Caring Allies is a planned re-focusing and expansion of our longstanding commitment to benevolence toward families and individuals in need. A team of ‘Allies’ and helpers is committed to meeting both material and relational needs. We connect with each needy individual on a personal level while also helping where we can with finances and with guidance for housing, jobs, food and other resources.
Contact Person: Call Bob DeGray or Iva Foster at the church or email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org
Right now, Trinity helps families and individuals, both inside and outside the church, in a haphazard that fails to integrate benevolence giving with personal and relational caring. For example, if someone calls the church and wants help with an electrical bill, we might meet with that person once, learn little or nothing of their situation, and pay some or all of the bill in question. Even so, that person may begin to call regularly to get this kind of need met. On the other hand, a family in the church might be well connected, but their material or relational needs are neglected or only intermittently addressed. We need to develop the Caring Allies ministry to bring consistency and effectiveness to this process.
(1) We will begin with training. We will gather a group of interested people and do one or more training sessions built on the ‘Church Benevolence’ version of Helping without Hurting, and maybe some ‘Bridges out of Poverty’ training.
(2) We will do research, building a list of resources like food banks, family promise, shelters, and government programs (school advocates, food stamps, medicare, housing, etc.) We will identify areas in which Benevolence, meals, babysitting, etc. can be provided from within the body. We will make this list widely available.
(3) We will designate a small group of volunteers ‘Caring Allies.’ These people would agree to undertake direct involvement with one or more individuals or families. The Caring Ally would be the contact point for that person, seeking to form relationships and to help in all the dimensions of human brokenness, while channeling benevolence and helper resources.
(4) When all the Caring Allies have as many people to help as they consider wise, someone who comes to the church for help will be told that we don’t, at this time, have any benevolence to offer. We already do this for requests for material help. This would extend it to help in general, and we need not be ashamed about that.
(5) At the church office we will continue to provide very low level material help to the occasional walk in/call in need, but will attempt, with a screening tool or informal screening, to identify those who could be best helped through a relationship with a Caring Ally.