People of Faith far exceed their secular counterparts when it comes to making contributions to the needy, according to a recent Giving USA report.
The study found that 62 percent of religious households give to charities and 46 percent of those donations were not necessarily religiously affiliated. People who attend regular services gave at a rate of 11 times higher than non-churchgoers and people over 40 years old gave larger sums. These detailed accounts were based on data from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS), considered an authoritative resource for measuring U.S. household donations.
But even with the high degree of Christian generosity, the prevalence of scams and profiteers makes many potential donors skittish. The concern tends to be that the money won’t find its way to those that need it most. These are some well-regarded Christian organizations that are worthy of support.
Samaritan’s Purse: Helping in Jesus’ Name
Founded by Evangelist and writer Bob Pierce in 1970, the organization was originally designed to help suffering children in Asia. After his passing, the group’s mission expanded to additionally providing relief for disaster victims such as earthquakes and hurricanes.
The organization traces its philosophy to the Good Samaritan example in the Bible. Support can be offered by volunteering for Operation Christmas Child during National Collection Week. Gift donations are placed in a shoebox and things such as toys, school supplies and hygiene items are encouraged. The Greatest Journey program asks for a $6 donation to help fund a 12-lesson Bible study plan that includes materials. One donation can help up to six children learn about God.
Angel Tree Ministry
The Angel Tree-led Prison Fellowship helps remember and provide hope for the children of convicts left behind. The organization works to deliver Christmas gifts. The items help to reconnect children with their estranged parents. The presents are selected by area church volunteers and personalized. Angel Tree supporters can purchase the Christmas gifts or make monetary contributions. The Angel Tree organization has a variety of worthwhile programs that help shine a ray of God’s light into children’s hearts.
Operation Blessing International
Founded by Pat Robertson in 1978, Operation Blessing helps direct items such as clothing, appliances and other things to those in need. It started with The 700 Club viewers and has become a full-fledged mission of its own. The Bless-A-Child wing helps build schools in Africa. Volunteers can get involved in a variety of disaster relief drives and people of faith can take an 8-day Impact Volunteer Trip by providing funding as low as $350-$650. The missionary trips include about 30 members each.
Toys for Tots
For those who aren’t certain about who runs this organization, it’s the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. They gather unwrapped new toys during the last two months of the year and turn these items into Christmas gifts for children in need. Although not Christian-centered, it is highly rated and demonstrates the profound commitment made by American military personnel. Thank them for their service by dropping off a toy.
Children’s Hunger Fund
Founded with the mission of saving children from starvation, this Gospel-centered organization has raised more than $1 billion in aid for children and families in crisis. Some of its key accomplishments include producing upwards of 15,000 daily meals following the 1995 Los Angeles earthquake and more than a dozen truckloads of aid to people displaced by hurricane Katrina.
The Children’s Hunger Fund is widely considered a frugal, cost-efficient group that can organize complete meals for .25 cents and ship 4-dozen to other countries for $12. Donating to CHF is considered money well spent.
Other Christian ministries that are doing God’s work include:
- Lutheran World Relief:This organization works to provide assistance to homeless and underprivileged Lutherans in Germany and Scandinavia. Key donations include school resources for children, quilts and hygiene items.
- The Salvation Army:The bell ringers will be out during the holiday season. This Evangelical organization works to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and help meet the needs of people around the world. The Salvation Army is well-regarded for its hunger relief efforts and providing low-cost household items.
- Catholic Relief Services:Donations are directed to those suffering from poverty by helping people to invest in industries such as family farms around the world. The organization works to alleviate the long-term issues that keep people in economic crisis.
One of the most rewarding acts of Christian kindness is volunteering in conjunction with a local church as a family, couple or member of the community. Volunteerism and charitable giving helps build fellowship while doing God’s work.
~ Christian Patriot Daily