“I love the fact that so many different groups and agencies are working together to connect generosity with need.” Micah Andrews, CEO The Foundry Ministries
Executive Director of Sav-A-Life Shelby, Bob Foust, recently received a very generous, unexpected gift from an unexpected source- another local ministry! Micah Andrews, CEO of The Foundry Ministries presented Sav-A-Life Shelby with $5000 in gift cards for their Foundry Thrift Store Pelham to be distributed to Sav-A-Life clients with physical needs. Foust shared how the gift cards will be a great addition to their “Earn While You Learn” program that rewards men and women who complete aspects of their parenting education program in Pelham to purchase items they need for their infants and themselves.
The gift cards are a result of another gift given this spring to The Foundry’s Thrift Store Ministry as well as four other thrift store ministries in the Birmingham area, including The King’s Home, Vapor Ministries, the Lovelady Center and Sozo Children. Each of these ministries relies on its thrift stores to raise funds for their ministries and to serve families with affordable clothes and furniture. Due to the coronavirus, all of them were forced to cease store operations for many weeks when categorized as non-essential businesses.
At the time of the shut down, Tom Bradford, President of the National Christian Foundation (NCF) Alabama came up with a creative way to help. “The idea is to not only get some immediate cash to these ministries, but also do something to generate traffic when they can re-open,” says Bradford who set a goal to raise at least $100,000 in 10 days to purchase gift cards from the thrift stores to be redeemed when they re-open. The thrift store ministries agreed to sell the gift cards for 50% of value so that $100,000 would generate $200,000 in gift cards.
To date more than $120,000 has been raised through a special fund at NCF called “Alabama Covid-19 Relief Fund.” Under the leadership of Kevin Moore, Area Director of Mission Increase Central Alabama, an advisory committee administers the funds and sends checks to the thrift store ministries. None of the money has gone to Mission Increase or NCF for fees – 100% has and is going to the thrift stores.
“During the early days of our quarantine season, The Foundry was the beneficiary of the generosity of the NCF which has enabled us to in turn work with other partnering agencies to bless those in need in numerous communities around Central Alabama,” shares Foundry CEO Micah Andrews whose ministry operates Thrift Stores in Pelham, Fairfield and Cullman. “We have been able to assist hundreds of families across Alabama by distributing thrift store gift cards for redemption in one of our three thrift locations.”
Kevin Moore reports that so far 130 different ministries in the area have received gift cards from the thrift stores to distribute to those individuals and families in the community they encounter who are in need. “I am blown away by the potential impact of this initiative regarding the large number of ministries that will be resourced with gift cards. I never anticipated that aspect of this project,” says Moore adding, “The implications of this level of outreach will be felt by a large number of Birmingham residents spread out over a large part of our region… God is at work!”
Donations can still be made to the Alabama Covid-19 Relief Fund at www.ncfgiving.com/alabama/covid. NCF will provide donors with a tax receipt.