NCF Northwest Cares
“We need to redirect social energy from anxiety and panic to love and preparation. This crisis presents an extraordinary opportunity to fortify small communities of love and care for our neighbors. That will only happen if we lead in a way that reduces fear, increases faith, and reorients all of us from self-protection to serving others”Andy Crouch, Praxis
Dear NCF Northwest Family,
We are living in a moment of serious uncertainty and stress. What a great moment for the Body of Christ to reflect the love of our Savior and the confidence we have in Him! I know many of you are already turning your hearts to those in need, and starting to ask the question “how can we, the Body of Christ, help those who need the most help right now?”
We have created this website as a place to share needs and stories which are specific to the current crisis, and which are locally focused on ways we can all express our love.
Here’s a sampling of ways we can use our Giving Funds to make a difference:
Consider the challenges facing our churches.
Church donations are down 20 to 40%. According to Barna Group, tens of thousands of pastors are unsure if their church will survive the coronavirus pandemic and a quarter of American churches have reduced staff hours, reduced compensation, or laid off employees. The need is most acute in low-income urban areas which are hurt by how the disease spreads and the loss of hourly and physical jobs that cannot be done remotely.
Here are two ways to help:
Churches Helping Churches Challenge
NCF Givers can support the project by making a fund to fund transfer to The COVID-19 Church Relief Fund # 3245330.
Northwest Church Relief Fund
Northwest Church Relief Fund supports Pastors & Churches in under-represented parts of Oregon.
Consider especially vulnerable populations and seek ways to help.
Consider victims and survivors of human trafficking/sexual exploitation:
Many victims are still being forced by their traffickers to meet their daily “income” quota, putting their own health at further risk. School and extracurricular activities are normally the safest places for them – yet they are now closed and these vulnerable youth are at home.
Also, many trafficking survivors who gained employment recently have been working multiple part-time jobs and therefore are not eligible for unemployment. They need funds for groceries and care for their children to keep them from having to engage in “survival sex” to meet their basic needs.
SAFE (Strategic Alliance to Fight Exploitation) is stepping in to fill these gaps for victims and survivors of sex trafficking. You can make a Fund to Fund transfer from your NCF Giving Fund to the The SAFE in Washington Fund (#1534330).
Consider low income, working parents of kids who are home from school:
Many students and families affected by the School Closures are especially vulnerable at this time. Families are severely impacted due to job cuts, loss of access to free and reduced meals, and lack of childcare support. Jubilee REACH is a nonprofit whose mission is to bring Jesus’ healing, build community, and transform lives. Partnering with the Bellevue Public Schools to directly engage families during this crisis, Jubilee REACH is providing basic needs, financial assistance, and relational services. Their latest update provides details and ways you can help.
Consider healthcare workers and our healthcare system:
Medical Teams International Mobile Dental Vans have been given permission to provide emergency dental care to anyone who needs it. The vans are stationed in the North Sound region and the MTI Emergency Dental Clinics in Washington and Oregon are still open to help relieve an overburdened healthcare system by providing free emergency dental services.
Consider the hospitality industry (restaurant workers and hotel workers) who were already vulnerable and hard hit right now:
Please consider helping organizations like this one who are experienced and positioned to serve those in special need at this time.
The Big Table
Consider our local food banks:
Oregon grocery stores have less overstock to pass along to food banks. The 1017 Project is stepping in to meet the need for quality protein sources for people experiencing food insecurity. They have committed to a 166% increase in their cattle donations to food banks, shelters, and churches throughout Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties.
There is a substantial increase in the number of folks who need food, while at the same time a number of food banks have had to close. All these foodbanks are legal public charities and would enjoy your support.
Consider the unique needs of the rural communities:
The Covid-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund is deploying resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the corona virus outbreak in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. This fund is intended to complement the work of public health officials, medical providers, businesses and governments by expanding local capacity to address the urgent health, basic human services and economic needs of disproportionately impacted communities and individuals.
If you own a business, consider ways you can support the community and support your employees.
I was particularly excited to see the innovative ways our friends at the Canlis restaurant are leading the way by moving from fine dining to carry out and delivery services which both help the community and allow them to continue to employ their amazing team. See the stories here, and here. Are there innovative ways you can help?
The Herbfarm Chef Chris Weber and team have been delivering individually boxed meals to hospital personnel at Overlake, Evergreen, Kaiser Permanente, Virginia Mason, UW Medical Center, and Swedish Hospitals.
There are many, many more needs.
Our goal is to start a conversation where we can share what we are learning about the best ways to help. Please visit our Facebook page or send us an email with things you know about or hear about. We will sort through those and post them on this site.
In Genesis 41 Joseph was instructed by the Lord through Pharaoh’s dreams to store up the bounty from seven years of plenty to be used to sustain the people for the seven years of famine. We have certainly enjoyed more than seven years of plenty, and the Lord has allowed us to prepare storehouses ready to meet the needs of our time. I pray we will all find ways to wisely steward the Lord’s storehouses in this time.
For Christ’s Glory!
Your NCF Northwest team:
Matt & Cindy Wimmer