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The Power of Twelve

There isn't a day, perhaps even an hour that goes by where snippets of conversation about our economy can't be heard. The unknown spawns a kind of vulnerability that is uncomfortable for some, fear-inspiring for others. How bad can it really get? Is our new government helping ... or making it worse. What should I do with my money; will it all evaporate like reeds in the wind?

An article in Women's Day Magazine inspired my imagination this weekend. It wasn't really even an article but a paragraph. A paragraph with a simple plan that if adopted in communities across our country -- could help feed hungry families and inspire those most affected by the economic downturn, give them the boost they need to keeping going, keep searching, keep hoping. For the loss of hope is the worst enemy one can battle in times like these.

There are a group of twelve women in Lincoln, Nebraska, who remain anonymous to the media and to their benefactors. In 2004 they formed a group called Random Acts of Kindness. The group meets monthly at rotating venues where each member donates $20 to their cause. The host will donate $30. The mission is finding strangers in need, people they've heard about about from organizations, friends, or the local paper. The $250 is then sent to the benefactor with a simple note that reads, "From 12 women who care."

Imagine if this idea was adopted in every community, in every school and in every church in our country. What if each participant collected $30 a month, the host collecting $40? That would raise the donation from $250.00 to $370.00 per month. So many of us could by virtue of cutting back on one monthly dinner out raise that money for someone in need. The difference in their life would be priceless. Not only the extra cash, but the fact that someone cared.

In 2007, there were 100,308 public schools operating in the United States. What if there were 12 women in each of those schools committed to donating money to just one family a month. That would cause $37,113,960 a month in additional and much needed income to flow to children and families in need. An annual amount? You do the math. I know that most churches already have benevolence programs in place, but what if there were just 12 individuals in congregations that would commit to this idea?

The possibilities are staggering when you consider the power of twelve. The number twelve is a significant number in many ways. There are two sets of twelve on our time clocks, AM and PM, there are twelve calendar months, twelve days of Christmas, twelve tribes of Judah, and so on and so on.

Could you find a way to carve a mere $30 a month out of your budget to help someone in need? I know I can. And when people join together, twelve really is a powerful number.

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