It’s that time of year! Time to go through the list of worthy causes and make any year end contributions. After all, it is one of the few benefits Christians are still allowed by the government (at least for now.)
Normally, we ask that your first priority be your local congregation. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of Christians within Tec who are forbidden to donate freely to their parish because their bishop requires every penny donated be used in the calculation of what goes to the diocese and 815. The Diocese of Louisiana is in that situation. When Bishop Jenkins was the diocesan, he allowed parishes with parishioners who were unwilling to support the liberal agenda of Tec to remove those donations from the percentage going to the Diocese/815. When Morris Thompson took over he refused to allow this policy and demanded that every penny be used in determining how much of our hard earned money goes to support the leftist and often unchristian agenda of Tec. If you are in one of these locations, may I suggest you keep to the required minimum (usually a $1 a year in giving) required to remain a member in good standing? Of course, many local parishes have found ways to allow you to support them without diverting your dollars so my prayer is that you are in such a situation and are able to give with a willing heart.
In any event, there are some wonderful organizations out there who are doing excellent work. If you find you have a bit extra and would like to support a worthy cause and just not sure which one, may we ask you consider the following:
The Salvation Army - a wonderful and Christian organization that does excellent work in helping others. It has low overhead and the leadership is not pulling down millions in salary.
Hebron Colony - This organization is truly doing God’s work. They take in individuals (men and women) who are struggling with addiction. It is done with very little cost to the participants (usually just a nominal fee for medical expenses that is refunded if not used). They depend solely on the generosity of those God leads to support their ministry. If you are ever in the Boone, N.C. area I highly recommend you call and reserve one of their rustic cabins. The setting is beautiful, the church services enlightening and fellowship they allow at meals is truly heartwarming. The men’s ministry is in Boone and the women’s facility is located near Santee, S.C.
Mercury One This organization has extremely low overhead and commits itself to some wonderful projects. They have been heavily involved in all the tornado and hurricane relief efforts as well as numerous other charitable works. I have been impressed with their ability to work through local churches to ensure donations go directly to those in need.
Alpha Center Sioux Falls This group has led significant pro-life work in South Dakota, including successfully defended waiting period, sonogram and informed consent laws. They see to the material care and life coaching of women who choose life and their families. The center maintains a mobile sonogram bus to reach widespread SD communities. Our very own Fr. Tim Fountain has been invited to lead prayer at one of their major prolife events on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22.
ARDF - Since its inception, The Anglican Relief and Development Fund has done and continues to do wonderful work around the world.
Rebuilding South Sudan Through Education Founded by Sudanese “Lost Boy” Moses Joknhial II, RSSE focuses on his home village of Pajut, Panyang Province. Their good work includes building a school that serves 900 children, water wells and power grinding mills that free girls from chores to attend school, microbusiness through goat breeding program, village health clinic, women’s center and now working toward solar powered electricity. During current unrest, they provided $5,000 for food and medicine to displaced people in the area. Initially run through Diocese of South Dakota but now a 501(c)(3) and soon to set up discreet pay link - although current system through Diocesean account has been dependable. Fr. Tim also sits on their Board of Directors.
Wounded Warriors Project - It is often hard to express our gratitude to those who give so much for our country. This organization enables you to give back to those who need it the most.
St. Jude Hospital - This well known organization does so much good for children with dire medical needs. It is a wonderful way for parents with healthy children to give thanks for that gift.
This list is by no means exhaustive. If you know of other programs that are effectively run and who support good causes, feel free to post a link in the comments.