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Holy Harvesters raising funds to keep private schools running

Harvest is in full-swing in Nebraska and one Lincoln man is working hard for a cause close to his heart
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:03 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The soybean fields of Pilger are the “office” for Chris and Matthew Miller on October 12th. Miller is free-lance harvesting for The Holy Harvesters.

Farmers pay the Holy Harvesters, but rather than pocketing the money it goes to the Holy...
Farmers pay the Holy Harvesters, but rather than pocketing the money it goes to the Holy Harvesters Board. Any private school in Nebraska can request help from the board. The board then decides how to split up the money.(Madison Pitsch)

The Holy Harvesters is a group that harvests and takes the pay and redirects it to private schools in need. Holy Harvesters started after Matthew Miller’s school, Sacred Heart in Lincoln, shut down in 2018. His father, Chris, knew he had to do something about it.

“It just kept knocking at our hearts to do this,” said Miller. He and several other parishioners decided to custom harvest.

Sacred Heart, and St. Mary’s, in Lincoln, closed before Miller could make any money to support them, but now he has turned his focus on keeping any private school open.

“We thought, ‘Well, we’re just going to save the next school that’s in trouble then if we were too late for these two.”

Matthew happened to be tagging along with his dad; he was off of school on fall break. Miller said Matthew likes to read and do word searches while he rides along in the combine. Matthew is the inspiration behind all of this even beginning. Miller quit his job at Claas in Omaha to invest in Holy Harvesters full time.

Farmers pay the Holy Harvesters, but rather than pocketing the money it goes to the Holy...
Farmers pay the Holy Harvesters, but rather than pocketing the money it goes to the Holy Harvesters Board. Any private school in Nebraska can request help from the board. The board then decides how to split up the money.(Madison Pitsch)

“Yeah, that’s nervewracking,” said Miller. “But through prayer and guidance of the Holy Spirit, it’s like-- no, this isn’t going to fail.”

So how does it work? Farmers pay the Holy Harvesters, but rather than pocketing the money it goes to the Holy Harvesters Board. Any private school in Nebraska can request help from the board. The board then decides how to split up the money.

Farmers pay the Holy Harvesters, but rather than pocketing the money it goes to the Holy...
Farmers pay the Holy Harvesters, but rather than pocketing the money it goes to the Holy Harvesters Board. Any private school in Nebraska can request help from the board. The board then decides how to split up the money.(Madison Pitsch)

The last 3 years have been making money to cover the cost of equipment, like the combine, but this year they’re starting to break even and gearing up to start giving money out. Said Miller:

“We plan to have about $100,000 a year to support a school with when we get fully rolling.”

Miller said starting Holy Harvesters has been a total leap of faith.

Farmers pay the Holy Harvesters, but rather than pocketing the money it goes to the Holy...
Farmers pay the Holy Harvesters, but rather than pocketing the money it goes to the Holy Harvesters Board. Any private school in Nebraska can request help from the board. The board then decides how to split up the money.(Madison Pitsch)

“I’ve been around agriculture my whole life. At the time I was working for Claas in Omaha, and they make combines, and so harvesting is always on the front of my brain,” said Miller. Even so, he said this idea was inspired. “This is not my idea, this is definitely the Holy Spirit’s idea.”

Miller said volunteers are always needed. Learn more about getting involved at the Holy Harvesters website.

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