Sunday, December 21, 2008

Church--It's Not Just a Place to Pray

Hard times have come to a lot of people. When that happens, folks tend to think of foundations or government agencies for grants. In truth, there is a lot the government can do in their usual form of aid. Most of it comes in the form of food stamps and public assistance. As stated in our previous posts, there are other forms of aid, like energy. Foundations are often not sources of help to individuals in immediate trouble--the legal red tape involved in helping individuals (due to IRS regulations), and the big lag time, make such help unlikely.

But for rock-bottom emergency help, consider your local church, even if you are not a member. Many churches, if they have the resources, will help out people in their neighborhoods that are in trouble. They may run a soup kitchen, or offer clothing aid. Sometimes, they may have money to help with a bill, although churches are being hit with hard times, too.

Some bigger denominations run charitable agencies that can help. Catholic Charities is a nationwide arm of the Roman Catholic Church that helps people of all (and no) faiths in financial trouble. Their website can help you find a local office near you.

Likewise the Lutheran Social Services offers help for those needing it. To find the nearest office, call 1-800-938-5777.

And if push comes to shove, see if your area has a 211 number. This information/referral number is available in many communities, and will put you in touch with trained counselors who can direct you to an agency that can help you.

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