Family to Family Needs Your Blessings
Over the past decade, we have had a significant decline in support for our Family to Family program and the ability to continue funding short and long term projects.
To compensate, we've steadily cut our overhead costs and gone from a full-time staff of five down to just one with the help of a few volunteers. Our Family to Family program is now our primary focus along with occasional support for refugee relief as donations allow.
I am very thankful to our loyal Family to Family supporters. Many struggle to stay current with their $40 per month donation and when some get behind, they contact me so I can help them stay current. I am also thankful for those who send what they can, as they are able. Every donation counts and helps to improve the lives of our families in the Middle East who struggle to survive every day of their lives.
Many organizations boast that 90 percent or more of your donation goes directly to a program, but what they don't tell you is that, in some cases, there are a lot of hidden costs factored into funding that program.
Here at Venture International we keep it simple. The only funds I retain from a $40 donation is a little over $3 to help pay for administrative costs. Needless to say, our Family to Family program has never fully supported itself through donations alone. That is why I work very hard to raise money toward our general fund. There are ways to strengthen its viability. One is to dramatically increase the volume of sponsors and, in addition, increase regular monthly and one-time donations to our general fund to help cover administrative costs.
Recently, one of our supporters suggested we raise the cost of family sponsorship to $50 per month since the rate as been only $40 for many, many years. However, that is not something I would choose to do since some of our sponsorship decline started as supporters experienced a reduction in their own family incomes.
Another suggestion was to offer co-sponsorships for families that can't afford $40 per month. This would partner two $20 per month sponsorships toward one family. In many cases this would make it much easier for some sponsor families and perhaps encourage past sponsors to re-engage in our Family to Family program. Yes, it would cause more work on my end, but I'm here to do God's work and am willing to do whatever it takes!
If you are feeling led to be a full sponsor at $40 per month or a co-sponsor at 20 per month, I am in full support of either. We have plenty of families awaiting help. Also, please consider donating to our general fund so I am able to continue making all of this happen.
Thanksgiving reminds us of all that we are thankful for. I am thankful for all of you! I am so appreciative that there are people who are willing to help less-fortunate families in the Middle East who struggle everyday with basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and medicine. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve in a ministry that helps these forgotten children of God. I am thankful for our project coordinators in the Middle East who continue facilitating our Family to Family program and minister to those we serve.
Recently my husband, Tom, told me about a conversation he had with a guy he met at work. Although this man didn't look of Middle Eastern descent, Tom learned that his father was from Palestine, had immigrated to America and settled in the Chicago area shortly before he was born. As their conversation continued, this man revealed to my husband that, in addition to growing up in an English speaking environment, he also learned to speak fluent Arabic and Spanish.
My husband told him about Venture's Family to Family program and how we serve less fortunate families in the Middle East. Tom said this man's eyes widened in interest as he asked questions about our Family to Family program. The man told my husband that he was extremely surprised and grateful that a Christian organization actually focused on helping families in the Middle East. You see, this man, of Palestinian descent, was proud of his family's Arabic heritage and also just as proud of being a man of faith and an American! They went on to talk about how the recent wars had embittered some people toward the Arabic community, both here and abroad.
The man said to Tom, "I don't have a lot of money, but I am willing to help as much as I can and in any way I can." Tom could see that the man was very touched by what we do here at Venture International.
Please consider telling others about our ministry of helping our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. We do not have an advertising budget. Please help us to spread the word by telling others about our ministry and sharing our newsletters.
I am sincerely thankful that God has allowed me the opportunity to serve and I am thankful to each and everyone of our supporters - past and present.
Blessings to you and your family and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Cherrie Dickerson, PresidentVenture International
Instructions for giving:
Online - Go to www.ventureint.org and click on the donation link of your choice. Once there just insert the amount in the contribution line.
By Check - Please write your preference on the memo line.
By Phone - Please call 480 730-2702. If I am not able to answer the phone, please leave a message and I will call you back ASAP. I am able to process credit cards through Venture International's banking portal.
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