Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Grassroots Approach to Helping Others

A popular business model is making its way into the nonprofit sector. It’s called micro-lending, and it is responsible for equipping individuals in third-world countries to develop small businesses that bring economic stability to entire communities. Common Heart is piggy-backing off this global concept to change lives right here in Indian Trail. We call it micro-giving. Through micro-giving, the generosity and compassion of many come together to meet the needs of one person or family.

Recently, Colin Albert posted the below need on his own Facebook page as well as Common Heart’s page. It was his third post asking friends and colleagues to open their hearts and extend a helping hand to a grandmother struggling to keep her extended family housed and fed. Colin has served this woman for some time now, and over the years a friendship formed.  When her need came to his attention, he reached out to Common Heart CONNECTS and five of his friends to answer it.

This is what micro-giving looks like. It has become an integral part of CONNECTS, and Facebook has proven to be an effective way to get the right services to those who need them. “Micro-giving is cool!,” said Keith Adams, executive director of Common Heart. “It gets people involved personally. You know what you are giving to and you know you are making a difference,” he explained.   

Keith shared another recent example of micro-giving: “I returned a call the other day from a new Common Heart friend with a specific need. She is on dialysis and asked if we could find her a refrigerator. Hers had just broken down. She had no money and four kids. Not having one to give, I told her we would see what we could do. Immediately after that call, I checked my phone and had a message from another friend wanting to know if we knew anyone needing a refrigerator! Talk about providence! God is pretty cool! The refrigerator was delivered that night by the friend who donated it!”

Paul reminds us in Acts 20:35 (NIV) “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”