Today is #GivingTuesday. From the founders' website, this day is,
"Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving."Honestly, fundraising is one of the least favorite things that I do in my position as a leader. I love working with our parents and have a passion for serving them as they walk through the daily challenges of raising their complex kids. At the same time, I find myself frustrated that more people don't embrace our mission and donate in greater numbers. There is such need, such weariness and discouragement in the caregivers we serve. Yet, we are in a unique position to offer them transformative hope.
Perhaps the reason that would-be donors don't "get it" in greater numbers is that they don't realize our lives as special needs parents all come down to a moment. At one point in time, most of us were just like the average, typical world. Then came the birth, the accident, or the diagnosis. In a moment, our worlds were turned on their heads. We were thrust into a role most of us were ill prepared to assume. Worry, confusion, overwhelm, isolation, and exhaustion suddenly became our closest companions.
Maybe if people understood that you are real individuals with real stories, they would give. If they knew about all the hospitalizations Caleb, and Tahlia, and Devyn, and Nina, and Timmy, and Owen have endured this past year, perhaps they would just care more. Maybe if they knew how we grieved together this year as we saw Amy, and Chris, and Sarai, and others move to heaven, they might offer support. The scary situations we have seen you through with Meghan, and Liam, and Jenny, and Mark, and Ricky, and Sam might just be enough for them to see the real need you have.
This isn't a journey any human being is capable of walking on their own. It takes a BIG Savior to help us manage the most basic daily living. That BIG Savior uses average people to accomplish His purposes for those who need help.
THAT is why #GivingTuesday is such a critical day each year. It is a clarion call to put faith into action. An estimated 80% of the disabled and their families are unchurched. This means that they have either been driven out of a church (yes, I have heard many of those stories), the church they attend won't make a way to include their child with a diagnosis, or they are so exhausted from the daily living, that they don't make it to church. We have a mission field right under our feet that is going largely ignored. These are the parents we serve.
When people give to our mission and our work, they are reaching the least and the lost. We parents are marginalized by culture and by faith communities. Snappin' Ministries offers the ministry of presence, validates caregivers, and points them to the only true source of hope.
"Our pursuit is to continuously support and encourage those living with the challenge of parenting a child with special needs, so that the genuine love and hope of Jesus will be experienced and shared in their every day lives."Whether it be this daily devotional blog, our small group parent mentoring, our TLC baskets shipped nationwide to struggling parents, our gift cards to support parents in need, or sharing essential information via social media, each practical support shows mothers and fathers the love of Christ in a very real way.
#GivingTuesday makes a difference that impacts lives all year long. When people give generously to our caregivers, they are treating them the way they would like to be treated. This is a critical choice, because EVERYONE is just one emergency room visit away from becoming a family raising a child with significant challenges.
If you are so inclined to give, you may do so at http://www.snappin.org/#!give/c1jxp.
PRAY: Jehovah Jireh, move hearts. Help the typical world to understand what it is to walk a mile in our weary shoes. Soften hearts, motivating them to give generously, so that struggling parents can finally see Your Hope.
~ Barb Dittrich