Dear Friend of the Mission,
When you are homeless, there is no peace or joy living on the harsh streets of Philadelphia. There is only chaos, danger and strife. There are no halls to deck with boughs of holly, or Christmas trees to decorate. Ironically, for a person experiencing homelessness, the festive decorations and joyful music of the season can feel like salt being rubbed into an open wound. Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration with friends and family, but none of this is true when you are homeless. Because of these sad and painful realities, we work extra hard to make the Mission a warm and happy home for the holidays – a place of joy, family, friends and celebration. The Mission becomes a place of safety, hope and peace. If you stop by at the Mission during the month of December (and you are always welcome to do so!), you would see festive Christmas decorations, you would enjoy delicious food, you would munch on homemade Christmas cookies, you would see our men select Christmas toys and gifts for their children and grandchildren, you would hear wonderful Christmas carols joyfully sung by our men in chapel, you would see our men smile at our Christmas party as they receive gifts donated by Mission friends, and you would see our men experience for themselves the real joy and hope of the season. We go all out at Christmas to bless our men. We also go all out to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas – “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), “and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). We want our men to capture and experience for themselves the hope and joy of that first Christmas. This is the best Christmas present ever that our men can experience.
As we quickly move toward the end of 2017, please consider making a special gift to the Mission so that we can give our men the joy and hope of Christmas each and every day throughout the coming New Year. Here are several great ways you can help:
- Give a generous year-end gift of cash. God will use your gift to impact and change lives.
- If God has especially blessed you this past year, please consider sending a larger than usual gift to the Mission. Large gifts take big bites out of our budgeted expenses. They also strengthen and expand our compassionate services to our men. Your gift will be used to make life-giving, life-changing, and life-saving differences in the lives of our men.
- Some families bless our men by pooling their money and giving a special Christmas gift to the Mission from their family (individual receipts for each donor can still be given).
- Give the Mission a gift of appreciated stock. A gift of appreciated stock is always a great help and can also provide you with some excellent tax benefits, especially if you transfer the stock directly to the Mission rather than first selling it. Please consult with your financial advisor to confirm these tax benefits. We can easily arrange for an electronic transfer of your stock. Please call me at 215 438 3094 (ext 102).
- If you have a donor-advised fund, you can recommend that a grant be made to the Whosoever Gospel Mission. Your grant will bless our men in many ways.
- Make a Charitable IRA Distribution to the Mission. This provision has now been made permanent by the IRS, and it allows you to make up to a $100,000 qualified charitable distribution. The effect in most situations is both a tax savings and an increased gift. Please consult with your financial advisor to confirm these tax benefits.
- Save postage and time – you can go to our Whosoever Gospel Mission website to make an online donation. You can also set up a monthly recurring donation for 2018.
- Make your online purchases through AmazonSmile which is run by Amazon.com as a unique way to support charities. You will get the same service, same merchandise, same prices. Register with AmazonSmile and designate the Whosoever Gospel Mission to receive a percentage of all the eligible purchases you make on AmazonSmile. You can search for the Mission on AmazonSmile, or you can type in the following link: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/23-1352579. You won’t pay any more for your purchases, but you will be helping the Whosoever Gospel Mission.
Christmas will be here and gone before we know it. But through your kind and generous support, the hope and joy of Christmas will continue throughout the New Year in the lives of our men. Jesus is the reason for the season, but He is also our hope and joy for the rest of the year. Our men truly do thank you for your kind and generous support.
As we finish out 2017 and begin 2018, my prayer for you is that the Lord will abundantly bless you and your loved ones with good health, much happiness and great success in all of your endeavors. Thank you for standing with us in 2017. Your generous support was wonderfully used by the Lord to impact 196 homeless men in 2017. Your gift also impacted their families, their friends and society as a whole as our men became responsible, contributing members of our community. Your support made a big difference, and will continue to do so in the days ahead.
Wishing you the joy and peace of Christmas,
Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.