A Season of Giving
As you know we are wrapping up our annual pledge drive and hope you have all turned in a card in the offering plate (or to the office) to be sure your are marked as a pledger for the coming year.
However, as you know there are always opportunities to give: this week we are collecting gift cards for the fire victims in Paradise.
We are working with the head of the Boys and Girls Club in the Chico area. She knows all of the local families and has pleaded with everyone to not send stuff, but has asked us specifically to please send gift cards.
A question that I've gotten over the past few days is: if the result of sending gift cards is that the victims buy stuff, why not just send them the stuff? This is an excellent question. And what I've learned is that, unless you are working closely with a local agency (and not just responding to a Facebook post from an agency that has been re-posted who know how many times), stuff -- even stuff you are sure will be helpful and useful -- takes time away from working with the people, because the stuff has to be sorted and managed, and most often becomes a secondary crisis.
If you want to know more about this, please let me know.
The other reason for a gift card is that it gives the victim some agency over his or her own life at time when they have very little control over their life. To be able to pick out their own toothbrush, or top, or towel, or favorite food, all of these promote a faster healing process, and as we vow in our Baptismal Covenant, we are respecting the dignity of every human being. Given the choice, we would all like to opportunity to have agency to get what we need, not what someone else thinks we might need.
So, you have a few days left to drop off gift cards to Target, Walmart, Vons, Chevron, Shell, CVS, or Amazon. Drop them by the office and they will get hand delivered to the head of the Boys and Girls Club for distribution. Thank you to everyone who has already donated. St. Cross is a generous community.