Summertime and the Givin’ is Easy
Enjoying time with family and friends, busying yourself in the garden and working on home projects, outdoor dining, hiking… the season can feel like an endless stream of blessings! But for charities and non-profits, summer can be difficult. There’s no big push for donations, regular supporters are away, churches may not meet weekly. It’s a drought for many organizations.
And unfortunately, need for the services they provide never takes a vacation.
How can you help?
Make this a summer of generosity by doing what you can to spread kindness, compassion and lending support to the organizations doing good work in your community.
Here are seven ways to get started!
1) Share your bounty
Love gardening? Plant some extras to share with your friends and family! Whether it’s fruit and vegetables, plants or flowers, you can bring a smile to their faces at harvest time. You might also consider starting or volunteering at a community garden to help grow fresh food for neighbours in need. Many United Church congregations have one, with some even using a Seeds of Hope grant to get started! Our recent webinar Works in Action: Towards Climate Justice included reflections from Trinity United Church Beamsville on their Johnny Appleseed garden initiative. Or check out this blog post on Old Windham United Church’s garden project.
2) Talk to your loved ones about your Will.
The average Canadian Estate is $845,000. If you took care of your loved ones with the majority of that, and left just 5% as a gift to charity in your Will, that small percentage could represent a huge impact on the causes most important to you! Your congregation, a treasured camp, Mission and Service, a fund at the Foundation… your abundance can bless United Church ministries in countless ways. While you’re sitting around the campfire this summer, chat about the legacy you want to leave, and how making a gift to charity in your Will is part of it. Check out this blog post for more.
3) Attend an Emancipation Day event.
Emancipation Day is August 1 (Emancipation Sunday is August 6). Find a local event to acknowledge and celebrate the history, perserverence, strength and grace of those who paved a way to freedom and liberation for enslaved people in Canada. Can’t get to one? The Foundation is once again proudly supporting the Black Clergy Network’s Emancipation Day panel discussion “A Case for Reparation” on August 6 from 6-8PM EDT. Register here: https://united-church.ca/events/emancipation-day-panel-discussion-case-reparation
4) Volunteer to collect donations for your local food bank
(pssst! your grandkids will love to help with this one!). The shelves can get bare between spring and autumn. Let neighbours know to set out their non-perishables, and enjoy a walk collecting the items in a wagon. Then, bring the donations to the food pantry.
5) Consider establishing a personal endowment fund at the Foundation.
Endowment funds are a great way to provide dependable, ongoing support to the United Church ministry close to your heart! A predictable income for your community of faith means that even through the slower summer months, the vital work of your congregation remains financially and spiritually supported.
6) Install a Little Free Library on your lawn.
LFLs are a great way to share the blessing of reading with your community! If you aren’t able to start your own,talk to your church’s Outreach Committee about having one installed on church property. Or simply take stock of your home library and bring the books that are collecting dust to your nearest LFL to be enjoyed by new readers!
7) Make a plan to maximize your generosity.
While you’re poolside this summer, set up a Zoom or phone call with your financial planner to chat about the most tax-efficient way to make your donations. This may include donating stocks and mutual funds through the Foundation’s Gift Fund program! One generous gift fund donor told us “Thank you for this amazing way of making our donations go further!”.