World Concern maintained a remarkable record of success in 2008, in a year with plenty of challenges. It is only by God’s grace and your support that we are able to reach families in need.
As you likely know, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 36% this year. Your finances are probably hurting.
It’s especially painful to hear about people facing retirement who realize it is just not possible. For me, it is only with great hesitation that I look at the status my family’s modest investments.
With that in mind, we prayerfully consider the choices made by our supporters as the end of 2008 quickly approaches. We rely on their generosity, especially at this time of year. We are thankful that many are able to supply the poor with a gift through humanitarian organization World Concern.
I spoke with Dave Eller, the President of World Concern, a moment ago, asking him what he would tell donors if they have any reservations about giving this year.
Dave said, “We are going to make the most out of their donation. We have been around, we are going to be around, and we are making a difference.”
He is right.
For more than 50 years, World Concern has responded to desperate needs in some of the most far-flung places on Earth. We have an outstanding track record, and 94% of donations (cash+gifts-in-kind) go directly to programs.
This was year of some significant achievements.
In 2008, we’ve helped cyclone victims in Myanmar rebuild their homes, mend their fishing nets and find work. We’ve walked with AIDS orphans in Kenya, showing them a better life through good health and education. We’ve fed the starving in Haiti, as an out of control economy left families unable to provide for their children. And these are only a few mentions, from the 24 countries where we work.
Next year, we want to make more significant impacts in the lives of those we touch. We want to elevate people in Haiti and Myanmar to move beyond the crises – and receive job training and education. We plan to increase our investment in microfinance in Bangladesh, to allow women to provide for their families. We want to continue to play a role in freeing millions of people from parasitic worms.
Whenever possible, World Concern provides sustainable solutions to the problems of poverty, so that people can help themselves and teach others once we move on to the next project or respond to the next disaster.
John Beck, World Concern’s donor relations manager, enjoys this passage from Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible, The Message:
“Gently encourage the stragglers and reach out to the exhausted, pulling them to their feet.” – 1 Thessalonians 5.
That’s what World Concern does. We bring people to their feet, perhaps for the first time in their lives.
We pray that you will consider the poor this year, a year where you may even feel poor yourself. Know that your donation does matter. And on behalf of the 5.5 million people whose lives we touch, we sincerely appreciate your support.