Each year Janet and I try to figure out what we will do in terms of donations and the non-profit organizations we will support as part of our giving program. While we have a particular heart for helping to support organizations that do work in this country, we fully acknowledge that there are many needs throughout the entire world and there are no right or wrong answers in the things that people choose to support. And even if people aren’t “wealthy” by their own standards, when you look at the US in terms of how we compare to other nations, most of our citizens are very well to do by the world standards. And that means that we have above average responsibilities when it comes to helping those less fortunate.
Among other things we do, Janet and I try to help alleviate poverty on the lower east side of Indy. One of the organizations we really like is dedicated to providing after school programming for young children who come from families that have suffered terrible setbacks and are unable to provide for their own children. We haven’t participated in teaching any of the classes but we do receive cards and notes from the children who we sponsor in the program. Of course there are many other ways that people can help out those less fortunate – such as mission trips – but it is good to see that there are many initiatives from all walks of society that can have huge impact on the marginalized.
I was reading an article recently about a group called Teens for Jeans. This non-profit collects jeans for those who are unable to provide clothes for themselves. The clothing drive this year, organized by DoSomething.org, resulted in 802,488 pairs of jeans being collected. This amount of clothing is enough to reach half of our country’s under 18 homeless population. And to think that this was done by teenagers who went through their closets and shared that they had with others less fortunate. According to the article I read enough jeans have been collected since 2007 that if folded and stacked they would be 7982 times the height of the Empire State Building. That just sounds incredible. What a lesson we can learn from the our youth!
Much of the movement of the early church started as a result of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the second chapter of Acts. The people were divinely connected with one another and Peter preached the first sermon of the new church. Remarkably, the people were convicted to help one another and our verse for this evening reflects what the general feeling was in the community. We are told, in Acts 44-45, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”
My encouragement for this evening is that God expects all of us to be aware of those around us who need our assistance. And it should be our pleasure to give abundantly as we are blessed. My prayer is that you will consider increasing your donations and giving as you prayerfully consider how you can impact the kingdom of God here on earth. After all, if teenagers can accomplish what they did, think what we could do if we really put our minds to it. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…