#GivingTuesday gifts to double for Mission:Dignity

DALLAS (BP) -- #GivingTuesday gifts to Mission:Dignity's ministry to retired Southern Baptist ministers and their widows near the poverty line will be doubled thanks to donors who have offered $250,000 in matching gifts.

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#GivingTuesday fosters gifts to charities on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a way to give back following Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days.

All gifts are utilized for Mission:Dignity recipients; an established endowment covers administrative and overhead costs for the ministry.

"We are so thankful for the donors who understand the importance of this God-birthed and God-honoring ministry and are willing to help double the impact for our recipients," said O.S. Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources, which sponsors Mission:Dignity.

"We would encourage anyone who is interested in giving this year to consider multiplying the effectiveness of their gift by giving it on Tuesday, Nov. 27," Hawkins said.

As GuideStone concludes its centennial celebration -- marking 100 years of service to Southern Baptist pastors and churches -- Mission:Dignity remains a tangible expression of the vision of GuideStone founder William Lunsford, who conceived of a ministry to help retired pastors and their widows.

Through Mission:Dignity, nearly 1,800 retirees each month receive a measure of comfort, security and dignity in their retirement years. For some, it means being able to stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home. For others, it covers the cost of groceries, utilities, prescriptions and other necessities. But for each of them, it's an expression of the love and care of their Southern Baptist family.

To share a gift or for more information, visit MissionDignity.org.

Mission:Dignity director John Ambra said in his travels throughout the year he often meets with recipients of the grants that donors make possible and constantly hears what the gifts mean to them.

"I hear regularly that their Mission:Dignity checks serve as a reminder from the Lord that His people haven't forgotten their service and that their service to Him mattered," Ambra said. "They tell us that they are blessed to not have to choose among food, shelter or medicine."

Mission:Dignity receives no Cooperative Program gifts from the Southern Baptist Convention. All proceeds come from the gifts of individuals, local churches and Sunday School classes. Additionally, all author royalties and proceeds from a series of devotionals by Hawkins, including the just-released "Nehemiah Code," benefit Mission:Dignity.

Roy Hayhurst is director of denominational and public relations for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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