Gifts to Mission:Dignity will be matched for those giving during the annual Giving Tuesday emphasis Dec. 1. The first $400,000 raised on Giving Tuesday, which falls the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year, will be matched thanks to the generosity of donors.
The fundraising emphasis comes on the heels of a successful Mission:Dignity Sunday in August, when, for the first time, gifts exceeded $1 million.
Mission:Dignity – the GuideStone ministry that provides financial support for retired Southern Baptist pastors, workers and their widows – serves as a tangible expression of the vision of GuideStone founder William Lunsford, who led the ministry from its inception in 1918.
“We are thankful for the donors who understand the importance of the God-birthed and God-honoring ministry of Mission:Dignity and are willing to help double the impact for our recipients,” GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said. “We would encourage anyone who is interested in giving this year to consider multiplying the effectiveness of their gift by giving it on Tuesday, December 1.”
Mission:Dignity receives no Cooperative Program gifts; it is funded entirely by the gifts of individuals, Sunday school classes and local churches. One hundred percent of gifts go to help a retired pastor, worker or his widow in need; administrative costs are provided for by an endowment established many years ago for that purpose.
Mission:Dignity director Aaron Meraz said he constantly hears from recipients about how much these financial gifts mean to them, especially in a year of such uncertainty.
“For some, it means being able to stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home,” Meraz said. “For others, it covers the cost of groceries, utilities, prescriptions and other necessities. But for each of them, it’s an expression of the love and care of their Southern Baptist family.”
Mission:Dignity recipient Alice is an example of the impact of Mission:Dignity giving in 2020. Alice was diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted to the hospital, where she was put on medication and fluids. She was released after four days but still has some lingering symptoms and issues.
“They said it may take up to six months for the effects to wear off,” she said.
When Mission:Dignity staff heard about Alice’s recent illness, they immediately reached out to check in, pray and encourage her – but they ended up being the ones who were encouraged.
“It has been such a blessing to me to know so many people care for me,” Alice said. “I feel like I’m getting repaid for the years we gave. Please let every donor know I love them – everyone.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roy Hayhurst is director of denominational and public relations services at GuideStone. To share a gift or for more information, visit MissionDignity.org/GivingTuesday.)