Sights set high for annual ADRA appeal
Gloomy economic forecasts and wintry weather are no deterrent for the enthusiastic volunteers who will be knocking on doors for the next three weeks in aid of the charity ADRA-UK. "The 2008 appeal for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency could be our largest collection yet," states Bert Smit, ADRA-UK director.
"The level of enthusiasm has been incredible," he states, referring to ADRA awareness and training programmes that he has been involved with over the last six weeks. Now he and his team are praying for sunshine and receptive hearts as volunteer collectors start knocking on doors this Saturday, 29 March.
One of those who will be taking time from his busy schedule to collect is Pastor Don McFarlane, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the UK and Ireland. He cannot resist the challenge of the annual appeal. "I am always impressed by the generosity of the British public," he states. "When I knock on the doors and explain with a smile what ADRA is doing they are more than happy to donate. Of course, they can only give if I take the time to ask. It is important that each one of us makes time to ask."
He will be joined by thousands of other volunteers across the country. Pastor Roy Morgan is coordinating the programme in the North of England and is aiming to increase the collection there up to £250,000. His motto for this year comes from Ronald E Osborn: "Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered you will never grow." He is already very encouraged by the enthusiasm of the collectors and challenges them to "do something new".
Pastor Terry Messenger is appeal coordinator in the South of England. As a keen runner he is also delighted to join in a fun run at Crystal Palace on Sunday, 20 April. "This is always a great opportunity to meet the public and to enable them to take part in this worthy project. We never know who we are going to meet and where indeed that meeting may lead. It was through someone knocking on my wife's door with a red tin many years ago that she started attending church."
The annual appeal is not just about collecting money. It is more seriously about empowerment and changing people's lives. Writing in the 21 March edition of the Messenger, Mr Smit states, "we call it empowerment ? giving opportunities. It is one of the basic principles ADRA uses in working with vulnerable communities around the world. We can distribute food to the hungry, and tomorrow they are hungry again. Or, we can teach the hungry to produce food for themselves and feed them for a lifetime. This empowerment principle is key to Christian social concern and community service, both overseas and in our own communities."
Maybe you did not realise there was such power in a little red collecting box. A few hours knocking on doors here may make a life-time of difference elsewhere. For up-to-date information on this year's Annual Appeal and more "Give Opportunities" visit the ADRA-UK website at www.adra.org.uk
Please look out for collectors in the Gt Yarmouth Area over the next couple of weeks. We thank you for your contributions.
By courtesy of [Victor Hulbert] Adventist BUC New website