Hidden Nuggets Series #63 – “Go and do likewise.” – Luke 10:37
When my wife and I developed a giving plan in an effort to be more intentional with our giving, we committed to do more than give regularly to our local church. Our first step was to discuss what each of us valued. We then tried to find non-profit organizations whose mission and execution of that mission connected with our values.
In those discussions we concluded that one of our goals would be to always give to something locally or at least within our region. These donations would help keep us in touch with the needs of our community. They would most likely be to smaller organizations who could definitely use our support.
At the same time, we also wanted to support organizations with a global reach that would have the potential to impact tens of thousands of people. By doing this we felt some of our money could be leveraged by these bigger organizations so that it could have the greatest potential return on our giving investment.
As we enter the heart of the holiday season of the next couple of months, I’d like to encourage you to consider your year-end giving strategy. Non-profits everywhere will be serving people in need and none of that can happen without the support of donors like you and me.
To that end, I’d like to share some non-profits my wife and I have been connected to in our giving and ask you to consider how you might be able to help them, or one’s like them in your local community, fulfill their calling.
The mission statement of Samaritan’s Purse reads this like this:
“Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.”
That mission has its origins in the Bible story of the Good Samaritan. After telling how a Samaritan helped an injured man whom others had ignored, Jesus told those who were listening to “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:30-37). The implication is clear: we are to help those around us in their time of need.
As a Christian myself I appreciate the logic behind Samaritan’s Purse’s approach and believe it reflects accurately the approach Jesus took. Their ultimate goal is to share the message of salvation with people but they don’t start with that. They focus on the physical and emotional needs of the person in crisis. When those people realize someone loves them and cares about their personal needs they will be more open to hearing about what Jesus can do for them. In essence, Samaritan’s Purse is earning the right through their caring actions to have their message heard.
The signature program of Samaritan’s Purse is Operation Christmas Child. Each Christmas, this program sends hundreds of thousands of shoe boxes – packed by people like you and me – to needy children around the world. It’s become a yearly event for our family as we shop for the items, pack them in shoe boxes and then track the location to where they are sent. We all receive great satisfaction knowing we are brightening the day of a young life in another part of the world.
National collection week for shoe boxes is November 17-24. If you’d like to be a part of this program, click here to learn how you can help.
When I attended FinCon a few weeks ago I had the pleasure to meet Bill Hardekopf. For the past 10 years, Bill has been overseeing a non-profit radio station based in Birmingham, AL. But this is not your traditional radio station only reaching the local residents of middle Alabama. They are taking advantage of technology to send their broadcast worldwide.
AllWorship.com is a Christian radio station broadcasting entirely on the Internet. They offer commercial-free music in four formats: contemporary, praise and worship, Spanish worship and instrumental music. As of this year their broadcast is reaching Christians and missionaries in over 230 countries, most who don’t have access to a local station. The best part for those would be listeners is that the music is completely free. AllWorship picks up the cost for all the programming, streaming and music fees.
How are they able to do that? It only happens because of donations from individuals who believe in the value of their ministry.
I’ve talked to many Christians and missionaries through the years who live overseas and one thing that always seems to come up is the sense of disconnect that comes when you immerse yourself in another culture. The joys of the life they once knew, like listening to inspiring music, are more difficult to come by. The radical adaptation that’s required to fit into another culture often leaves them feeling discouraged and lonely.
That’s how I think AllWorship is serving a unique role and providing great value. They are bridging the gap to meet a need for people who enjoy the hope and encouragement they receive from this genre of music.
You can click here to learn more about AllWorship’s history and how you can support their endeavors.
Fayette Crisis Pregnancy Center
The Fayette Crisis Pregnancy Center is a local non-profit that my wife and I have supported through the years. There desire is to help support women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy but also the families, husbands, boyfriends and friends who may be connected to that pregnancy in some way.
Of course the need here is great as this is a continual issue in our society. An unplanned pregnancy creates an emotionally unstable situation where poor decisions can easily be made. So often, a woman will be left feeling confused, scared and on one’s own. The CPC steps into the situation to offer encouragement and partner with the woman through the process. I can only imagine how comforting this is to know you are not alone in dealing with the situation.
To that end the CPC offers pregnancy testing, ultrasounds to confirm a pregnancy and to let the woman know how far along she is, counseling, pregnancy and parenting resources, and abortion recovery support. They also will help women connect with the appropriate doctors in the area by offering referrals. All their services are free, confidential and available regardless of age, race, religion, or financial or marital status.
Most likely you have a crisis pregnancy center or church ministry in your area that is doing something similar. Connect with them and see how you can help.
Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a fundraising dinner here in Atlanta where I heard former Presidential candidate Herman Cain share the vision H.O.P.E. Park, a new non-profit initiative being started in McDonough, GA. H.O.P.E. Park will be all about sports and activities but in no way will it be your typical playground area.
H.O.P.E. stands for “Helping Other People Excel.” There will be two people groups being helped specifically: kids with disabilities and wounded veterans. So you can already imagine this is going to be a special place.
According to their website, some of the things they plan on doing include:
Providing a baseball field specifically designed for special needs children and adults.
Provide a competitive wheelchair softball field to help reintegrate wounded veterans and citizens back into competitive sports.
Provide a state of the art playground using equipment designed for special needs kids.
Provide a community garden that will teach local residents to grow, cook and preserve their own food.
Establish a certified commercial kitchen to provide job culinary training.
Provide job training and work skill development by using local youth to perform the tasks required to run such a large facility.
Some large corporations have already partnered with H.O.P.E. Park including Home Depot, Chick-fil-a and Coke. You can too and help them get phase one of their project completed. Click here to find out more about H.O.P.E. Park and how you can get involved. The kids and veterans I’m sure would appreciate your support.
Give What You Can This Holiday Season
We are heading into the holiday season with Thanksgiving coming this month and Christmas in the next. Consider contributing to these non-profits or others in your area that are doing incredible work. It’s the least we can do to help meet the needs of others who may not be as fortunate as you and I.
What’s your favorite charity to support? What has been something special you received by giving of your resources to someone else?
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