Why donate? Why volunteer?
This week a volunteer made a poignant statement about donating and volunteering. She said, “Helping others is part of our discipleship. Working at BFIA is a way of helping others and ‘we’ realize how fortunate we are to live in America.” This volunteer has lived and worked outside of the U.S. and shared stories of some of the other cultures she lived with, and how working at BFIA allows her to see how desperate people in our own country can become.
We are called to Love thy neighbor, as thyself. Matthew 22:39
We will always have those that are in need. And 'need' may not be understood by most people. We see people that are working every day, raising their children, doing their best, yet they are in need. Wages do not go far especially when many of the folks we see are working in the food and retail industries. These businesses rarely give more than 25 hours per week per person and no one could survive on just one of these jobs with those few hours. Many of our folks are working two of these jobs and are still not able to make ends meet. They need BFIA to fill the gap and relive their burden when something like a car repair or illness happens and they miss some of those hours of work. Or worse, get fired for missing.
Why donate to BFIA?
We are excellent stewards of your funds. Every person seen is carefully reviewed as to what is causing their shortfall, how can that be improved, what else can we do to lift them into a better place in life, and evaluating their potential for managing on their own longer term. We strive to provide clients with all the tools necessary to improve their situation. This may be budget classes, one-on-one counseling to review their income and expenses, debt counseling, benefit applications, education applications, assistance and referrals to other community partners. We see our clients as more than a bill that needs to be paid. They are people with intricate circumstances and events that have happened to them that were beyond their control.
We occasionally see a person or two that have circumstances that were not beyond their control. Sometimes clients present with situations that were simply poor choices, poor money management, and or poor overall accountability for their finances. In these cases, we must say no, and decline a voucher. Even when we say no, we are still helping them to either make a better choice, or to make some kind of change for their situation. Being a good steward can also mean saying no.
These are just a few good reasons to donate to BFIA and to volunteer.
As the director, I am inspired by our clients and our volunteers every day of every week. Working at BFIA is an amazing opportunity to see mankind at its best, and at its worst, yet with the opportunity to make it better. The chance to love our neighbor is a blessing. A pastor once told me that when we bless others, we are blessing ourselves too. I had a bit of a hard time wrapping my mind around that statement. Then I started paying more attention to the blessings we are able to give others, and I learned he is right. I have no words to truly explain this, but I can show you what this means.
What an amazing world it would be if we all had the mindset of that one pastor to go around blessing others, and then watch what happens in your own life. We could rid the world of hate one person at a time. If we could eliminate hate, imagine what other amazing things could take its place...
God bless all!