In hard-hit places like Beattyville, Kentucky, it’s not uncommon for Sherry Lanham, director of the Lee County Family Resource Center (LCFRC), located in the town’s elementary school, to see students walking into the building wearing ill-fitting worn out hand-me-down shoes in the middle of winter

In her office closet, she keeps dozens of pairs of shoes in many sizes and colors on hand provided through our Barefeet Program for situations just like that.

In many cases, the shoes are the first brand-new pair all their own that the student has ever received.

Most Americans do not consider a pair of shoes a “luxury” item, but for some families, it is an unaffordable luxury when there are bills that must be paid and food put on the table – especially when there is a “perfectly good” pair to hand down from an older sibling or even parent.

This year, we will be distributing a total of 1,800 pairs of shoes to the LCFRC and our partners in West Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia, but we need your he

1298

Paul Krizek

Paul Krizek
Executive Director, Christian Relief Services
Interviewed by Wallet Hub.

Check out Wallet Hub’s charity calculator today.

 

Where should people look for opportunities to volunteer in their community?

How about “Where to look? I would say “where not to look?” There are so many opportunities out there it can be overwhelming. Start local: try local schools, even police and fire departments, or the courts are all in need of volunteers. Your place of worship is a great place to start and if they have an “Outreach” committee or some such then you can volunteer with local groups via that effort. And, certainly wherever you already donate is a good place to inquire after volunteer opportunities.

How should people consider the trade-off between volunteering their time versus working more and donating extra money to charity?

Money vs. time? Age old question. I often wondered if I could have done more good with my own life if I had gone into the private sector and made lots of money and then donate more to charity.

From the charity perspective money often trumps volunteering, but not always. For example, the board members must be volunteers. You cannot buy board members! If one has a skill set that is quite costly if you had to pay for it, like in IT or law, it can be cheaper to volunteer that expertise to the charity rather than to make a donation. Better is to do both! And, most volunteers do do both.

The other issue, and the reason we don’t have tons of volunteers, is that often it is jobs folks need that the charity provides in difficult to find job regions like on Indian Reservations, for example. I remember when President Clinton asked us to help set up a huge volunteer effort on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to build homes. That would have been great but there were a lot of good carpenters and builders already living on the Reservation that just needed a job. Sending volunteers there would be like sending coal to Newcastle in a sense, as it isn’t workers that are needed, but the houses were. Unfortunately, it is not as “sexy” to send money to employ folks to build homes as it is to get excitement about volunteering to do so. There were a host of logistical problems too and the costs associated with the volunteers, which is another issue with volunteering: it isn’t always cheaper to have volunteers. And, often you get what you “pay” for and its harder to “fire” a volunteer too. There are liability issues, insurance costs, vetting costs, travel costs, food and housing… it’s endless.

You need real professional staff to run the program too. I think that the London Olympics were about the best way in which to incorporate a big volunteer effort with an existing program in that: a. it was going to happen no matter what and you needed the workers; b. it generated a lot of enthusiasm; and, c. it did save money due to the huge number of volunteers. But make no mistake, it did cost money to handle all those folks too.

How can young people be motivated to volunteer?

Young people do volunteer and don’t seem to lack motivation to do so. Make it fun and include other young people. Those are two critical ingredients for them. Free food and WiFi probably help too.

How can charitable organizations retain volunteers over time?

To retain volunteers, I feel you need to reward them, keep it interesting and make it challenging. Their income is of the “emotional” kind as they don’t get paid. Charities do a great job with volunteer recognition events and other types of recognition. Keeping it interesting and challenging is more difficult because what you want them to do is stuff your own staff may not be so keen to do, like lick stamps and answer the phone or something quite mundane. But, if you give them an hour of stamps, two on the phone and three on something that uses their skills like editing, writing, analyzing, etc… And notice my math? It only adds up to 6 hours. It’s best to not overwork volunteers. 6 hours a day is more than enough.

Since persons who volunteer have higher odds of finding a job than those who don’t volunteer (due to developing new skills and expanding personal networks), should public policy promote volunteering as a labor market strategy?

I don’t think that the charitable sector needs help finding volunteers so I am unsure what public policy changes are necessary but it never hurts to promote it as long as there is an equal push for monetary and in-kind donations.

We are blessed to live in a great nation of volunteers and financial supporters… so many generous Americans out there helping others in need, giving of their time, talent and treasure. God bless them all.

966
For 27 years, Christian Relief Services has been working tirelessly to aid those in communities that are desperate, forgotten and embedded in cycles of poverty and hopelessness.

THANK YOU for being our partners in the fight to connect resources and people around the country - and around the world - in order to support our brothers and sisters in need.

In 2012, $17,850,150 spent. Over 152,000 lives changed.


  • Over 27,000 Americans served in Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
  • Over 35,000 American Indians served in Montana and South Dakota.
  • Over 90,000 Africans served in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia.

For 27 years, Christian Relief Services has been working tirelessly to aid those in communities that are desperate, forgotten and embedded in cycles of poverty and hopelessness.

THANK YOU for being our partners in the fight to connect resources and people around the country – and around the world – in order to support our brothers and sisters in need.

In 2012, $17,850,150 spent. Over 152,000 lives changed.

  • Over 27,000 Americans served in Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
  • Over 35,000 American Indians served in Montana and South Dakota.
  • Over 90,000 Africans served in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia.

Appalachian Programs:

  • 64,336 lbs of food distributed
  • 6,048 turkeys for the holidays
  • 2,316 blankets
  • 2,043 new coats
  • 3,087 toys
  • 1,624 pairs of new shoes
  • 1,700 hygiene kits
  • 1,800 school supply kit
“I can go to school and no
one can make fun of me.
I have nice shoes now.
Now I am like the others.”

Ten-year-old New Shoes Recipient
Gainesville, Georgia

American Indian Programs:

  • 378,000 lbs of food distributed
  • 6,048 turkeys for the holidays
  • 2,700 blankets
  • 2,800 new coats
  • 3,600 toys
  • 2,628 pairs of new shoes
  • 3,000 hygiene kits
  • 3,328 school supply kits
“A lot of us are low income, considered
poverty-level.  For me as a parent trying
to make my food dollars stretch, it’s
pretty tough. For these kids to take this
stuff home on weekends really helps.
I know a lot of the kids depend on the
program and they look forward to it.

It has really helped the families a lot.
We really are grateful.
I know a lot of parents are.”

Nadine, Takini School Mother
Cheyenne River Indian Reservation,
South Dakota

Programs in Africa

125.25 tonsof relief materials
shipped to grassroots
organizations, hospitals,
clinics, schools and
orphanages in Africa including
medicalsupplies, medicines,
personal care items,
school supplies, office
and school furniture, clothing,
and new shoes.

“We are very grateful to you for
helping the people of Africa. Your
sacrifices have put smiles on our
faces. Many, many people who
have been hopeless now have
hope to live.”

Reverend Frances Mambu
Director, Faith Healing
Development Organization
Sierra Leone, Africa

876
07-crs-gen-girls-hugging

07-crs-gen-girls-huggingThank you for your generous donation and continued support for Christian Relief Services important programs.

Your gift has been processed and your help makes a difference.

845
aha_pic

Thank you for joining Christian Relief Service’s mailing list!

We look forward to sharing the latest news from our many important programs.

Christian Relief Serviceswill never sell your information to outside parties. To unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time, contact us by emailing info@christianrelief.org or (703) 317-9086.

aha_picrs_picbaraka_pic