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By Chris Horst, Vice President of Development

If you attended a HOPE event in the fall, you likely heard us describe the 950,000 men and women HOPE and our partners serve around the world. Yet, when you read our 2017 annual report, you’ll see we report serving 838,000 people at the end of 2017. While we have adjusted our numbers substantially, we did not technically lose these clients. We made this change because we believe in reporting field data with the highest levels of integrity, even if it means reporting unfavorable news.

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I’m a gamer. Not the World of Warcraft sort of gamer, but a real gamer. Zelda never did it for me, but I’m always up for a ride on B & O Railroad or an excursion to the distant lands of Catan.

Yahtzee is one of my favorite games. In short, gamers throw five dice in series of three rolls to make certain combinations, highlighted by the elusive Yahtzee: a five-of-a-kind. A few weeks ago, I played with a friend who was new to the game. And one overzealous comment reminded me how dangerous prescribing can be. Continue Reading…

Timothy Kayera spoke with been-there-done-that confidence. He grew stronger with each word, pulling me closer with the fire of his conviction. And then he summarized everything I believe about charity. In four words.

I used to work with one of those organizations that gave stuff away to everyone. We’d give away animals, clothing, and clean water. All for free. I remember when we’d give goats to people, I would get phone calls and they’d say, “Timothy, your goat is dead.”

Your goat is dead. I’ve tried to articulate this idea dozens of times over the years, but never this potently. In four words, he said:

  1. It was never his goat in the first place,
  2. It was inconsequential it died, and
  3. It was Timothy’s job to replace it.

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A Rwandan artisan turns recycled paper into designer greeting cards via Cards from Africa. HOPE introduced savings groups to the vibrant young staff—all orphans—of this organization.

Cards from Africa. After the recycled paper is blended into a pulp, it is dyed and dried under the Rwandan sun.

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2012 Celebrating HOPE

“People that give are so blessed by their giving that it’s contagious. They want to talk about it. They’re excited to talk about it.” – Pastor Chris Seay at Compassion International chapel

“Contagious” is a word not often associated with generosity. And when it is, it’s often not in a positive way. I remember a moment several years ago when I purposefully made a call on my cell phone as I walked past a Christmas bell ringer, wanting to bypass the bell ringer completely as if I might catch a disease if I walked too close. Perhaps you’ve had a similar reaction to a fundraising support letter or a panhandler in your town. But when Seay describes contagious giving, he’s not articulating a pie-in-the-sky notion that it’s possible for generosity to be positively contagious. He’s seen it in a profound way. Continue Reading…

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

How many times will you hear these wise words this holiday season? This is my favorite time of year primarily because of this season’s emphasis on giving. The charitable and gift-giving yearnings among us all are stoked and encouraged more in December than at any other time of the year. This spirit is encapsulated and affirmed in what might be our favorite Christmas saying: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The axiom could not be truer. Giving is a joy. Research suggests that generous people are happier people. Generous countries are happier countries. Benevolence brings vibrancy to our faith. Historically, openhandedness and abundant giving have been the fragrance of the Church. Part of our mandate as Christians includes a call to a countercultural understanding of our role as stewards, rather than owners, of our time and treasure. I’ll just speak for myself, but my hunch is others will resonate: My charity often robs the poor of the opportunity to give, rather than encouraging generosity. Continue Reading…