Thoughts on Fundraising / Giving
Over the last 34 years, whilst at City Gate and the Community Church before that, those of you that have known me will be aware that I have always been raising awareness of different needs that require support both internationally and at home. Over that time fundraising has always been based on my relationships, so as a church you have supported fundraising events for so many groups, organisations and individuals that I have shared have a need. I have lost count of everyone we have supported, but I do know we have had a lot of fun doing so! You may remember the 80s Disco, where lee was a very impressive Adam Ant, a Quiz night where Lee Giles was a fantastic quiz master, The Stars in their Eyes event, where again Lee Giles entertained us between acts, and the time we had a few of hundred teenagers watching their local idol Jamie Eldridge perform in the church hall.
Money raised has funded the opening of a baby rescue centre in Kenya, supported the charity Hope for the Nations, that Lee and I worked with, with the boys in Kenya, Morning Star, the local charity started by our good friends Bev and Dave, Robin Hood Ministries, and following our visit to Freedom Park in Cape Town we raised over £13,000. That was awesome, although we later found out that although the money was raised to build a toilet block it wasn’t then needed as an Irish Philanthropist then built houses for everyone. Following discussions at that time with the church leaders in Cape Town this money raised was instead used to kick start RLABS. So as a body of people we have all contributed to some amazing life changing projects.
More recently we have been raising awareness of Pursue, the charity set up by Leanne and Sulu in Kenya. There are effectively 3 fundraising streams, supporting the work of Pursue, supporting Leanne and Sulu as a family and thirdly, responding to crisis needs that Leanne becomes aware of that are not covered by the charity Pursue. Examples of this would be how recently we were able to build a house for a young homeless man called Derek, and are currently raising funds for a man with a child who is currently living in the undergrowth because his house was burnt down.
Giving is a very personal thing, some people like to plan a regular amount and others may be happy to respond when there is a crisis need, or an offering, or a combination them all, no choice is wrong. The most important thing for us a Christians related to this is to have a giving heart, and to be honest that isn’t always in the form of cash, it could be our time or other resources we have. It’s also really important that if a crisis need is shared, no one should feel bad if they do not respond to it. I know it is often me that is raising awareness of crisis needs, but I would love to see other people
sharing where they see needs in the relationships that they have with people. If these things are not shared, how will we know that someone needs support? It could be you are involved with a group or organisation, it could be that you are aware the Foodbank is running low, or the homeless in our town need some warm clothes or blankets, or it may be that your neighbour is in a difficult situation and needs a new fridge. Wouldn’t it just be so amazing if as a church we can bless our neighbours like this, both on our doorstep, nationally and internationally?
We do have an amazingly generous church and I really want to thank everyone in it for the love, kindness and generosity shown to others in need and as already mentioned I really do want to hear about what other needs are being uncovered in relationships other members of the church have, because we may be able to do more, and wouldn’t God just love that?