Dear Friends at St. Margaret's:
You may have heard on the news that a famine has now been declared in South Sudan, and millions of people may well starve to death in the not too distant future.
You may be wondering 'What can we do?'
Answer: we're already doing something.
This year, our church once again has a year-long fundraising project for World Vision's 'Raw Hope' initiative. Simply put, 'Raw Hope' is World Vision's way of providing essential emergency care in areas of the world so dangerous that a basic WV infrastructure (eg: child sponsorship) can't be set up.
Raw Hope is currently funding emergency work in eight countries: Afghanistan, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and... SOUTH SUDAN.
You can find out what Raw Hope is funding in South Sudan on the World Vision Canada website here.
How are we supporting Raw Hope at St. Margaret's? In three ways:
- Three times a year we have special offering envelopes included in our envelope boxes: Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Sunday, and Christmas. Those special offerings will be sent to 'Raw Hope'. If you are on pre-authorized giving (PAG), you can put in a special cheque for that day, made out to St. Margaret's but clearly marked for World Vision. It will be forwarded to World Vision in its entirety to support 'Raw Hope'.
- Special events. In late November or early December we hold our annual Christmas concert and all the ticket sales go to World Vision. Other events are sometimes held as well; for instance, a couple of friends and I are in the beginning stages of planning a folk music event to support World Vision in the spring.
- Offerings at other times. At any time of year you are welcome to add a little extra to your weekly offering and mark it clearly to be sent on to World Vision. Again, if you are on PAG and don't have offering envelopes, you can write us a cheque and mark it clearly for World Vision.
Many churches are getting involved in refugee sponsorship and this is a vital work. However, our vestry has chosen to focus on supporting relief and development efforts in the countries where so many refugees come from. 'Raw Hope' is a vital part of that. To support the suffering people of South Sudan (and the other countries 'Raw Hope' works in), we'll keep right on with our current World Vision support. Your help is of course the essential component of that. Thank you for your generosity in the service of Christ!
Yours in Christ,
P.S. Please note that Charity Intelligence Canada recently rated World Vision as one of the top charities to support (see their report here). You can give to World Vision with confidence.