Have you ever thought about how Christmas and the calendar year-end combine to encourage us to be generous? Our hearts overflow in gratitude because – I believe, deep in our souls – we are moved to be generous to others in reverence of God’s gift to us of Jesus’s birth.
Just as Christ became human to bring hope to this world, we see YOU, our HopeChest partners, becoming Christ’s hands and feet to bring hope and dignity to the world’s most vulnerable. By joining us this year-end, you are furthering Kingdom advocacy and providing the opportunity to show them and their communities that they are loved and cherished by God.
After years of being in the “for-profit” world, and now that I have responsibility for the financial health and accountability of a nonprofit, it is abundantly clear how this time of year is incredibly important to HopeChest and to every non-profit out there! I want you to know how thankful we are for you. Your support is changing lives every day.
Around the world, billions of dollars are spent each year on poverty alleviation. Our holistic approach of sustainable community development does not merely alleviate symptoms, but it addresses the root issues of poverty. We believe in transformation, not transaction — which is why your generous donations have a HUGE impact as they support our model.
We at HopeChest are acutely aware that if we are not thoughtful in our approaches, constantly testing our intentionality of providing hope and dignity through empowerment, efforts can have unintended consequences of creating dependency and actually do more harm than good. I was reminded of this in a recent blog post by Andrew Vanderput, Poverty Initiatives Manager for Acton Institute where he suggested we need to Beware of Benevolent Harm.
In the blog Andrew suggested three questions to consider when giving to a charitable organization. Does that organization’s efforts:
1) Affirm or undermine people’s dignity?
2) Promote or discourage work?
3) Possess an exit strategy?
I welcome this thoughtful framework in assessing HopeChest’s approach to poverty alleviation around the world, especially as we desire to be trustworthy stewards of your financial gifts — making each dollar go as far as possible. The story of Ayelech and Betelhem, as captured by our Ethiopian in-country staff, is just one example of how we think through these questions:
“Ayelech is the mother of Betelhem who attends the I Care for the Nation CarePoint in Ethiopia. They used to live on the street and their lives were so miserable. Ayelech was in a desperate situation. She didn’t have a place to live and didn’t have anything to feed her daughter, so she used to live on the street and beg for leftovers from restaurants. When Ayelech came to the CarePoint, she first received psychological support in the meetings they held while having coffee ceremonies. She began to understand she is not the only person in the world with a problem. She started to recover from her stress and believed that she could change her and her daughter’s life. After the mentoring program, she received coffee-making management training from the CarePoint. Now she is off the street and living in a rental house. She is a hardworking mom and is able to pay the house rent and other bills. Ayelech is very thankful for the psychological support and encouragement that has helped her regain hope and employment. She also thanks HopeChest for assisting her daughter to attend school by providing for a portion of her necessary schooling materials and other basic needs.”
Let’s be honest. Without supporters like you, HopeChest, or any nonprofit, is not in a position to affirm dignity, promote work and self-sufficiency, or fight the vicious cycle of poverty. Without you, success stories like Ayelech’s and Betelhem’s are not possible.
The generosity of our supporters has a twofold effect. Many of our supporters, like you, are able to support a mission they love and also receive tax benefits! Your desire to love and support others will also benefit you financially. Did you know we accept many forms of donations? We are available to help you make cash gifts along with stocks, property, IRA rollovers, and other easy methods to give. These gifts can be great way to benefit your tax situation and reduce capital gains.
I welcome the opportunity to share how your meaningful year-end donations provide critical fuel for continuing to impact the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children, their households, and their communities around the world.
As you will find in the “Children’s HopeChest Impact Guide,” the stories of transformation and impact continue because of support from people and families like you. Thank you in advance for choosing to invest in our collective effort to bring hope to those who need it most.