The Appeal for Church Appeals
This month, Ted, our chairman, gives us an insight into EVC Uganda's church appeals. Much work goes into the preparation for a successful delivery, as well as initially securing the appeal with a parish priest. Ted tells us more below:
We are enormously grateful to the churches throughout England who have so generously allowed EVC appeals. During the last three and a half years we have visited parishes as far apart as Newcastle upon Tyne and Orpington in Kent and, have received such a warm welcome from priests and lay people, for the work the charity does for the poor children we serve. Parishioners are both excited and greatly motivated to donate to our work and many agree to sponsor a poor child in education through our child sponsorship programme. By the end of 2020, we will have visited over 60 churches.
Through this programme we have met so many wonderful and supportive people and, as we leave on a Sunday afternoon or evening, we feel as if we are leaving new friends behind until we hopefully meet again in a few years’ time when we return to their parishes. The whole process is extremely uplifting and motivating and brings out so much of the goodness in people.
Gaining openings for appeals in churches is a very challenging piece of work which entails me, in my 70th year, cold calling priests to request an appeal. I have now become a salesman, motivating priests to support our work and selling the needs of the children to parishioners. I know I have to do this as the Lord has made it very clear to me that this is the road which I must go down.
When I visit the desperately poor children of southern Uganda, clothed in rags outside their tiny mud-built homes, I realise the enormous necessity to promote their needs to those who will support them in the UK and beyond. So, as I pick up my phone to ring the next parish priest, I remember those children and understand why, in my twilight years, I have become a telephone salesman.
The photographs shown above were taken in some of the beautiful churches we visited last year. Please click on the photos to see these parishes' websites.
Church appeals have always proven to be an enormous success and a leading source of income. During 2019, the collections (including Gift Aid), raised a staggering sum just shy of £50,000. This figure includes a major donation very kindly offered by a parishioner, after being touched by an appeal. We are grateful beyond words. The vast difference these funds will make to so many lives is phenomenal!
In addition, during 2019 we gained 42 new child sponsors, resulting in a further 58 children being sponsored in education. The majority of new sponsors came from the church appeals programme which, at £240 per child per year, adds very significantly to the sum raised in the collections for 2019. Our dropout rate of child sponsors is extremely low, so this represents income, not just for 2019, but for many years to come.