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Assistance and help offered by churches.

More people are approaching their church for help in today’s challenging economy. Requests for assistance are flooding churches all across America.

Most of the faith based organizations assist a struggling family regardless of their religion. Church pastors are saying that they're giving out assistance, grants, and benevolent funds in record numbers to help local families. When they do not have funds available to solve the crisis, they try to give the person advice, or even just a kind, compassionate ear to listen. They are helping the unemployed and others who are struggling, and they are even reaching into their own pockets to provide more help.

Almost 70% of churches are reporting more people from outside their parish are asking for help, and almost a third of churches are seeing more requests from members of the church, according to a recent survey by LifeWay Research. More info from the study includes 40 percent of pastors say they have an increasing number of church members out of work, and the good news is that about 37 percent of churches have been able to increase spending to help the needy.

How are churches helping

Based on the city or county, there are many different assistance programs that may be available. Some examples of how churches are helping across the country and serving as charities include:

A few months ago, over 1,000 member of one church's 1,800 adult members signed up to help the community. They volunteered to assist with more than 112 service projects in area hospitals, schools, homeless shelters and a variety of other public sites.

In a church in Los Angeles, the Rev. Bill Ankerberg has seen it all at his Whittier Area Community Church. They provided over $25,000 in financial aid in one month, which is more than they provided in the entire previous year.




Many of the leaders of a church are also donated to families living in poverty. Like 27 percent of the pastors asked in the survey, Ankerberg has given personally, too.

First Family Church in Overland Park, Kan., is a distribution site for the Salvation Army. They distribute several thousands of dollars in assistance to help people pay rent and utility bills among other things. They also offer financial counseling, and medical bill assistance.

Churches across the country are stepping up, and doing what they can to serve as a charity and provide help to those who need it the most.

Locate church based assistance programs

The application process will vary greatly as will what is offered. Some parishes will only assist residents of the immediate area, while others expand their services to the larger community. Some examples of what a church may most commonly help with include offering free food from a pantry, a hot meal for a homeless person, small dollar amounts for paying bills or rent, and more.

They often also depend on members to volunteer their time, so maybe a mechanic will provide labor to fix a car or a person will give a ride to a job interview. Any assistance from a church is very limited, but even if they can’t help, the pastor or the volunteers at the location may have other suggestions.





To find information on resources for the working poor, use the search box below. Type in what is needed from a church as well as the location.






By Jon McNamara

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