At this point, there is no running from it. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is here and having a particularly destructive impact on vulnerable populations.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is more dangerous for those over the age of 60 and for those with underlying health conditions — such as COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
At GuideStone®, the safety and well-being of this demographic is particularly important to us because of our Mission:Dignity® ministry. We are currently honored to be serving more than 1,700 retired SBC ministers, workers and their widows struggling to pay bills, buy food and purchase medications — all of whom fall into this vulnerable category.
Now, more than ever, these elderly recipients are in need as the coronavirus takes hold in communities across the country and puts access to their much-needed doctors’ appointments and medications in jeopardy. GuideStone staff is working hard to contact recipients and assist with any urgent needs that arise during this uncertain time, and many churches are willing to reach out to their own elderly members and community.
“The population with the highest risk for COVID-19 infection is the population served by Mission:Dignity,” says Mission:Dignity Director Dr. Aaron Meraz. “Between the threat of infection and the recommendations for social distancing, these 1,700 households of retired ministers and widows may feel isolated — and many are scared. We must not let them feel alone during this time. Though we are doing our best to communicate with them and provide for them financially, we need our local Southern Baptist churches and small groups to assist in ministering to them as the hands and feet of Christ.”
If you are inspired to support this vulnerable population — and specifically retired SBC ministers, workers and their widows in financial need — during this unprecedented time, here are four things you can do to help in the weeks and months ahead:
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Susan Ervien is a marketing strategist and writer for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention®.