Archive | August, 2010

Here’s one good thing you did this week, as a CH supporter

31 Aug

Yesterday a young woman who is over eight months pregant came in to Christian Help.  Just a couple of weeks from giving birth, the trailer she was living in by herself and preparing to share with her new baby, burnt to the ground the other day.  She and the baby-to-be were suddenly homeless. 

Thanks to the kindness of her mother, she was able to rent another trailer, but it lacked furnishings and appliances.  Christian Help was able to provide basic living room furniture from our warehouse, and we purchased a used refrigerator for her.  We also provided some other basic household items for her. 

Two weeks from giving birth is no time to face a major trauma like that!  Thanks to your generosity, we reduced the burden of that trauma in some important ways. 

Thank you, from that mother and her baby-soon-to-be-born!


August 2010 newsletter

23 Aug

The most recent issue of Christian Help’s newsletter went out in the mail last week.  Click here to take a look at a .pdf file of the same newsletter.

From Mingo County Commission: important funding and strong words of praise and support

18 Aug

I wish you, our Christian Help friends and supporters, could have been present at the regular meeting of the Mingo County Commission this morning, in Williamson, WV, our county seat.  I’d asked to be on the agenda of that meeting, to request funding from the Commission for Christian Help’s Transit Program. 

As I explained to the Commissioners, the Transit Program is funded by significant grants from the Logan Healthcare Foundation and the WV Division of Public Transit.  Once those funds are depleted, we budget to spend some of our private donations to finish out the year.  A harsh winter combined with a very high increase in electricity rates led to an onslaught in requests for help with utility bills throughout the spring.  (In April 2009, we spent around $4,000 in help with utility bills.  In April 2010, we spent over $14,000.) 

So some of the money that we’d earmarked for transit was spent on financial aid.  I requested $3,000 from the Commission to help fund the Transit during the final months of the year. 

The next part is where I’d have liked you to have been present.  The County Commissioners could not say enough good things about Christian Help over the next few minutes.  In particular, they commented several times on the extraordinary service that our agency offered to people during the difficult winter.  They were aware of the troubles caused by the spike in electricity rates, and they commented that many people were unable to find much relief at all from government agencies designed for this purpose. 

“Christian Help really stepped up to help out a whole lot of people in our county during that hard time,” said Commissioner Smith.  “They’re to be commended.”

Following this encouraging discussion, the Commissioners chose to give Christian Help $5,000 ($2,000 more than I had requested!) in funding for Transit. 

The Commission’s grants administrator and emergency management official, both of whom were sitting nearby and who attend each meeting, both expressed to me how unusual that is.  It’s far more common that an organization might get less than they’d requested, and only after the Commissioners had “made ’em sweat” through some questioning.

Clearly, the County Commissioners hold Christian Help of Mingo County in high regard.  I was moved and humbled by it this morning, and wanted very much to share it with you.

Many ways to help!

8 Aug

Please note that I’ve added a “Wish List” page to this blog.  There’s plenty of need here in central Appalachia, and plenty of ways that you can help us address it. 

Thank you for consider it!

Application, please

6 Aug

This is cool. From MSNBC the other day:

40 billionaires pledge to give away half of wealth

Gates, Buffett lead campaign to persuade America’s wealthiest to donate their fortunes

More than three dozen of America’s wealthiest individuals and families have joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in agreeing to give away at least half their fortunes to charity.

The announcement was made Wednesday by The Giving Pledge, an effort officially launched by Gates and Buffett earlier this year to persuade the richest people in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice, either during their lifetime or after their death.

In addition to Buffett and Gates — America’s two wealthiest individuals, with a combined net worth of $90 billion, according to Forbes — 38 other billionaires are taking the give-it-away pledge. They include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entertainment executive Barry Diller, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens, media mogul Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, film director George Lucas and investor Ronald Perelman.

Full article here.

It’s an admirable effort. I’d love to see some effort made by the people involved in this massive giving to communicate the idea that this is not just something that the super-rich can do. Many Americans think it’s up to the wealthiest among us to support the nonprofit organizations that do so much for our communities and our world. But really, it’s something all of us can and should do.

We may not have fortunes to give away, and certainly giving away half of what we have is impossible for most of us. But most of us can offer five or fifty or two-hundred dollar gifts now and then (once a month would be a wonderful gesture) to agencies that benefit the common good. It would make a big difference.

Time for school shopping!

3 Aug

As summer wanes and the new school year approaches, the clothing store at Christian Help provides a very helpful opportunity for many local low-income families to find school clothes for their kids.  

There’s no charge for a single item in our clothing store, which is open three days a week.   Every item has been donated by our many generous supporters. 

In this picture is one local mom and her son who stopped in just this morning.  She gave me permission to include the photo here, because it’s important to her that you know the difference the donations make.