Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Campaign Financing

I just left the October meeting of our Outreach Committee.  Boy am I impressed!!!  
  • We voted on the distribution of the last $3500.00 in this year's budget.  Gifts to Circle of Love (our newest venture), the Baldwin Farm at Camp Twin Lakes, and relief aid to South Carolinians hurt by the recent severe flooding.  
  • We committed to providing Angel Tree gifts to 24 residents at Madison Health and Rehabilitation
  • We committed to collecting Christmas gifts for the children in the Circle of Love shelter
  • We learned that the mission of the Morgan County Foundation for Excellence in Public Education, Inc. is to support and enhance the educational programs of the public schools of Morgan County, Georgia.
  • We learned that our Panda Packs ministry is now providing more than 100 packs each weekend.  
  • We finished this year's distribution of 10% of our annual undesignated parish income for a total of $21,000.00 for outreach!!!
We should note that those funds do not include the ~$800.00 we collected for Episcopal Relief and Development during our Lent Madness campaign.

More important is the realization that our donations do not go to people or places from which we are disconnected.  More typical for us is that one of parishioners makes an appeal on behalf of a ministry or effort to which they are already joined.  

If the money leads, someone has followed.  If someone is engaged they will look for support from their parish.  Chicken or egg?  In the end it just doesn't matter.  

Given the time of year with presidential politics dominating the news rooms we could use the metaphor of campaign financing to understand those moments when the money gets our attention.  

Did you know that we have supported the work of the Boys' and Girls' Club with more than $3000.00?  With more than 250 children and youth served, not only could they use more support, they need more volunteers.  

Did you know that along with a pledge from the Outreach team for $1500.00 to the Circle of Love we are also planning bi-monthly donation drives for things like pillow cases, toys, food stuffs, school uniforms?

Did you know that our annual support for the Transient/Benevolence Fund administered by Madison Baptist's Jim Nesmith is increased by grants from the Salvation Army so that they can help more than 150 families each year?

Did you know that our donation to the General Scholarship Fund for the Madison campus of Georgia Military College was part of more than $75,000 being raised?  The response in Morgan county is the largest such collection in the 9 campus system of GMC.

Did you know that the Camp Twin Lakes operation serves more than 9500 campers per year?  

Do you see? How we give and what we are interested in go hand in hand.  Our interests stimulate our giving and our giving can just as much stimulate our interest.  

I remember a phrase, I think it was from the Watergate days: "follow the money."  It spoke a sad truth about one of the worst scandals of our lives in American politics.  

The phrase is just as true in this markedly more positive application.  Sometimes we know where the needs are and we know from whom to ask for assistance.

But if we "follow the money" that our Outreach team hopes to distribute each year we will find our own lives enriched along with the thousands we too hope to help.  

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