Many Presbyterians are aware of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s four Special Offerings, but many also are unclear about how those offerings translate into real-life ministries.
Telling those stories and increasing transparency are the goals of IMPACT 365, a new app from the PC(USA)’s Special Offerings office.
The free app, available on iTunes, provides users with a daily story and photo detailing how a donation to a Special Offering has changed a life.
“We’re very proud of the fact that things supported by the Special Offerings have a ton of impact,” said Sam Locke, director of Special Offerings.
The story for Feb. 21 focuses on Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s response to the March 2011 earthquake and nuclear plant destruction in Japan. Leaked radiation jeopardized the country’s food supply, and PDA worked with farmers to teach new methods for protecting crops.
A significant portion of money raised from the Pentecost and Peacemaking offerings is retained at the mid-council level. IMPACT 365 also tells those stories, Locke said.
Another iTunes app to be released soon is Gracie, named for the “mascot” of the OGHS offering.
Children’s donations to OGHS have often been collected in cardboard fish banks. Stories about the OGHS fish known as Gracie are released every year to educate children about disaster relief, poverty and hunger — major targets for OGHS.
The average gift size per member to OGHS is $2, Locke said. The Gracie app isn’t a major fundraising program but rather a way to breathe fresh energy into the offering.
“We’re trying to meet people where they are and trying to engage them in out-of-the-box ways,” he said. “It’s really individuals doing what they can collectively to do a huge amount of difference in the world. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing, which is to share Christ’s mission to the world.”