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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:38 pm
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Location: North American Division Pathfinder Ministries
On August 17, 2011, a news report came out showing that 1 in 5 kids under the age of 12 have at least one of their parents out of work / looking for a job. In addition, kids living in poverty is 20% for the first time in decades the same report says. (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=139695587 ). In your club, what specifics steps are YOU taking to help keep club activities affordable for your Adventurers/Pathfinders? Have you had to change plans or outings for the coming year because of club finances (since dues fund the majority of your activities)? We'd love to hear what you've done to continue ministry in these financially challenging times.

Note: This question appeared in the NAD Youth Ministries August eNEWS "The Update" If you would like to subscribe visit:
http://www.adventistyouthministries.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=111

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:29 pm
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Location: Central New Hampshire
Last year we created a financial aid form that we put in our registration packets. In the past, when a family could not pay reg fees, the club would simply eat the cost. But since the recession, our budget has been reduced and we can no longer do that.

The financial aid requests are then presented to the church board along with a motion that we fund the requests from the "Lamb's Offering" (which is collected by the kids just before the children's story). So far, that fund has not seemed to suffer from the down economy.

We always require the families to pay something though, even if it's only $5 - it affects their attitude in very positive ways. These requests are also used to cover camping fees.

Another thing we do is pay closer attention to camping menus. As it turns out, veggie meats are not cheap! We have a few staff members who make homemade veggie loaves at a fraction of the cost. Rice makes a good (and cheap) addition to the beans for haystacks. When we can get free (and really good) bread from Panera Bread, we plan a lot of meals that feature bread: grilled cheese, PB&J, French toast, etc. I would imagine that almost any bakery would be able to donate day-old bread if you ask.

Our winter fun night (our fall semester merit point reward) used to be a trip to the bowling alley, or something like that. But we've found that the kids really enjoy camping in - sleeping in the church. We try to do this on New Years Eve and let them stay up until midnight. We set the Wii up in the fellowship hall and connect it to the projector. Nothing like Wii Sports on a 60" screen/wall, and for that evening of fun we pay nothing.

But I think the most important thing a club can do is to engage in "the genius of generosity." We are careful to not pull back on our community service projects - especially feeding the homeless. We strongly believe that if we use our funds to serve our God, He will provide for our needs as well as the needs of those we serve in His Name.

In April the only soup kitchen in our city (Concord, NH) burned to the ground. They moved into the basement of one of the downtown churches and didn't miss serving one meal. Every year our club makes sack lunches for them, and our left over citrus from that fundraiser always goes to them. This year we voted to donate half of the proceeds from our annual yard sale to them to help them rebuild. The Lord blessed us in this, as our sales were up by about 100%.

That is the genius of generosity!

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