One of the things that SHoWLE does, that I would like to see do, is assist the community where we live. One project we completed for the second year was adopting a family through Lucas County Children Services for Christmas. Of course the question that get asks is why only at Christmas when families need help all year round? Why copy what other faith groups do? Those are valid questions and I’ll explain our philosophy about community projects.
I am totally with those who complain about copying religious groups and pulling out the volunteering/donation machine only during the holiday season. I think only limiting such action to the holidays plays into the religious narrative that help is only needed during one time of the year so we feel better about not helping at other times.
The other consideration for year end donating is taxes. People who are able to deduct donations may want to wait until the end of the year to get their full return on the tax forms the next year.
Some non-profits also use the holiday season to raise awareness and donations about their cause during a time of the year when people are thinking about donating time, money, or things to those who are struggling.
The only obstacle to SHoWLE helping a family all year is we would need to have a group of members committed to helping all year. It would not be something to be thrown together at the last minute IF we have time. There will be times such an endeavor will be a grind and someone might not be “feeling it” that particular time or date. I know from past experience with the group I was part of in Columbus that even if you have five or six people saying they will help eventually it is left to one of two people to do all the work.
I won’t commit SHoWLE to a year long effort without knowing we have a solid commitment from volunteers to pull it off. I don’t want to see us commit to something and either fail to do it or do it half way. That would make us look bad in the community and might hurt future chances to work with other groups on other projects.
I just don’t think SHoWLE is big enough to sustain a year long effort to help a family at this time but we do have the capacity to participate in the limited holiday program through Lucas County although I did reduce the size of the family we helped from 3 people to two, this year, just so as not to stretch us too far.
SHoWLE will also try to help others if an emergency comes up. Last Christmas we were able to help a family that had been suddenly dropped by a company that had “adopted” them as part of their year end “giving back” to the community that many companies do on the holidays. We were able to pull together some extra resources so that family didn’t miss out because a company heartlessly changed it’s mind.
I am always open to new ideas. If someone is enthusiastic about some project and they pretty much do the leg work to get it setup and coordinate it then I am willing to try it and promote it to the rest of the group.