"Little Extras": How to collect small donations from seemingly nowhere.
Contrary to popular assumption, the great majority of contributions to needy believers in Israel do not come from "mega-donors", but from thousands of ordinary people with average incomes, who give just a little.
These givers do not imagine that they must personally take care of some published need singlehandedly, or else there is no point in giving anything at all. They have come to realize that the Lord doesn't expect them to give sums that they just don't have... just to give something from what they do have.
Here are five ways that any family, congregation or individual can set aside "little extras" to share with your spiritual family in Israel. Each suggestion is simple to carry out, involves minimal financial strain, and gives you new freedom to share financially in a way you wanted to before, but thought you weren't able to do.
1. The voluntary
We all have our little inexpensive treats during the week. One of the most popular today for many working people is a morning ritual at Starbucks. For others it might be a cone at Dairy Queen, or a trip to MacDonalds for the family, some new clothes or perfume, or maybe just a DVD rental for the weekend.
Whenever you have the opportunity to treat yourself and those you love, count your blessings - literally! Set aside some small percentage of the amount you just spent on that treat. In gratitude to the Lord for all your little pleasures, dedicate the "luxury tax" to the brothers and sisters in Israel who don't have money for a Big Mac.
2. Kid's money-matching
This is a great way to teach children of all ages to have compassion on those in need. Explain to your kids (or youth group or Sunday school class) that there are Messianic children their age in Israel who don't have enough food or clothing (choosing a time when they are enjoying such things makes a very strong impression), and tell them that they can do something to help. Offer them household jobs or other ways to earn money for those needy Israeli families -- and announce that you are prepared to "match" every dollar they contribute with one of your own.
But watch out -- this "challenge" can end up going both ways! Children, especially those who know Yeshua, tend to be quite generous once they grasp the idea of giving to the needy, and you may find yourself committed to matching an impressive amount.
3. A garage sale
with added value.
You know all that "stuff" you need to unload, just to give your home more living space? You've been meaning to have a garage sale and clear it all out. Well, now you can make it count for so much more -- have your sale and donate the proceeds (or a portion of them) to needy Israeli believers.
If you advertise that your yard sale is also a charity venture, people are often more willing to buy -- everyone feels good about helping the needy along with finding a bargain. But why stop with only one houseful of sellables? Pool your "resources" with other believers in your neighborhood or congregation, have a group sale, and multiply your ability to give!
4. The dollar
leftovers, or "tithe change".
Many people know that small change can add up quickly, and putting aside all those loose coins you receive from purchases is a time-honored way of accumulating a "nest-egg" of savings without pain.
If you are already in the habit of popping those leftovers into a jar, how about setting aside just the dimes in a separate jar? A U.S. dime, a "tithe" of a dollar, is worth close to 1/2 an Israeli shekel, and just 350 of those smallest of American coins can provide a monthly bus pass for a needy Israeli believer in Tel Aviv to get to his/her job each day.
5. The invisible
Next time you take your family to a restaurant, an amusement park, a concert or a vacation resort, pretend that you have invited one more individual to share this pleasure with you. In your mind, let this invisible guest (a needy Israeli believer) take up an extra seat at your table, or share your ski lift, or accompany you through your fun day, just as though you had decided to host him/her along with your family.
When you return home, calculate how much that "extra guest" would have cost you if he/she had really been along, and donate that amount to the needs of a real person in Israel -- someone who is struggling to meet basic expenses and could never have afforded the entertainment you just enjoyed.
If you like, we can supply the name of a needy individual in Israel, someone your family can personally "adopt" and share with in this way on a regular basis!
You will be amazed at how quickly these "insignificant" amounts can pile up to a meaningful contribution to the Israeli Body. In no time your stash of cash will reach a modest $100 or so, which is already enough to help a struggling family in the Land buy groceries for the coming week.
How can we make such small donations count for so much? No one in Restorers take any payment for our service to the Israeli believers. As a result, our operating expenses are extremely low, and nearly 100% of your donations go straight to the needy in Israel.
If only 100 caring believers adopt one of these creative ways today, we will be able to relieve the suffering of many more families next month! Think about it. Pray about it. Talk it over with your family or pastor. And start putting aside some "little extras".
Fun-raising: Entertaining, inspiring and even zany events that will attract crowds of cheerful givers.
Many believers think the only way to raise funds for Israel is to bring in a guest speaker from the Land to tell heartbreaking stories of the hardships faced here, and then to take up an offering from those who happen to be there. Not necessarily!
Here are a few suggestions
for fundraising events that can also be great fun. Ranging from easygoing
to ambitious, these projects can be sponsored by a group or congregation
of any size to raise money for needy Israeli believers. Appropriate
occasions and settings can be:
* youth-group projects...
* regional conferences...
* pro-Israel gatherings...
* holiday celebrations (Christian or Jewish)...
* or no excuse at all, other than the fact that you care.
Benefit concert. Many talented groups - even world-famous celebrities - enjoy giving an occasional concert where all the proceeds go toward a good cause. We've seen the more famous of these events aired live on TV. How much more should the Lord's people be able to do the same? Be bold and contact some of your favorite Christian or Messianic singers with the idea. Who knows... you may start a new trend among the believers that rivals "Band Aid".
Where and how to send collected donations:
If you are part of a non-profit
organization, you are entitled
to make charitable contributions on your own. You can donate directly
to a recipient of your choice - Restorers will be happy to recommend projects
among the Israeli believers that we have verified as worthy of your support.
write to us for
OR, you can donate to Israeli believers through Restorers (registered as a charity and not-for-profit institution with the government of Israel). Send your checks to "Restorers of Zion", PO Box 12136, Ariel, Israel. If you prefer, the contribution can be sent by electronic transfer (ask us for our bank account and SWIFT numbers). We will update you on where and how your donation was applied.
If you are a family, individual or congregation in the U.S. without charity status, and would like to benefit from tax deductions, donations can be sent to Nehemiah Covenant Corp: PO Box 6178, Boise, ID 83707. NCC is a registered IRS-approved 501(c)3 charity, is dedicated to helping the Israeli believers, and is one of our regular partners in funding various projects. If you live outside the U.S., contact us for instructions.
[last update: June 21, 2005]
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