Grassroots Giving – A Manifesto

A few days ago someone asked me how we keep up with “So much going on at Bring Love In”

“Well” I said, before clearing my throat for an awkward-long stretch of time.

“Really though?” He continued to press in. “How do you connect with people so they know that you are thankful, and want them to keep working with you, how are there possibly enough hours in the day?”

I thought for a minute while he navigated his small car through the tree lined streets, knowing already that this was something that we needed to work on, in-fact I had spent many sleepless nights up wondering how we were going to be able to even say thank you to all the wonderful people who have done so much for this work, let alone make each of them feel like they are a part of what is happening.  Yeah, we had tried to keep up with sending out email notes saying “Thank you” but it always felt so pale compared to their generous giving, and the great big work that was happening because of them.

“We write on the blog about what is happening, and try to send out thank you notes as often as we can, but you are right, there are not enough hours in the day, and we are too few to handle all of it” I said, knowing my answer was week as soon as it left my lips.

Thankfully the conversation was cut short as he pulled the car into the driveway. But still, that night I lay awake again, wondering how we were possibly going to be able to connect personally with everyone who has been a part of Bring Love In. Many of these people have made big commitments, given generously of their time, energy, resources, and because of them Bring Love In exists today. I thought to myself while the alarm clock intermittently splashed red onto the desk beside me.

The truth is, we are not a big organization, we are tiny-microscopic-tiny, and we are always trying to find the balance between administration and helping those in need. On the one hand we would love to be all about running an office that is super efficient, but then at the same time we know all to well the transformation that is happening in the lives of those we help, and have a hard time justifying spending money on staff, or office expenses instead creating more families. We have often talked about how wonderful it would be to add staff members who handled things like “Communications” or “Administration” but the conversation does not last long before Jessie and I are both pulling back and hesitating, because we know what is down that road, we know where this will lead if we stop focusing on creating families, and look instead to creating an “organization”.

Not that we are against being organized, we are sold out on being efficient, and hiring well trained, educated staff on the Ethiopian side, but when it comes to the American side, that is where we feel the need to tighten our belts, and be hyper conservative. The math is pretty simple, one employee in America would cost the same as supporting several new Forever Families in Ethiopia.

And so, I guess this post is a warning to our givers, a sort of manifesto on why Bring Love In does what we do, like we do it, and how even though you may not get a packet in the mail every time you give, or do something to help, your help is going right where it should;

To the kids, the families, the project, the community.

We are fierce when it comes to managing our expenses, and you will never see glossy newsletters in the mail from us, or polished presentations from famous people who take a cut of the money they raise. Bring Love In is about giving selflessly, and seeing the most results in terms of changed lives, not flashy personalities, or hype.

Our video was produced by someone who donated their time, our website was created for next to nothing, our bookkeeping is done by someone who volunteers, and our store is run by a family who does not even take one penny in pay for all the work they do.

We are just about as grassroots as you can get, and we like it that way.

Yeah, we may have to grow some in the future, but we are going to keep praying for great people to come along who are willing to volunteer to fill the gaps. God has been beyond good in this area already, and we don’t see any reason to stop trusting Him to keep it up.

We are a community of givers, people who are stepping out because of the grace that was given to us, and doing our part to help those in need. We do this, not because of what it does for us, or because of our own need, but rather because of our thankfulness for Him and his gift.

If you are one of the people who have given to help Bring Love In, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Thank you for giving, for loving, and for stepping out in faith.

We may not write personally all the time to tell you how much it means, but we are here because of you, and we know that, every moment of every day, you mean the world to us and to the kids who are being given homes through your giving. And we hope you like being a part of our little grassroots movement to help those in need by creating new families from widows and orphans in Ethiopia! We certainly like having you here.

Thank you!

1000 times, thank you!

Levi

5 thoughts on “Grassroots Giving – A Manifesto

  1. JUST the way we like it. The blog is super helpful as a way to update donors and share the message. No need for thank you cards in my opinion. Just photos of those newly reunited siblings is enough for me. Praise God for your ministry.

  2. My family has not made a donation yet but let me just say that I would have absolutely no problem what-so-ever with not hearing a word back from you knowing that all of my money went to supporting these families. You are doing a wonderful thing.

  3. I like/approve of the way you are “doing business” and focused on helping the children and women. I take it quite personally also when you send pictures of the happy homes God is putting in place. Thank you again for your honesty and your management of the resources God sends to Bring Love In. Thank you for all you and your family do do . . .

  4. I agree wholeheartedly with Noel in appreciating that you want to focus all your resources on the widows and orphans. Also agree that just seeing the children and widows in photos when possible is enough encouragement and thanks. I believe we should not need a personal thanks. A general thanks to all as you post on your blog should be all that is needed. We should all be thanking you for all your sacrifices and time spent on behalf of these needy people. Thank you for living out your love for God as you give to others. Really appreciate your style of expressing your thoughts and feelings on your blog.
    Love in Christ, Mary

    I

  5. Just wanted to say that whenever we get communication from a ministry we support, it usually goes in the trash, unopened. Sometimes I open it and feel guilty that they spent the postage to keep us in the loop or express gratitude! I would say that this is probably true for the majority of those giving to you…that we want to be the ones to write you thank you notes! It is a privilege to give to Bring Love In. (By the way,we are working on that! soon…) And, you’ve got the world of social media on your side. We know where to check in to see what you guys are up to. (But, if you ever need to do something, I do find madmimi.com to be a great, easy and inexpensive way to communicate en mass if you ever go that direction.)

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