Acts 435 is an online charity that directly links those wanting to give with those needing their help. It recognises that people want to give, often a little, sometimes more, to people with genuine need. It puts people who can give in touch with people who are in need, with the Church as the physical, face-to-face forum to enable virtual, online giving. Of particular appeal to donors, 100% of what is donated to Acts 435 goes directly to those in need.
Acts 435 works through a four step process:
1. Person in need applies to the local church for help
2. Local church receives and verifies the request
3. Request for help is posted on the Acts 435 website
4. Donor chooses from a list of requests and makes a payment via a secure system online.
In the first six months, Acts 435 has helped 42 individuals with a total of £3,860, given through 14 participating churches. 79% of those helped were in Hull and 12% in Middlesbrough. So far, York with its population of nearly 200,000 people, of which more than a fifth are considered to be in poverty (http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/new-vision-york), is missing out on this opportunity to minister to those in need.
Acts 435 provides an excellent opportunity for churches that already have a successful outreach to the poor in their community to provide an additional source of funds for those individuals who they know are in need of some specific item that they cannot afford – a new washing machine perhaps or children’s clothes. Acts 435 also provides those churches who do not have a current outreach to the poor in their community to kick-start such a ministry through the financial help available through Acts 435.
It is so easy to get involved. As a donor you can simply log on to www.acts435.com and give what you can. As a church, once the leadership has approved the scheme, you will need to select one or two volunteers to be trained at Bishopthorpe Palace in the guidelines for receiving requests and the technical skills to post and manage requests on the website. It is not complicated. All you will need is:
• A desire to serve the poor
• A volunteer
• Access to an online computer
Once trained, your church can start helping the poor immediately.
We need more churches to partner with us in reaching out to the poor and needy. Churches that can be seen to return to their historic position, both in the early church in the book of Acts and in the U.K. in centuries past, of ministering to the poor in their communities. Please don’t delay and contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 07534 844911.