You may be wondering why we haven’t given you any updates on the kids yet, and I promise they are coming. We have some great pictures of Sophie with the kids (I even got one of Sophie holding Dinna’s face and kissing her right on the lips), our first day of school was yesterday, we have gone shoe shopping, had a party because all of the kids passed last year, we had a team (really 3 good friends/sponsors) come down and help us get situated, we passed out backpacks and school supplies, we paid for school at 3 different locations, and we (by “we” I really mean Jess) found books for all 30 of the kids we send to school by the time school started. We have a lot of stories to tell. On top of that, we saw one of our former kids, Richadeley, the other day when he came to give us his school list. He did not look good. He was pale and skinny and so we immediately told him to bring his Mom down so we could meet together. We decided together that we would start paying for lunch at school for Richadeley each day and that he would come back home with us for tutoring and a meal before walking back home with Chinaider who lives right next to him. I say all of that to say that we have some new blogs coming soon that will update you on all that is going on here, but we are not ready to write them quite yet. Instead, I had a list of blog ideas that I had been wanting to write, and blogging is a stress reliever for me, so that is what I am doing for now…So on with the blog.
I was at a store in America the other day, I’m pretty sure it was Walgreen’s, and the cashier asked me if I wanted to donate a certain amount of money to a charity. I don’t remember the charity or the amount that they asked (though I am pretty sure it was $1) but I do remember thinking, and quite possibly over thinking, about what was being asked of me. Sure it was maybe just a dollar, but if every Walgreen’s across the country asks every customer to donate that small amount of money it would turn into a huge fundraiser for that nonprofit. I also noticed that almost every Walgreen’s, Publix, Kroger, etc. are asking for money for this charity or that charity and I know little to nothing about any of them. In fact, I ate at a restaurant at St. Simon’s Island a few years ago that just automatically raised the price of your meal to the nearest whole dollar and the excess change went to a local park fund unless you read the small print of a piece of paper on every menu that told you to just tell the waiter that you did not want them to do that. (side note: I did not tell the waiter not to round the check up, but I was a little irritated by it) Here is my point. With well over 1 million nonprofits in America alone, why are we so quick to give our money to some of them without knowing anything about them? As a whole, we research and think over every single decision we make. From the next car we will buy to the best hotel to stay in to the best shampoo to use, we are a country of researchers. I remember taking 2 weeks one time just to find the right pair of running shoes (they ended up being horrible but that is a different story) and we are asked to make a split-second decision on whether or not this charity organization is worthy of us giving our money to, and instead of thinking it over we just say yes. Maybe it is just me, but I like to research everything to make sure whatever I am purchasing or giving to is the best use of my resources. I understand that this is overkill when you are asked for a dollar, but hopefully you see my point that it is important to know who we are giving money to and what we are supporting.
I understand and hope that writing a blog like this will make us rethink where our money is going. I also understand that if you are reading this there is a good chance you support All Things New in some way and that may seem a little counterintuitive to write this (meaning why ask donors to rethink where their money is going if it is going to your organization). The truth is, after working in the nonprofit world for a few years, I want people to take their time and put some real thought into where they are giving their money. It is so vital to choose the right nonprofit or ministry because when you do, it can truly be life changing for you and your family. When you find an organization that can open your eyes to a world that you did not know before, or make your children excited about being involved in something outside of themselves, or even help you grow in your relationship with Christ then you have found the right nonprofit. When you can trust your support is being used wisely, see the results, and feel comfortable with the leadership of the organization then you have found the right nonprofit. Of course I hope that All Things New is the right ministry for you to be involved in, but I know that it is not for everyone, it couldn’t be. In reality, my point in writing this blog is really not to say, “Come support All Things New.” My point is to tell everyone to find the ministry, charity, or nonprofit that brings you and your family closer to Jesus, closer to each other, and brings you joy, and when you do…pour into that. Do not be content with leaving a tip at the grocery store or giving to your employer sponsored charity, find the place that GOD is calling you to serve and allow it to change your life. Finding the right ministry to support is even more important than finding the right restaurant or the right shoes…Let’s treat it that way.