Thank you for your gifts to the Annual Appeal
by Mark Mueller
Theodore Roosevelt delivered a speech on April 23, 1910, in Sorbonne, France that has been widely used and frequently quoted. An excerpt of the speech is as follows:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Even as gifts continue to arrive each day in the mail, the Annual Appeal concluded at the end of August. It was a great success raising over $73,000. I owe a big THANK YOU to Jack Baca, Lisa Culpepper, Jeff Ritchie, Tom McDow, Linda Patrick, Rob Weingartner, Marilyn Borst, Juan Sarmiento, Ralph Wheeler, Elizabeth Carter, Kelly Rickert, and Erica Jackson. I really didn’t know what to expect as the campaign began. The Annual Appeal was always unveiled toward the end of each year. So, this year was different, but I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Lately, I have thought about these generous gifts.
What makes a person generous?
Jesus discussed generosity. Jesus said giving is a reflection of one’s heart. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Giving is an opportunity to lay up treasure that will last for all eternity. Our donor base at The Outreach Foundation has a heart for God and the people that God created. They are generous because Jesus asked them to be. Jesus encouraged generosity if we truly wanted to be a follower of his.
The famed Catholic, theologian, and priest Henry Nouwen wrote about generosity, “…giving (that comes from fundraising) is a very concrete way to help the kingdom of God come about…The Kingdom is where God provides for all that we need…so when we give ourselves to planting and nurturing love here on earth, our efforts will reach out beyond our own chronological existence. Indeed, if we raise funds or give for the creation of a community of love, we are helping God build the Kingdom” (The Spirituality of Fundraising, Pg. 24). Generous people give and they know that their gifts enable something larger than themselves to take place. They are generous because they know life is not all about them but about others.
Finally, the generosity of our donors seems to have a form of courage and compassion connected to it. Our donors dare greatly by giving of themselves and their resources to people and projects they may never meet or see. In some sense, our generous donors are vulnerable enough to realize that worthwhile living is found in giving. It is about saying that even though we are imperfect it does not change the fact that I am loved by God and can do something to build the Kingdom of God.
So, Roosevelt’s quote aptly states that we should be grateful for those donors, churches, and organizations that have richly blessed The Outreach Foundation with gifts to the Annual Appeal. These people, churches, and organizations strive to do good deeds. People may react in a variety of ways to their global gifts, but the credit goes to those who have ventured into the arena and have chosen to generously respond.
Thank you to all for your gifts this year to the Annual Appeal.
God bless you!
Director of Development
The Outreach Foundation