Stryker’s The Loft Kicks Off Season “Bigger And Better”

A red paperclip may not sound like much.  There are more than a few on most desks and, for the most part, they are simply overlooked and not seen as holding in real value other than the ability to hold a few pieces of paper together for a short time.

But, what approximately 40 junior high and high school students at The Loft in Stryker proved just how much potential just one red paperclip can have when they took part in a “Bigger and Better” challenge on Friday, September 19.  The event was modeled after the story of Canada’s Kyle McDonald who, in a series of 14 trades, had gone from a single red paperclip to a two-story house.

Having only two hours to make trades, the students started with one single paperclip that they used to start a series of trades in hopes that they would be able to continuously trade up for something bigger and better than the item they held.

The students came back with a sofa-bed, a dresser and mirror combination, a large Santa sleigh, and a multitude of other items that will be put to good use by The Loft – including a 60” screen television that was due to arrive on Monday.

Groups participated in the contest under adult supervision and were awarded in three categories – “The Biggest and the Best”, “The Funniest”, and “You Could Have Used Another Trade”.   The sofa-bed and dresser/mirror combination shared honors in “The Biggest and the Best” category.  The oversized Santa sleigh, which happened to come with a pair of vampire stakes, won “The Funniest”.  Honors for the “You Could Have Used Another Trade” category went to the team who was holding with them a tire – because that 60” screen television they had just traded it for couldn’t be delivered in time for the cut-off.

But there was one other item at the end of the trades that stood out.  With the last three teams arriving being given the chance to make one more trade for unknown items, one team inadvertently traded their inflated Spiderman Frisbee – for a paperclip.  With each team having just one minute to state their case why their item was “the Biggest and the Best”, the team reminded everyone that the paperclip was great because it symbolized the start of something, that “Everyone needs a starting point” and because the paperclip had the potential to eventually turn out to be almost anything.

Along with the challenge, students also had the opportunity to mingle with one another, play a wide variety of games found within The Loft, and listen to a snap chat provided by Matt Dodd, Youth Pastor at Stryker First Baptist Church.  Dodd spoke to the students about living their life for Christ as well as shared with him his firm belief in what will be The Loft’s verse of the year. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

The Loft is open for students grades 7-12 on Mondays and will be providing a series of events at other times for interested students to partake in as well.  Students from all school districts are welcome.  Anyone interested in learning more about The Loft, whose goal is to connect youth and families to Christ, should visit their facebook page at  Anyone wishing to donate to The Loft in order to help them realize their goal and assist them in providing fun-filled events for area youth can make donations at Stryker’s Farmers and Merchants State Bank by speaking to Pat Rosebrock.

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