Math, Generosity-Style

In Women4given, we like to find creative ways to make our grant monies go farther. We are women who know how to stretch a dollar, and we’re not afraid to do it.

Here’s a prime example. We’ve had the privilege of supporting the work of Marion Medical Mission (MMM) in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania over the past four years. MMM “seeks to share the love of Christ with the extreme poor in Africa by providing all in need with a sustainable source of clean, safe drinking water.”

This mission is admirable, but the sustainable and economical way that they do this is doubly admirable!

Our donation of $400 provides the well parts, transportation, and skilled labor; the villagers supply the rest. In turn, the villagers gain a sense of ownership and responsibility, not to mention the chance to live lives free of deadly water-borne diseases.

marion medical missionHere are some numbers: in the course of four years we’ve granted $5,440 to sponsor thirteen wells, which have provided approximately 1,950 people (1,170 of them children) with safe, clean water. In other words, just fifteen W4G memberships combined ($365 x 15 = $5,475) have made a life-and-death difference in the lives of nearly two thousand people.

That’s my kind of math—generosity-style!

Here are a few more ways we’ve tried to multiply members’ donations through the generosity of sponsors. In 2013, our Grants Task Force designated a small grant to World Vision for life-saving medicine and supplies for children, knowing that corporate sponsors at that time would multiply the gift ten-fold. We also encourage members to consider applying for matching donations through their employers’ matching grants programs. Additionally, volunteers oversee and operate Women4given; we have no paid staff members.

Lastly, sometimes God unexpectedly pours out more — as Jesus explained in the Sermon on the Mount,

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).

In May 2014, we granted $3,000 to Bibles for Honduras to furnish 600 illustrated Spanish children’s Bibles for free distribution in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. An unexpected discount allowed Bibles for Honduras to purchase 800 children’s Bibles with our grant—a 33% increase! Of course, God already knows the children who will receive these Bibles in October, including the “unexpected” 200. May God continue to bless the distribution of his Word and our resources.

cardinal glennon blankets
The Volunteer Services Team delivered blankets to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in July 2014.

Numbers are useful. Numbers are fun. Numbers make things easier to measure. But we believe that giving is as much about quality as quantity.

The warmth that will come from the blankets our members lovingly tied is pretty hard to measure—but no less significant. It all adds up to this: for with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.