When mass flooding devastated parts of Houston, Texas this June, Pastor Jimn Kyles and his ARC church, theCHURCH, immediately sought ways to meet the needs of their hometown.
ARC (Association of Relational Churches), one of Kindrid’s partners, is a network designed to encourage church plants by supporting leaders and sharing resources with growing churches. They often pass along awesome examples of how ARC churches are engaging their communities.
The local high school where Jimn Kyles’ congregation gathers was chosen as the main donation and distribution site for the disaster relief effort. Seeing an opportunity to practice generosity in the wake of a big crisis, Kyles said “We sense God’s hand and favor during this time to take the lead in helping restore our city.”
The high school was set up to receive truckloads of donations. The flooding affected over 40,000 people, and their needs ranged from non-perishable foods to toiletry items. There were also many families in Kyles’ congregation whose homes were completely destroyed—and many were without flood insurance.
Knowing it would take thousands of dollars to meet the needs of this devastated community, theCHURCH utilized Smart Giving and asked other churches in the ARC community for their support. Anyone can text-to-give by simply texting the keyword “relief” to 281-628-2441 with a gift amount, and all of the funds raised go towards those whose lives were impacted by the flood.
So, what’s the takeaway for other churches faced with raising money quickly (and securely!) for disaster relief?
- Embrace new methods: It’s okay to respond to crisis in new and innovative ways. By using Smart Giving, in addition to accepting physical donations, theCHURCH opened the door to generosity for people who would rather offer financial support but might not have cash or check on hand.
- Extend your reach: Smart Giving makes it easy for people outside of the immediate area of the disaster to get involved. By relying on the larger ARC network to spread the word and equipping those givers with Smart Giving, theCHURCH informed congregations all over the country of the disaster and offered an immediate, simple way to respond. Rather than being constrained to a physical space at a specific time during weekend services, with Smart Giving, theCHURCH multiplied their disaster relief efforts.
- Use a trusted source: A safe, tested-and-true digital giving solution like Smart Giving takes the guesswork out of raising and managing gifts. In the case of the Houston flooding, Jimn Kyles and his volunteer force were able to focus on how to allocate funds rather than how to raise them.
When a disaster strikes, your community needs help right away. Why not make it easy for others to engage the crisis and practice generosity? It takes 10 minutes to sign up for Smart Giving and to make sure your church or nonprofit is ready to respond: