Why Give to Us? There Are Sooo Many Things to Give To
Let's face it, there are a lot of great & worthy causes to give to. Every time you turn on the TV you are bombarded with all the things you should or could support. (Let me just go on record here: Whenever I hear Sarah McLachlan start singing during a commercial break, I don't even look up. I immediately find the remote and change the channel. Wow! I even think there are dogs out there saying, "Sarah, tone it down a little! This is just too sad and heart breaking. Woof!') But it's true there are literally thousands of worthy causes to give to. And guess what... we're not here to compete. As a matter of fact, we give to quite a few of those worthy causes.
Worthy Causes Don't Make Money &
Many Times Goodness Does Not Make a Profit
As I type this there is an ad on the TV for St. Jude's Hospital. This is a cancer treatment center for children. They are asking for our dollars as well. This is a more-than-worthy cause that does not make money. They desperately need our cash because what they do is beyond the scope of the "bottom line" in the financial sense. Their bottom line is goodness. And many times Goodness does not make a profit. Our government recognized this years ago. That's why we receive tax-deductions for giving to Good causes.
There are people out there doing things that bring light, joy and beauty to our world. Some of those have happened upon a way to do that PLUS make a profit. But they are in the minority. Most of the people in our communities who do the most worthy things can not make a profit. After school tutoring, feeding the homeless, teaching the under-served in our city, providing healthcare for those who cannot pay, those who live their lives to bring community and reconciliation to their city. In a consumer-driven society we nearly always want physical, tangible payback for physical, tangible money. So sometimes it takes some coercion or Sarah McLachlan to wake us up and let us see that there are those "items" that take physical, tangible money but the payback is spiritual, intangible and emotional. We give to these causes because they are doing things we believe in, things that need to be done and things that we cannot do ourselves.
We Believe In It, It Needs to be Done & We Cannot Do It Ourselves
This is the basis of giving to nonprofits. And as I look at what we do here in the community of Greensboro I believe we meet all those criteria. So let's go over them one-by-one.
We Believe In It
In today's world of cyber-friends and frenzied lifestyles, we can all agree that there is a void in our lives which used to be filled by our community. Not even families stay together or do things together anymore whereas in decades past one found safety and peace in family and in their community. We need community. We believe that people are more stable, courageous and healthy when connected to a loving community. But like so many other things in life, we don't have the time or the ability to make it happen.
At City 616 we are doing what we can to make that happen. We host dinners, concerts, meetings, movie nights, book clubs and more to bring community to hundreds of people.
It Needs To Be Done
Don't really need to say much here. How many of us have experienced desperate loneliness, even in the midst of a crowd? How many feel like they have no friends? In today's world ISOLATION is a horrible disease that afflicts millions. We have a need for someone to rise up and provide the community and friendship we long for.
We at City 616 have stepped forward to provide that community. We are providing a safe place for strangers to meet together and then leave as friends.
We Cannot Do It Ourselves
This is why many of us give to Wounded Warriors and Compassion International. We do not have the time, resources nor the expertise to know how to help that wounded soldier. We do not have the money to fly to Africa and take care of our "adopted" child. But there are organizaions who can take our few dollars and maximize their spending potential by applying those dollars within their system that knows how to best help these people.
This is what we do with your dollars. We apply your dollars within our organization which is set-up to do what so many others cannot do. We provide the space, the time, the expertise, the manual labor, the creativity and the energy needed to provide community for our city.
'You Guys Are Like R&D for the Church"
Finally, a word to our Faith Family. The above quote is what a good friend told us last year. Of course, the Church as a whole needs more than R&D (Research & Development) but we thought he was right. It is no secret to most of the people who come into our sphere that we are Christians. But how do they know that? Is it because we shout out our political views and draw a line in the sand between Us vs. THEM? Is it because we preach and harass people with Bible banging? Is it because we only invite the "good, right" people into our home? Or is it because we have spent the past five years experimenting and attempting different ways of loving others?
"All men will know you are my disciples by how you love one another" — Jesus
As the R&D wing of the church, we are truly seeking new and better ways to bring the love of God to our community by loving them first. In this regard, I think the Catholics have had the right idea about the "rule" of the parish priest. A priest moves into an area and he considers all those in that area (parish) to be his parishioners whether they are Catholic, Protestant, Atheist or Agnostic. In other words, he sees all the souls in his parish to be his flock, whether or not they ever come to his church.
We have taken that attitude here in Greensboro, but especially in the South Elm Street area. We consider it our responsibility to bring the Kingdom of God to our area whether or not everyone believes like we do or not. We experience such joy and meaning in this life in Christ, we find we must share it. But we don't "share" in a traditional sense. We like to say that we want to bring the Kingdom of God so close that folks may touch it.
So when people walk up our stairs, come to dinner, stop by for coffe, drop-in for breakfast or attend a movie night — this is our intention and our prayer. That they might come so close to the joy & wonder of the Kingdom of God that they may touch it and be touched by it.
We Depend On You
Well, I hope you have an idea of who we are and what we do. And as you can see what we do is a bit elusive and intangible... but it is so badly needed. The ONLY way we can do what we do is through the gifts of our supporters.