Deaf kids? Hurting inmates? YOU can help!
It’s a tiny segment of society I’ve never thought about. But, thank God, someone did!
I’m talking about hearing-impaired teenagers. Think about it for a minute.
A teenager in a typical family sitting at the dinner table. Sibs and parents all laughing and talking. One person silent, living in another world…he can’t hear. A teenager sitting with a circle of friends in a school lunchroom…everyone talking and laughing. One person is silent, living in another world. She can’t hear.
I was intrigued by a short TV interview the other night with Dan Kregel, Executive Director of Youth for Christ of West Michigan. His agency has developed a program called Deaf Teen Quest, and it offers a new, exciting and participatory world for teens who can’t hear. There are leaders and counselors who chat via signing, and teens actually get together for events to laugh and talk, the things kids love to do, only with sign language.
YFCWM found a niche and ran with it. The program, only 5 years old, is making an impact. Of particular interest right now, I suspect, because people are considering year-end giving. And that leads me to my point.
If one has the means and the heart wanting to make a difference, year-end giving is an excellent way to do it. But, rather than just picking a cause, I suggest doing a little research. I’m obviously opiniated, because I started an organization 22 years ago that has also found a meaningful niche.
There are numerous prison ministries offering Bible lessons to prisoners, letter-writing programs, re-entry assistance, etc., and there are numerous prisoner advocacy agencies striving for improved prison conditions, sentencing reform, supportive legislation, etc. But, we found no organization spending all of its time and effort to help people in cages with their individual problems!
No one to help them find a missing loved, no one to show them how to recover important legal documents, no one to fight for them when their heart medication is suddenly discontinued, no one to help with visitation issues, etc.
In providing these many services, the HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS team made an interesting discovery. Even if we failed, holding a person’s hand made a difference! It’s not uncommon, in our business, to strike out. Sometimes we’re able to offer only limited assistance. Sometimes, the best we can do is confess that we tried. Even then, the response is the same! Someone cared. People behind bars who felt forgotten learned that they matter!
Giving to charity is a wonderful thing. With a little extra forethought, you can make a huge difference!
Year-end dollars help all charities, but just imagine how effective your dollars might be when supporting a small agency that helps deaf teens, or how many lives in Michigan prisons you may touch when you invest in the rare and unique work of HFP!
…don't forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. Hebrews 13:16