department will be coming to Impact’s Memorial Weekend Cook Out with a Ladder Truck.

“We are looking forward to more opportunities to continue to connect and build relationships with them. We hope that relationship opens doors to sharing God’s love and truth with them,” said Bailey.

And that is what it’s all about, building relationships that open doors to sharing God’s love and truth.

Jesus used two fish and five loaves of bread. Impact is using cupcakes.

What has God calling you to use to reach the 14 million people in Pennsylvania/South Jersey who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?