SSCB have just become advocates for ACTS 435, which is a charity that helps provide specific practical help, in small but significant ways, for people known by local churches to be in need.

Acts 435 is based on Acts 4:35 “Then they would give the money to each as any had need”. Here we see the early church giving to each as any had need. Acts 435 takes that from a local setting to connect people more widely through the internet, to provide fast, financial help for people in poverty.

Acts 435 is the idea of a businessman who recognised that there was a lot of donor fatigue in charity giving. Acts 435 enables people to give to a specific need and know they are making a difference. Acts 435 believes that a small gift can make a big difference, especially in moments of crisis.  It is also good for provision of unusual items especially small items which are usually given to quickly.

Since Acts 435 was launched in July 2010 by its patron, the Archbishop of York, over 15,000 people have been helped and over £1,450,000 gone directly to help people in need. There are now over 400 participating churches and charities partnering with Acts 435.

Acts 435 is a resource for churches and charities serving those in need in their local community, perhaps through ministries the church runs such as a foodbank or debt centre, or through the contacts the church has such as with the local school. Which fits well with what we do at SSCB.

Acts 435 is a website connecting those in need with those who want to help whilst protecting donor anonymity and applicant confidentiality. It is an opportunity to provide practical help for specific items in a simple way.

The website provides a simple place of exchange. Requests for assistance are posted anonymously. Donors respond by gifting money to meet the request and the money is then sent to the church to purchase the item so desperately needed:

  • A family moved into a hostel with baby twins and no way to store or heat baby food. Acts 435 provided them with a mini fridge and a microwave.
  • One boy suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was given a mood lamp with just £30 which now means the whole family can sleep through the night and cope better with life.
  • A man who suddenly found himself homeless was given a tent, camping stove and bicycle to help him cope during that period and get back on his feet.

People have been helped with white goods, furniture, school uniform, gas, and electricity, and much more. Some churches have received over £10,000 a year through Acts 435 to help individuals in their community.  These are funds they could not have raised themselves. Acts 435 is a resource alongside a church’s other ministries to go that extra mile for people in need.

As Advocates we play a key role meeting with the person in need and posting that need on the Acts 435 website. I am the advocate for SSCB but do have a chat with me if you would also like to be involved, and let’s pray that we can help people who find themselves in difficulty, especially at this strange time we are living in.

[from Martin Bethell, CAP Manager and ACTS 435 Advocate – martin@comelybankchurch.com]

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