Feb 10, 2022
Oftentimes, parishioners feel that they can’t make a difference in the community if they don’t have the resources to make large financial contributions. Thanks to the generosity of an initial donor and the vision of the Ministry of Mission and Outreach at Casas Adobes UCC (CAUCC) in Tucson, AZ, we have combined our gifts and multiplied them to make a significant impact in the Tucson community.
In December of 2020, a member of CAUCC foresaw the pervasive threat of homelessness in Tucson as a result of the pandemic. This member made an extraordinary gift to CAUCC, the bulk of which was for a program at Our Family Services (OFS) to prevent families from being evicted. CAUCC’s Ministry of Mission and Outreach decided to do a quick campaign to multiply that gift because the need was imminent. People contributed what they could, and together we raised over $100,000 in four weeks. CAUCC’s collective donation to OFS’ Eviction Prevention Program more than doubled OFS’ capacity to prevent evictions, and helped 64 families in Tucson stay in their homes! As one parishioner said, “My gift alone couldn’t have done much. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have had any idea how I could help people stay in their homes without CAUCC’s Multiply Our Gifts campaign.” The gift continued to multiply, as several UCC churches in Denver heard of CAUCC’s Multiply Our Gifts campaign and undertook similar efforts.
In December of 2021, the same member wanted to make another generous donation to CAUCC, this time focused on homeless youth. OFS’ Reunion House is the only shelter for homeless youth in Southern Arizona. Once again, CAUCC’s Ministry of Mission and Outreach decided to launch a quick Multiply Our Gifts campaign, and so far, we have raised over $80,000, more than doubling the original gift. Since Reunion House serves youth, it must run 24/7 regardless of funding, often requiring OFS to pull resources from other areas. CAUCC’s multiplied gift will allow Reunion House to fully fund itself this year. In addition to our multiplied gifts, the original $40,000 donation was sent to OFS on Giving Tuesday, so it was matched with an additional $40,000 gift! The original gift multiplied three times over!
We have learned that by doing the Multiply Our Gifts campaigns through the church, we can make a difference beyond the walls of our church in ways that an individual donation directly to the organization cannot.
As you think about 2022, consider the mission projects your congregation supports. Is there a person or family that can make a major gift to that project? Could the church use that gift to inspire others to make their own contributions? By being generous together, we can all multiply our gifts.
Rev. Kari Collins
Vice Moderator, Casas Adobes UCC, Tucson, AZ
Minister of Stewardship and Philanthropy, Sixth Ave UCC, Denver, CO