By NCC Communication and Development Department
As of Aug. 3, the Northern California Conference Membership Assistance Fund has helped 250 families in 31 churches. The fund has distributed $25,000 of the $40,905 raised—fulfilling 100 percent of the requests it has received so far.
In response to the ongoing financial difficulty faced by many members, the NCC administrative team established the fund in May. “We want to help our brothers and sisters in Christ as much as we can during this time,” said President Marc Woodson. “We cannot remove their burden, but we can come alongside and help them carry it.”
The original goal was to raise $20,000 in order to assist 200 NCC family households with up to $100 each. “God blessed this endeavor, and the goal was achieved in just over two months,” said Woodson. “Now, because of a $20,000 matching gift, the initiative has funded 100 percent of the requests, with some left over to help even more families in need.”
The donations have helped 250 families (approximately 680 individuals), including a widowed mother with three children who can’t work enough due to childcare issues and a couple struggling to pay the bills because of a job loss.
A number of recipients have expressed their appreciation. “The gift helped us keep our home,” wrote one church member. “[The gift is] a very sweet blessing from Jesus and the brothers and sisters in our church family who helped make that possible.”
Another church member wrote: “Give all praise to my Lord and Savior for the blessing I received—that I was able to use toward gas and grocery items.”
Director of Communication and Development Laurie Trujillo is thankful for the many compassionate donors who felt blessed by the opportunity to help others in a practical way. “Raising funds is a humbling experience because I am surrounded by compassion,” she said. “The compassionate givers are uncomfortable with another person struggling, and they feel compelled to respond. They are like the good Samaritan who saved a stranger’s life.”
Trujillo and Woodson appreciate the efforts of the local pastors who submitted the requests and the employees at NCC headquarters who worked to ensure that people received the money in a timely manner. Jose Marin, executive secretary; Kim Boutté, executive administrative assistant; and Allan Willmott, associate treasurer, funded 100 percent of the requests in less than two months.
“Our employees and church members don’t just talk about love—they live it,” said Woodson. “I am reminded of Jesus’ words, ‘By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another’” (John 13:35, NIV).
Find out what’s happening in the Northern California Conference by subscribing to the NCC’s weekly news source, “Northern Lights,” at nccsda.com.
“In the providence of God events have been so ordered… that there may be a constant exercise in the human heart of the attributes of mercy and love. [People are] to cultivate the tenderness and compassion of Christ.” Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, June 13, 1892