Category : Charities/Non-Profit Organizations

(NBC) Former medical debt collectors using expertise to help the neediest patients

Craig Antico co-founded RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit that buys up batches of overdue medical bills, erasing $120 million in debt for 60,000 patients so far.

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Health & Medicine, Personal Finance & Investing, Stewardship

(Christian Today) Archbishop of Canterbury warns cutting 0.7% aid budget would be ‘tragedy’

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned it would be a ‘tragedy’ if Britain backed off its commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of its spending on overseas aid.

Justin Welby’s remarks came as Oxfam’s chief executive Mark Goldring admitted the scandal around sex abuse committed by the charity’s staff in Haiti had undermined public support for the government’s international development budget.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology

(NBC) After growing up homeless, boy is over the moon for his new bed

8-year-old Daeyr Neely has been homeless since he was a toddler, so he couldn’t contain himself when he saw his very own bed, and his reaction has gone viral.

Watch it all.

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Poverty

(Local Paper) Volunteers to deliver Christmas presents to bereaved kids in Charleston, South Carolina, area

Christmas Commandos tailor the presents to each child’s needs. The nonprofit relies on guidance counselors, teachers and hospice workers to nominate children in the tri-county area and provide the necessary details to make their Christmas personal.

If a child wants a bicycle but doesn’t have a covered place to store it, the commandos will provide a lock and a tarp. If a toddler has lost his mother, volunteers will buy shoes a half-size up that can be worn in six months. This year, each child will receive a pillow along with his or her gifts.

One special memory stands out from Deacola’s seven years of volunteering. She and other commandos were in the middle of delivering presents when a man opened his front door and asked what they were doing. The commandos explained that they were there to deliver gifts for his three grandchildren who had lost their mother that year. He let them bring the presents inside.

“He saw bikes and everything coming in. He was holding onto the chair and steadying himself and he was like, ‘I just can’t believe this,'” Deacola said.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Stewardship

(Christian Post) Pakistan Cracks Down on Charities, World Vision Given 90 Days to Leave

The government in Pakistan has ordered 27 international aid groups, including World Vision, to shut down alleging they were working in unauthorized areas and aiding human rights campaigners. The groups have been given 90 days to leave.

The 27 groups that have been asked to leave by Pakistan’s interior ministry include Action Aid, Plan International, Trocaire, Pathfinder International, Danish Refugee Council, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, Oxfam Novib, and Marie Stopes, according to Reuters.

Pakistan’s Minister of State for Interior Affairs, Talal Chaudhry, told Reuters the nonprofits were doing work in Pakistan “which is beyond their mandate and for which they have no legal justification.” He added that the groups spent “all their money” on administration and are not doing the work they said they were doing.

Read it all.

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Law & Legal Issues, Pakistan, Politics in General

Rowan Williams: Nativity is a powerful reminder of our own vulnerability and weakness

Dr Williams is chair of Christian Aid and called for support for its Christmas appeal as he said, ‘life doesn’t have to be like this. We can build a world with deeper justice, greater fairness, greater security for all.’

He said: ‘One of the most serious forms of powerlessness that anyone can experience is, of course, hunger. Take a country like South Sudan: after years of merciless and bloody civil war, food security has become a major question in South Sudan. This year, a famine was declared. Countless young people faced starvation. It’s not the only place in Africa, or indeed throughout the world, where this is a problem. Places like Burkina Faso are facing some of the same challenges.

‘But South Sudan is particularly vivid in my own memory: I visited there a couple of times in the last 10 years. I’ve seen what life is like in the refugee camps. I’ve seen the feeding programmes, combined with educational programmes, that many local churches and charities take up. The challenge is enormous, and it’s one that we are determined to face this Christmas, and to respond to. A gift of £10 will feed a family in South Sudan for a week. A gift of £40, for a month.’

Read it all.

Posted in --Rowan Williams, --South Sudan, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Christmas, Poverty, Stewardship

(NBC) Meet the man who gives all children a chance to ride a bike

Minnesota’s Jack Carlson is making sure kids with physical challenges can still experience the freedom of riding a bike. Boyd Huppert of KARE in Minneapolis reports….

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Marriage & Family, Stewardship, Travel

(NBC) Parents of Toddler Killed in Disney Resort Alligator Attack Launch Foundation to Help Families with Children in Critical Medical Need

The parents of Lane Graves announced that the foundation, named in honor of their son, would help other parents pay expenses like electrical bills or the mortgage, while their children endure organ transplants.

Watch it all.

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance & Investing

A Story of Hope for a Friday–this Wonderful Lady provides Birthday parties for children who have never had one

Watch and enjoy it all.

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Poverty

(PA) Britons skipping birthdays over lack of money, Christian charity finds

The Church of England’s social action charity has revealed that one in nine British adults missed out on celebrating a birthday or other special occasion last year because of a lack of money.

The Church Urban Fund said more must be done to help hard-pressed Britons as figures from its food survey suggest almost a million adults used a food bank last year.

The charity’s executive director Paul Hackwood said the results paint a “deeply troubling picture of food insecurity throughout Britain”.

He described the effects of such poverty as wide-reaching, adding: “Those affected don’t just go hungry or poorly nourished – they suffer isolation, are excluded from participating in social activities and experience considerable anxiety.”

Read it all.

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, England / UK, Personal Finance, Sociology

([London] Times) Islamist extremism funded by donations from public

Hundreds of thousands of pounds in small donations from within the UK are the main source of income for some Islamist extremist organisations, according to a secret government report.

Extremists are also posing as charities to solicit donations from unwitting British Muslims who give because of the emphasis their faith puts on charity.

The report found that “significant” amounts of money were being channelled from overseas to a few groups and that overseas support has helped to fund preachers with deeply conservative views of Islam who operate in Islamic institutions in the UK.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

(CT) Drone Dilemma: Should Christian Aid Groups Use a Military Symbol?

If someone gets ill in Contanama, Peru—a remote village in the Amazon rainforest—the nearest pharmacy is 50 miles away. The journey takes six hours by road. But medicines can be delivered by a small drone—or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)—to the local doctor in 35 minutes.

This technological breakthrough, like many others in history, was originally designed for use in war. Developed by the United States and the United Kingdom during the Iraq conflict, drones are becoming a mainstay of organizations delivering humanitarian aid to remote developing world communities. For example, last month drones surveyed the damage from coastal flooding in Peru, sending video footage otherwise too difficult to obtain.

The same month, President Donald Trump rolled back rules in order to make drone strikes even easier, including lowering the threshold for civilian casualties and pushing against the theology behind just war theory. Punctuating this shift from Obama-era policies, a disputed drone strike in Syria killed 42 people in mid-March. (The US government says it killed al Qaeda militants, while activists and local residents maintain that it attacked civilians at a mosque.)

Christians have debated whether drones should be used in war at all. The wartime reputation of drones means they are not always welcomed in aid efforts either.

Read it all.

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(Church Times) Spring push to end fossil-fuel reliance

Churches, parishes, and indi­viduals will be urged next spring to join a global disinvestment mobil­isa­tion to end the dependence on fossil fuels.

The campaign Bright Now will launch the event next May to increase pressure on big investors to move their money away from coal, oil, and gas producers into green-energy technologies.

The campaign, which is run by a Christian charity that campaigns on climate change, Operation Noah, is putting together a resource for churches on how they can disinvest from fossil fuels and reinvest in renewable energy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stock Market, Theology

The Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal supports a response to the crisis in Yemen

The Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal is partnering with Christian Aid and Tearfund to respond to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Already one of the world’s poorest nations, it has been devastated by civil war, leaving 7,000 dead, 35,000 injured and millions without food and shelter.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Asia, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Church of Ireland, Defense, National Security, Military, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, Yemen

Doctors of the World Christmas cards combine nativity scenes with images from war zones

A UK charity is selling a series of Christmas cards featuring images that combine traditional Biblical imagery with contemporary pictures from conflict zones across the Middle East.

Doctors of the World UK is selling the cards, with names including ”˜Not So Silent Night’ and ”˜The Star of Bedlam’, to raise funds for its mission to provide medical aid to people who’ve been forced from their homes by war.

The cards were designed by ad agency McCann London, incorporating Press Association photographs taken over the last year.

Read it all from the Telegraph.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Middle East, Religion & Culture, Violence

(WSJ) Orrin Hatch–How Trump Can Help Religious Charities

The House is scheduled to vote Friday on the National Defense Authorization Act. This legislation is passed annually to set the military’s budget and settle other policy issues. A significant hangup had been Democratic opposition to a provision known as the “Russell amendment,” which would have clarified conscience protections for religious groups that receive federal contracts. The amendment is named after Rep. Steve Russell (R., Okla.), who offered the amendment at the House Armed Services Committee.

Forty-two Democratic senators signed an Oct. 25 letter opposing the Russell amendment. They claim it would have authorized bigotry by allowing religiously affiliated contractors to “engage in discriminatory hiring practices” or even to fire employees for using birth control or in vitro fertilization. These accusations are grossly inaccurate, but they led to the amendment’s removal from the final bill. The U.S. now risks losing the crucial work religious service providers do for communities with the support of federal contracts.

Every day, stories of grace and mercy are being written as people of faith help those in need. Catholic Charities has helped single moms fill their basic needs. The Mormon Church, through LDS Charities, has donated wheelchairs to hundreds of thousands of people. The University Muslim Medical Association Community Clinic in Los Angeles provides care for thousands of people in a desperate part of town. The Jewish Social Service Agency supports families of children with autism. Samaritans Purse provides disaster relief across the world.

These groups are being marginalized by the federal government. What happened?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, History, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Senate

(Premier) Anglican charity makes name U-turn

The charity Us is to return to its previous name USPG following an in-depth review of the current brand.

Back in 2012, the mission agency moved away from its long standing name of USPG (United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) to move into a new era of its work.

However a number of supporters were unhappy at the face the word ‘gospel’ had been removed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Great NBC profile story of a Maine restaurant making a huge difference through generosity

The kitchen at The Red Barn restaurant in Augusta, Maine, stays busy cooking up miracles, filling its customers ”” and community ”” with nourishment that comes straight from the heart.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

A rescued Eagle Released by South Carolina's Center for Birds of Prey

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Animals, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations

PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–The Migrant Crisis and Faith-Based Relief Groups

Record numbers of Syrian, Iraqi, and North African migrants have been flooding into Europe, generating a massive humanitarian crisis. Host Bob Abernethy and managing editor Kim Lawton talk with Sean Callahan, chief operating officer of Catholic Relief Services, about how faith-based groups are trying help the refugees and what the US can do to address the crisis. Says Callahan, “What we would like to do is see, at the call of Pope Francis, that we all open our doors a little bit more, and we expedite the process. Currently for the refugees to get in it takes about 18 to 24 months for them to be reviewed, and we’d like to expedite that, because these families are in tragic situations and really need to move quick.”

Reador watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

(LA Times) Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says attack on hospital was a mistake

Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told Congress on Tuesday that the deadly U.S. airstrike on a civilian hospital in Kunduz was a mistake, but he declined to endorse calls for an outside investigation.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Campbell said the hospital was “mistakenly struck” and that the decision to carry out the attack was made through the U.S. military chain of command.

Campbell thus offered a further refinement of previous Pentagon claims. On Monday, he told reporters that Afghan forces had called in the airstrike. The Pentagon initially had said the attack by an AC-130 gunship was ordered to protect U.S. forces on the ground.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Theology, War in Afghanistan

HEARTWARMING–Widow of fallen Columbia SC area police officer volunteers at Food Shelter

At the Harvest Hope Food Bank, each volunteer has a reason to serve, including Kassy Alia. Tuesday afternoon, Alia was dubbed the “Fun Food Lady” as she sorted cart-loads of cakes, pies, and pizzas.

“Something that’s brought me a lot of peace over the past few days is I know I told my husband everyday how much I loved him, and he did the same for me. I’m confident, and I know that he would be so proud of me,” she said.

Kassy’s late husband, Forest Acres police officer Greg Alia, was shot and killed in the line of duty last week while responding to a suspicious vehicle call at Richland Mall. He was a new father, just 32 years old, and a star at the small department. Alia was laid to rest on Saturday as the rain rolled in.

Read it all and watch the whole video.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Weather

(CNN) South Carolina flooding: How to help

Deadly flooding has engulfed parts of South Carolina, forcing people from their homes. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has activated the National Guard to help with flood rescues, and charitable organizations are responding.

Impact Your World has gathered ways for people to help in these efforts.

Ӣ The Salvation Army is assisting communities along the East Coast by providing food, water and shelter to flood victims.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

(CNN) Doctors without borders urges independent inquiry after Afghan hospital blown apart

Doctors Without Borders is calling for an independent investigation of the deadly bombing of its hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, which it says is no longer operational.

Aerial bombardments blew apart the medical facility about the time of a U.S. airstrike early Saturday, killing at least 19 people, officials said.

The blasts left part of the hospital in flames and rubble, killing 12 staffers and seven patients — including three children — and injuring 37 other people, the charity said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Theology, Violence

(Barrons) Wells Fargo Advisors’ former CEO Danny Ludeman launches efforts to help ex-convicts

For Danny Ludeman, God’s call came in the form of a letter.

In the fall of 2013, Ludeman, then 56, announced he would step down after 15 years as CEO of St. Louis”“based Wells Fargo Advisors. In a subsequent interview with the local press, he mentioned that after leaving Wells, he wanted to spend 100% of his time “helping other people,” perhaps by running a nonprofit organization. As you might expect, his mailbox was flooded with offers. But one in particular caught his eye.

“I don’t know, there was something about the letter, the way it was written, and the case it made””it just called out to me,” he remembers.
The letter came from Candace O’Connor, a professional writer and the volunteer president of Project Cope, a five-person nonprofit group in St. Louis dedicated to helping ex-convicts adapt to life after prison. O’Connor’s letter carried a suggestion: “Why not head a small organization that does tremendous good””on a very lean budget, for an underserved population””and help it move to a larger sphere where it can help even more people?”

Ludeman was intrigued. He felt that working with Project Cope could dovetail nicely with the main activity he planned to pursue after leaving Wells: obtaining a Master of Divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. “That was very much my retirement plan,” Ludeman says. “Learn to love God with all my heart and soul, and learn to love my neighbor as myself.”

Read it all (or there is another link Read it all.)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(BBB) Giving to Charleston Victims' Families: Donors Should Watch Out for Scams

In the wake of the horrific shooting that killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, BBB Wise Giving Alliance is warning about the potential for fund raising scams, and is urging donors to be aware of the different circumstances that often emerge in tragedy-related philanthropy.

“The hate crime that is being called the ”˜Charleston massacre’ is such a shocking and emotional event,” said Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, the national charity monitoring arm of the Better Business Bureau. “Many people are going to want to donate to the families of the victims, the historic church, and the community. We are warning donors to be on the lookout for questionable solicitors and scammers, not to mention people who might have good intentions but no experience with charity fund raising.”

BBB Wise Giving Alliance urges donors to give thoughtfully and avoid those seeking to take advantage of the generosity of others. Here are BBB WGA’s tips for trusted giving:

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Great 60 minutes piece on the Bentprop Project: into Palau and a forgotten Corner of Hell

More than 400,000 Americans died fighting the Second World War. Adding to the heartache of that staggering loss, nearly one in five of those killed was declared Missing In Action. To this day, the families of some 73,000 unaccounted for servicemen have lived with the mystery of how they died and have been deprived of the comfort that comes from a burial.

At the end of the war, the technology didn’t exist to find and identify many of the missing, but today it does. As Anderson Cooper reported in November, this is the remarkable story of a group of volunteers who spend their own time and money quietly searching for these long lost servicemen — remarkable because of what they’ve discovered in recent years. They are doing it, they say, for the fallen and focus on Palau, a Pacific island nation that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war 70 years ago; a place that some pilots called “a forgotten corner of hell.”

Read it all (scroll down to the bottom and the whole video report is highly recommended). For more about the amazing Bentprop Project go to this link.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Parish Ministry

(WQ) How the thrift shop, once widely denounced, became popular in America

The thrift store has enjoyed something of a new life as of late, birthing chart-topping pop songs and becoming the shopping destination of choice for hipsters looking for vintage wares that are “authentic.” Of course, such stores, often run by Goodwill or the Salvation Army, serve a non-trendy role, too, as a shopping destination of necessity for America’s working class. It was not always thus.

“As early as the colonial era, writers, politicians, and other vocal critics denounced the sale of used goods,” writes Jennifer Le Zotte in New England Quarterly. Partly, it was born of a vague sense that such goods were sullied or unwholesome, but, writes Le Zotte, some of the opposition can be traced to anti-semitism (in this case, directed at Jewish-owned pawn shops).

One such illustration comes from “The Blue Silk,” a short story in the May 1884 Saturday Evening Post, in which the protagonist, Louisa, buys a pre-owned dress from the “Jewess behind the counter” of a resale store. When she wears it to a party, not only is she is socially ostracized for wearing the old dress of another girl, but she comes down with small-pox because of contamination from the resale store. The story neatly combined earnest bigotry with worries of the moral and physical dangers thought to accompany secondhand clothing.

Read it all from Caitlin Moniz and Zack Stanton in the Wilson Quarterly.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Personal Finance, Theology

Thursday Morning Encouragement–A Movie Theater With a Mission: Employing the Disabled

Only 20 percent of disabled people work, compared to 68 percent of those who aren’t disabled, according to September 2014 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

[Valeria] Jensen saved the playhouse from demolition and founded the four-theater commercial movie house, a nonprofit, in historic Ridgefield. Most of the more than 80 theater employees are disabled. But they weren’t there just because they have a disability, Jensen said.

“They’re here because they are a really, really valuable employee,” she said.

“We are ‘The Prospector’ after all,” she noted. “And as prospectors I work with my prospects to find out what their sparkle is.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Movies & Television, Pastoral Theology, Rural/Town Life, Theology

Water Missions International to increase aid to devastated Malawi communities

Water Missions International announced Tuesday that it is doubling its response to severe flooding that impacted southern Malawi in recent weeks.

An agreement between the Charleston-based nonprofit and UNICEF Malawi aims to increase safe water projects from eight to 17 communities in the African country, according to a news release.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Africa, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Malawi