Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
I have a something so incredibly special to share with you today. I actually hinted at it in my last episode, but I want to take some time and explain it more fully so you can join me in this.
For those of you who don’t know, in addition to working as a spiritual director for women who are experiencing depression or grief or any sort of difficult season in their life, I also own a gift shop where I make encouragement and sympathy gifts like our Tear Bottles and Mini Tear Bottle Necklaces.
And as a gift shop owner, I have had to think about the holidays and if I wanted to create a sale or a discount or something to offer to you, my customers. This is something all business owners have to decide. Will they offer sales or not? Will they have any sort of promotion? Bonuses? Free gifts?
And for me, giving a discount seemed nice, but it just didn’t seem to perfectly align with what we do here at Love Does That, which is walking with those who are hurting.
I brainstormed and prayed about how to handle holiday seasons and last year, came up with the idea to do a fundraiser instead of a sale. And this is how it works.
Instead of offering you a 15% discount, we take that 15% and donate it to a local non-profit, who I’ll talk more about here in a minute. But here’s why that seems like a better fit for us.
First, it allows us to impact our community. You’ll see how this one organization reaches so many people and why it is important for us to partner with them so they can do what they do.
Second, it allows us to invite you to consider donating to a non-profit in your own community. To not lose sight of those who are on the ground helping people in your town who are struggling, whether that’s with food or finding a job or housing or whatever it is.
If you listen to the end of my episodes, I tell you that we all need to do our part—me loving my neighbor and you loving yours, so we can make sure that no one is hurting alone. By us supporting a local non-profit, I can encourage you to look at organizations near you that are actually working in your own community. And maybe not just financially supporting them, but volunteering or helping in some other way.
And third, you still get a special gift from us by participating, because we do want you to know how much we appreciate you and your support of Love Does That. Stay tuned to learn more about that.
Okay, so the non-profit that we are supporting through our Thanksgiving Fundraiser is Love INC, which stands for Love In the Name of Christ. And you guys, they do so much incredible stuff for our community. Let me start by reading you a statement on their website:
WE STRIVE TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE TO EXPERIENCE GOD’S LOVE IN WAYS THAT CAN BE SEEN AND FELT THROUGH MINISTRIES HOSTED AT OUR DOWNTOWN SITE AND LOCAL PARTNER CHURCHES. AS WE WORK TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OUR HURTING, STRUGGLING AND MARGINALIZED NEIGHBORS, WE AIM TO DO SO IN WAYS THAT BRING THE CHURCH IN HUNTINGTON TOGETHER – TRANSCENDING DENOMINATIONAL AND SOCIAL BOUNDARIES TO EMBODY JESUS WITH COMPASSION AND MERCY.
Isn’t that beautiful? There’s so much I could dive into there, but I want to highlight how they partner with local churches to do the work, and they do so in a way that honors them as humans made in God’s image and in a way that allows them to experience God’s love. I love it.
Let me run through just a few of their programs.
First is their food pantry. This one is special for my husband and I because he works as a grocery store manager and often sees people struggling to make ends meet. And this is one way we can help them.
Now, if you were a part of our fundraiser last year, we shared how food pantries had a difficult time filling their shelves because they couldn’t get the foods from the grocery stores to pass along to the people who needed them. My husband saw this on his end because he couldn’t get the products in for people. It was so frustrating
That shortage, though better, has continued. There are still times when we go into the store and there are empty spots on the shelves because either the store can’t get it in or it’s not even being made in the first place.
A second program they have is Cooking with Love, where individuals can meet once a month at the Food Pantry Nutrition Center to learn how to make fresh, healthy food on a budget. It’s not just an educational program, but a way to meet neighbors and build relationships.
Third is their Loads of Love program. Through this, neighbors can schedule a time to get their laundry done at a local laundry mat.
It wasn’t that long ago that our little town experienced a water crisis, and we were told we couldn’t use the water for anything but flushing the toilet. That meant no cooking and no cleaning. No showers. No laundry. For two or three entire weeks. Can you imagine?
While my family was able to do our laundry at my parents’ house, others in our town didn’t have family nearby to visit, and so they were able to take advantage of this program. It was such a blessing.
And guys, those three programs are just scratching the surface. They also have a thrift shop, a Christmas gift shop, a program for families with new babies, a pet food pantry, a partnership with a local medical office, a back-to-school program, and more. Can you see why we love to support them?
So here is how our Thanksgiving Fundraiser is going to work. From November 15 to 30, we will donate 15% of all sales to Love INC. All you have to do is buy from our shop at lovedoesthat.org.
We have a variety of encouragement and sympathy gifts, like our Tear Bottles, Mini Tear Bottle Necklaces, and Prayer Box Necklaces, and we also have some resources to help you in your walk with Christ, such as a retreat guide and a devotional. And of course, there’s also the Courageous Care Masterclass that you heard about back in July, August, and September.
When you buy from us, you will be entered to win a digital prize pack from us, which will include a copy of all of our digital resources, such as the When God Says No retreat guide, the Imagine devotional, and the premium version of the Courageous Care Masterclass that includes the opportunity to meet with me afterward to discuss what you’ve learned and do even more training with me one on one.
But there’s more. Everyone who shares about our Thanksgiving Fundraiser online or with their church will get access to our new Advent resource called When Your Silent Night Feels Empty. This will include a printable with an original art piece and poem from me, journal questions, a Scripture writing plan, and additional resources to help you through a difficult holiday season.
To get that, simply share about the Thanksgiving Fundraiser by creating your own post and linking to Love Does That, or you can find us on Facebook or Instagram and share our post. Either way, be sure to tag us in it so we see it. Or, if you text it to a friend or share it with your church, take a picture of that text or your church bulletin or whatever it is and message that to me on Facebook or Instagram or email it to me at email@example.com.
But, as I said, this isn’t just about us supporting our community. It’s about you supporting yours. I challenge you to find a local non-profit that you are just as passionate about as we are Love INC. Learn about them and what they do, and find out what you can do to support them and get involved.
If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, my name is spelled K-A-R-I. And I look forward to partnering with you to reach out to our communities this holiday season.
So get ready to shop. The fundraiser is going on even as we speak. Just go to lovedoesthat.org to get started.
Okay, that’s all for today, my friends. Until next time…
DON’T WANT TO GO THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS ALONE?
I’d be honored to walk with you through a difficult holiday season and help you attune yourself to God’s presence and work in your life.