Right now our community of faith is in the midst of a series entitled “The Big Give.” The genesis of the series was the Federal Government’s economic stimulus plan which included included the distribution of tax rebate checks. Over the next three months, the US Treasury Department will distribute more than $110 billion to 130 million taxpayers. What will you be doing with your check? Spending it, saving it, paying off debt, giving it away? The series has been designed to help us develop a biblical mindset in regard to our possessions and my hope and prayer is that compassion will be unleashed among our people and that our community will grow in our generosity quotient (gq).
One of the things we are doing is spending some quality time in the Scriptures. You can check out some of the teaching I have done in this series on our audio site “Thinking Out Loud.” The second component is something we are calling a personal giving project (PGJ). What is a PGJ? The name pretty much sums it up. It is personal – what might God be placing on your heart right now? A person, place, or specific ministry or organization. It involves giving – our time, talent and treasure. And it is a project. It should involve more than just writing a check. God wants to do something IN us as well as THROUGH us. This is an opportunity to stretch and grow and experience a measure of true transformation.
Let me share a cool personal giving project that was started by Jeff Shinabager. Jeff was one of the organizers of Q and there he shared the story of Gift Card Giver. Jeff and his wife had an idea to collect gift cards and give them to people in need. They were sitting at a table during a wedding reception and they asked the 8 other people sitting with them how much money they had in their wallets of unused gift cards; they soon walked away with $50 in gift cards to help people in need. GiftCardGiver was born.
The gift card industry is huge. Some estimate it as a $45 billion enterprise. Ever wonder how many gift cards are unused? At least 10%. That means billions of money is being wasted and could be used to help bless people.
How many gift cards do you have sitting in your wallet or purse? My guess is you have at least $5 of unused gift cards in your wallet or purse right now. What’s $5 going to buy you? $5in gift cards might buy you a pair of socks…but 10 people giving $5 will buy a kid a winter coat or 100 people giving $5 from Home Depot will give that same kid a warm bedroom to sleep through the night. Get the idea?
Here’s the process:
STEP 1: Use as much of your card as you want.
STEP 2: Write how much is left on your card using a permanent marker.
STEP 3: place the card in an envelope and send it to Gift Card Giver at:
Gift Card Giver
490 East Side Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
Questions? Check out their FAQ at Gift Card Giver.
This is an example of a small idea and concept that has unleashed comapssion and helped people grow in the generosity quotient (GQ). What might God be stirring up inside you?