Showing posts with tag: Poverty

Beyond Donating: Four Ways to Serve the Poor

To broaden and diversify your community service, think in terms of Donating + _______. When it comes to fighting poverty, donating cash or goods is by far the most popular activity.  A nationwide Hartford Seminary survey reported that the Big Three activities claimed by congregations each involved direct assistance:  Cash (reported by 88%) Food (85%) […]

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Tap Into Community Assets, Not Problems

  If you want to rebuild a troubled community, tap its assets first.  Now that seems counter-intuitive!  Are you saying to ignore the obvious problems?  Massive economic shifts have left many American cities—such as Detroit after it emerged from bankruptcy last December—all too aware of the challenges. The asset-based approach is really about how you—congregation […]

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How to Address Poverty D-E-V-E-L-O-P-M-E-N-T-A-L-L-Y

No doubt it’s happened to you:  Someone asked you for money because they’ve had a crisis and are short on cash.    Or you felt compassion for neighborhood families that are struggling to make financial ends meet and volunteered to work in a food pantry.  Or your congregation’s leaders grew concerned about homelessness and decided to […]

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Three Questions People Ask about Community Service

1.  How do I start a community project?  Short answer: A community project is any organized effort to bring needed change to the community, whether it’s direct service (donating) or direct action (protesting). The six steps are Identify an issue Communicate your message to mobilize people Build partnerships with others (including agencies) who can help […]

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The Revival Center: From Social Service to “Mutual Aid” (Part One)

  Most socially minded congregations seek to “help” the poor through service activities such as a food pantry or clothes closet.  A better model might be the congregation as “mutual aid society” for its members.  Historically, mutual aid societies (fraternal lodges and labor unions are two examples) offered fellowship, equal participation and, more importantly, material […]

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Mothers in Poverty: “Yes” to Spirituality, “No Thanks” to Worship

Aletta is a 22 year old black/Latina mother of three young children (ages 5, 3, and 1).  She used to attend a Seventh Day Adventist Church twice a week.  Then she and her husband moved away to a long-term transitional housing shelter, and she stopped attending church. She still continues to pray with her children […]

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