From your pledging ministry:
On Sunday, November 17, to kick-off our pledging campaign, our congregation was invited to take part in a reverse offering. We did this in 2018 with amazing success! Everyone was again challenged to invest these dollars for God, to talk at their holiday table (or anytime!) with friends and family about how best to invest and grow this $5 to benefit others who need a helping hand. We learned from last year that $5 can grow and can help someone or an organization in many ways.
We (Jarod Taylor and Deb Copes) want to share with you stories that were shared with us about how folks prayerfully thought about ways to help people and/or an organization and how they were able to make that $5 grow. We would still love to hear your stories. We know there are more out there. These stories filled me with joy and inspiration. Hopefully, they will inspire all of us to “pay it forward”.
From Lisa Libera:
“Jackson, Maya, and I took our Pay It Forward seed monies to Thanksgiving Dinner this year. We explained the RHCC Pay It Forward initiative to our family and asked them to donate as well. We did wait until after dinner as after some food and wine, everyone seemed to be even more generous than usual! We raised $160 at dinner and then added our $15 in seed money. Then, as a family, we matched the $175 making it $350. Jack’s and Maya’s school (CREC AAEE in Rocky Hill) was doing a shelter drive for My Sister’s Place in Hartford, so we reviewed the list of their needs. We then took our $350 and bought Scrip gift cards to Walmart and Kohls (so that the Church could benefit too), and we purchased three sets of important donations for the shelter. We bought three laundry baskets, and we filled each basket with a toaster, a blanket, a set of sheets, a set of towels, a can opener, an umbrella, antibacterial wipes and toilet paper (all of these were on the wish list). I have attached a picture of Jackson and Maya this morning prior to delivering the baskets to school. It was a lot of fun. The kids really enjoy this initiative! And, hopefully, we have helped some of the families at the shelter!”
From Barry Wilcock:
“Some folks may have noticed that I’ve been a little fuzzy lately. For a few years recently I have been playing along with “No Shave November”, but just for fun. Last year a musician who I enjoy shaved off all his facial hair in October and grew a mustache for “Movember”. Nope, not November, Movember. “Mo” is slang for a mustache “vember” is for the month. I researched the Movember organization and learned that they work globally on men’s health issues, brining awareness to and helping to fight testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and supporting mental health and suicide prevention. From the reverse offering, I took the $5, added more of my own money and created a “Mo Space” on the Movember website. (https://us.movember.com/mospace/) I added my bearded photo and then shared the link on Facebook, asking for donations. Friends chipped in and Mastercard added to my initial donation. The $5 reverse offering grew to $135 and could possibly save a life.”
From Dave Hall:
“Last week, I saw a news story about "RIP Medical Debt", a charity that pays off medical debt for individuals or families who have significant outstanding debt and cannot get their financial lives back "on track" without assistance. I googled the charity, and discovered that it was founded in 2014 by two former debt collection executives who experienced first-hand the crippling impact that medical debt can have on some families. The charity actually buys and retires the debt at a small fraction of the outstanding amount. For example, $10,000 of debt can often be extinguished for a payment of $100. The charity is highly rated on Guidestar.org for transparency, and is closing in on the cumulative retirement of $1 billion in debt by 2020. So, I took the $5 reverse offering, added $95 of my own funds, and donated $100 to retire $10,000 of medical debt.”
From Liz Reed-Swale:
“Charlotte has loved animals since she was a baby. She probably comes by it naturally—I grew up with cows, horses, chickens, ducks and many cats. Graysland Animal Sanctuary was started by Jen and Dave Gray in 2018 in Scotland, CT. They take in animals that others can no longer care for. A couple of weeks ago, Charlotte and I went to visit and help feed the chickens, goats, pigs, donkeys, barn cats, puppies and the gentle giant, a steer named Joey. Despite some of the animals’ natural shyness, to Jen’s surprise and Charlotte’s delight, almost all of the animals came to greet Charlotte with a nudge or a kiss. Charlotte and I donated our seed money and encouraged others to donate to Graysland as well.”
From Mary Deane:
"If you click on the picture of the pie (on facebook), you'll get a description of a pie baking project
that all began with the $5 seed money from RHCC. I'm so glad I was in church that Sunday when
you distributed the "seeds." It came at a time when I was in need of some focus and challenge! My
$5 purchased the first bag of flour that got this project rolling. When I made the initial post on
Facebook describing the project, Meghan Montana answered within a matter of seconds. I was
offering 10 pies for the project. Meghan offered to do 10 more. The orders came in quickly after that, even requiring that we set up an additional pick-up location (Rocky Hill AND Avon.) In total, I made 18 pies. The project raised a total of $690 for Evelyn's safe places: $200 in donations for TransLifeline and $490 for Star Island.
I’ve been described as "mission-focused." Life feels most meaningful when I am fulfilling a larger purpose as well as spreading kindness and joy. I have been sidelined from work since June (running a bakery that teaches people with disabilities to bake), so needless to say, I was excited to have a project and a purpose...though I was nervous about finding the stamina to pull it off. A few extra naps were had, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I started at 4am, but 18 pies all made it to their Thanksgiving homes. Happy Dance! I'm grateful to you and RHCC for this nudge to get moving, this opportunity to spread joy (the very definition of pie!), and mostly for this opportunity to honor Evelyn by raising awareness of the fragility of the trans community and the importance of having safe and welcoming communities in this world. My heart is full and grateful. Thanks be to God."