(This is the first in a regular series about The Fuller Center’s #MoreSmilesFewerShacks 2016 year-end campaign.)
One of the best things about The Fuller Center for Housing’s model of Enlightened Charity is that donations are put to use over and over again to help families have simple, decent homes. That’s because what The Fuller Center offers is a hand-up in partnership. Our family partners are not charity cases — in fact, they are transformed from recipients to givers themselves.
How? Most charity consists of a handout, and there most certainly is a time for handouts. If someone is starving, giving them a meal makes sense. In the wake of a natural disaster, handing out water, blankets, food, etc., is absolutely necessary. But when it comes to long-term and lasting assistance, a hand-up is a more powerful tool.
Your donation to The Fuller Center has just as much power the second and third time around as it does the first. You are never helping just one family. You help an exponential number with each gift.
Fuller Center homeowners are full partners in the building process. They repay the costs of materials on terms they can afford, over time, with no interest charged or profit made. Those repayments go into a Fund for Humanity to help others in their local community get the same assistance. This is what transforms them from recipients of help into givers themselves. This is how your financial gifts that make a home possible actually make another home possible, then another, then another — all from the same original gift.
This model of recycling donations designed by our founder Millard Fuller (which he called the “Bible Finance Plan”) works uniquely well in our affordable housing ministry. It might not be quite as applicable for a group that handed out bottles of water unless they could figure out a way for people to drink from a bottle of water over and over again. It couldn’t possibly stay full. But your donation to The Fuller Center has just as much power the second and third time around as it does the first. You are never helping just one family. You help an exponential number with each gift. This is why Millard’s dream of helping everyone have a simple, decent place to live is hardly impossible. It’s daunting, indeed, but this recycling of gifts makes it absolutely possible.
As you consider supporting nonprofits that put faith into action, please consider giving to The Fuller Center and promoting this Enlightened Charity. A decent home is so important to the success of a family and to a child’s development. Please help a family have a decent home today — and, in doing so, help another family have a decent home tomorrow. Then another. And another …
Fuller Center President David Snell explains the value of a hand-up in this short video: