Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Servant Attitudes in Action

I thought I would take a break from my Bible Study just for today to share some amazing opportunities to get involved with some Godly ministry options. I've had the pleasure of not only working with these organizations, but am seeing some fruit from that calling in my life as well.

As you know as believers in Jesus, we are called and commanded to help financially when we can. For most of us, that is our simple tithes to the church, but what about other opportunities like helping our your local food bank or homeless shelter with food or clothing you can donate. I read that most food banks can purchase more food if we provide them with the funds to do so, than if we bought the food ourselves. Trust me, I believe they know more about what people really need over what we can "spare" from our own pantries. Some tips to consider when making a food donation:

1. Check the food dates to verify that these are still good to use. I know many of the cans and boxes of food in my pantry are often so outdated, I fail to check the dates on the packages or cans. I didn't realize how old some of my stuff really was until I moved.

2. Consider buying a gift card over making your own selections at the grocery store, that way fresh meat or milk can be bought from the shelters to provide to those in need. This works out so well during the holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, when most shelters get everyone's left over canned goods that no one really wants to eat.

3. Consider donating what you would want to eat, not what you have sitting around in your cabinet. Cans of tuna or chicken, macaroni and cheese, pasta and pasta sauce, cereal, baby formula, and rice and beans make great options to donate.

4. Consider calling your local food bank and see what they could really use. You might be surprised at what is really in need compared to what you were going to bring instead.

Local homeless shelters are often in need of basics like clothing, bedding and baby items. Personal hygeine items are also in need. Calling ahead will provide you with some opportunities to donate what is needed in case storage for those items may pose an issue until they are truly needed. Churches and women shelters are also places you can check to donate items you may have on hand. A rule of thumb I always use, is before you throw something away, might it be reused in some way by someone who truly needs it? Consider donating it over throwing it away instead.

For animal lovers, consider donating items to your local shelters such as towels, blankets, pet food and toys. Financial donations are always welcome to help provide for these items since most of the time, donations are way down. This way they can provide what they need instead. Calling your local animal shelter can provide you with some great opportunities for the church to step in and help out as a service to the community.

Love listening to your favorite Christian station in the morning while driving to work? Consider partnering with them as a monthly sponsor. You'd be amazed at how much it takes to keep a radio station on and broadcasting in your area. If you've been blessed consider a one time or monthly donation to help.

Some of my favorite charities are listed below and would love it if you might consider helping out in any way if you feel lead. Some you may have heard of while others might be surprisingly new, but I wanted to share them with you.

Compassion International: For $38.00 you can provide everything a child needs to help feed, cloth and educate them in third world countries all over the world. You can write to them and get letters back showing how much your donations are helping to make a difference in the lives of children all over the world. It amazes me that some of these families exist on a $1.00 a day, while the monthly donation is the price of a dinner for two here. It can provide meals, health care, schooling costs and clothing to help make someone's life a whole lot better.

Salvation Army: Always my favorite! From the little red kettled bell ringers during the holiday, Salvation Army is one of the few charities that donates most of their proceeds to help those truly in need from financial contributions or donation of any items to their stores that benefit the communities that they serve. You can do monthly financial obligations or a one time donation.

Heifer International: For a donation of any amount, you can help families all over the world earn a living through buying a flock of chick, rabbits, ox, cows, goats or bees. These gifts are presented to families to earn a living, so they can become self sustaining in their communities and help others in their communities by donating offspring to create a lasting legacy that keeps on giving. Each sponsor family receives education on farming and how to care for the animals as well as any supplies they need. It truly is a wonderful program to help people earn a trade. Nepal has a great need for this right now due to the recent earthquake there to help get people back up and working again to provide for their families. In fact some times, Heifer will double your donation amount or triple it. We love knowing that by buying a goat or a flock of chickens were are helping people learn to live again!

Cup of Joe for a Joe: Green Beans coffee company sponsors these local coffee shops at our military camps all over the world where our troops are serving by offering a cup of coffee to those who are serving in our military for $2.00 a cup. You can make a one time donation, or monthly donations and each time a service member picks up a cup of coffee on you, you get an email with a personal message of thanks from them and where they are stationed. Truly a wonderful way to help support our military with some love from home. We have actually become pen pals with some of the men and women serving overseas. Here's one of the emails we recently received:

A Service Member wants to thank you for sending them a Cup of Joe!

Cup of Joe #1

Your message and gift of a CUP OF JOE was delivered to a Service Member serving at BPC Mall in Qatar. They wanted to say thanks and make sure you knew your gift was received. Please see below for their note to you:

It really feels good to get a gift from back home in SoCal! God bless you! Adam

Consider helping fund your local schools lunch program for families who are struggling to provide lunch for their child. Most can qualify for free lunch through programs offered by the state or government, but many families are struggling who can't. I know so many kids don't get lunch because they might be hurting on a temporary basis. My daughter used to share her lunch with a girl who couldn't afford to buy a lunch or bring one from home for personal reasons. As you can see, there are truly hundreds of opportunities to help and expand the reach of our churches and for those who want to serve God in profound ways. These are just some of the ones our family has participated in. Won't you share some of yours with me as well. You can even get creative and think up your own ways to help your neighborhood or community. Now's the time to show others what Godly people can do if we are willing to go out there and help!

Acts 20:25 ~ " In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "(NIV).


Terra said...

Thanks for your tip about Flonase in your comment on my blog; I will look in to it. I like your ideas for giving. One group I support is samaritanspurse.org they do lots of work in disaster areas in U.S., in Egypt with refugees from ISIS, and in Nepal, all over. That is a group led by Franklin Graham.

LV said...

I volunteered a long time at a food bank. The church I attend still supports it and we give needed items. There is always someone one in need.