Generous donors ensured a record harvest for Mission:Dignity® during the November 29 national Giving Tuesday emphasis — almost $1.4 million was raised to provide financial assistance to retirement-age Southern Baptist ministers, workers and their widows struggling to meet basic needs.
Gifts on Giving Tuesday were doubled thanks to $600,000 in matching contributions provided by generous donors.
“The generosity of God’s people never ceases to amaze me,” GuideStone® President Hance Dilbeck said. “These gifts help to ensure that a retired minister and his wife or his widow are able to enjoy a well-deserved dignity in their retirement years.”
This marks the second consecutive Giving Tuesday with more than $1 million given in one day to Mission:Dignity.
More than 2,700 people are helped annually through Mission:Dignity. The assistance from Mission:Dignity often means not having to choose between medicine and food or between gas for their car or heat in their homes in wintertime.
Currently, the neediest eligible couples receive $750 each month in financial assistance. A quarter of a century ago, recipients received $50 monthly.
“These pastors and widows give all their lives for the gospel, serving with very little income, let alone to set money aside for retirement,” Mission:Dignity Director Aaron Meraz said. “The tears of joy flow when they find out their Southern Baptist family has not forgotten them and wants them to finish well with dignity. We cannot thank enough our SBC family for their generosity and steadfastness in standing with these soldiers of the cross and in many cases their widows.”
Mission:Dignity receives no Cooperative Program gifts; it is funded through the direct gifts of churches, Sunday school classes and individuals. 100% of contributions go directly to help those in need; an endowment established many years ago provides for the administrative costs of the ministry.
Susan Ervien is a marketing strategist for Mission:Dignity.