We have started this as an unofficial organization because we want to be of more use to God but we don’t want to start spending money that doesn’t directly help others. Paying lots of overhead doesn’t feed anyone and it certainly doesn’t glorify God.
Lori and I are not financially wealthy, by this country’s standards but we are in a better position than many others, so we help when we can. We try to keep our eyes open and help those that God puts in our path, letting them know that all the glory of the act belongs to the Lord. He orchestrated our paths to cross, and He usually makes sure that we have what we need to help them.
We feel led to gather what crops others can spare and direct them to places that He shows us have a need. We have noticed that there are many great organizations out there that do a wonderful job helping within their niche but we have also noticed that people fall through the cracks, that not all people who need help fall within a niche. That is why we don’t limit ourselves to a particular group of people or a specific area of need.
There are people who need some food in their belly, so we buy gift cards from fast food restaurants and give them to the immediately hungry. The ones who fell outside the number of meals a shelter could provide or that are only hungry on a short term basis. We understand that fast food isn’t the healthiest dietary alternative but it puts food in their bellies and they can’t use the gift cards on anything but food. No cigarettes, no alcohol and no drugs.
If you’ve never been on food stamps, then you might not realize that you can only buy food with them. Sounds reasonable and makes sense. As we mentioned above, we wouldn’t want them to be able to purchase anything with them. Sometimes though, that presents a problem to those who find them selves temporarily without any funds other than food stamps. That means that they can’t purchase toilet paper, or personal hygiene products, or even diapers for their child. We want to be able to help these people through the rough spot and back to where they can be more self sufficient.
Have you ever been traveling and had car trouble, maybe a tire blew? Lori and I have always been blessed that when we have found ourselves on the side of the road, we’ve never stayed there long without someone stopping to help. Thankfully, we have always had a spare or a way to get our vehicle home. There are those though, maybe moving their family to a new location for a job that they couldn’t find where they came from. Maybe they’ve been out of work for a while and barely have the funds to make it to where there are more jobs. If they break down, or if they blow a tire without a spare, what do they do? They sometimes have to depend on the generosity of strangers. We’d like to be some of those strangers that those people can depend upon.
These are only a few of the situations that we see happening around us. There are many more situations, whether it be someone losing their house to fire, a cancer patient that is having trouble paying their bills because they have to miss work for treatments, really any number of scenarios that can happen that don’t fall into the bigger niches of the larger non-profit organizations.
One of our rules is that we don’t do long term care. Most long term assistance is handled by bigger organizations and governmental agencies that are far better at providing that sort of help than we are. We want to exist for those that need a short term solution that will get them through their rough patch and back to where they can be more self sufficient. We want to help those who don’t fit into niches and that usually fall through the cracks.
Another one of our rules is that we rarely if ever give out cash or gift cards that can be used to buy anything available in a store. We accept gift cards as donations but we use that money to purchase the specific goods that a person needs. We hate to act like we don’t trust anyone but the truth is, you can’t see into people’s hearts and minds well enough to be sure that money you give them for needed things, doesn’t get spent on things that may be part of the reason they find themselves in the situation they are in. That is not to say that everybody who finds themselves in a bad place got there because they abused a substance or even because of some fault of their own. But it is impossible to know for sure the intentions of another person.
So, we do these things to glorify God. That is what our main goal is but we’d be lying if we told you that there isn’t some personal satisfaction in helping others. It feels wonderful to be so blessed as to have God put you in a position to help someone who truly doesn’t know where to turn. It is exhilarating to be able to tell someone that the only reason they were helped was because God orchestrated everything perfectly so that those of us with what was needed crossed paths with those that needed. What we’re trying to say is, it feels good to give. Of course, we hope you’ll be moved to help our organization help those that God puts in our path but even if you don’t feel comfortable helping us help others, then make sure you help someone on your own. See if you don’t get a little rush of your own. And don’t forget, if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, let those you help know that God caused your paths to cross, it’s okay to accept the “thank yous” but make sure that all the glory truly goes to God.