The coats keep coming in so we may end up with more like “600 Coats for Christmas”. Amazing. I’m looking forward to celebrating this Sunday…but here’s some final thoughts on the whole thing in the mean time.
- Tell people what needs to happen-not how to do it. Lots of people used lots of different methods to make this happen. Some set up donation points at their places of business. Others collected great used coats from friends. Some purchased a coat or two each time they went to the big box store. Others who could, bought dozens of coats themselves. Everyone who contributed did so in a different way. If we would have had “ONE PLAN” instead of one GOAL…we probably would have failed.
- You can’t over-communicate a goal. We publicised our goal of donating 500 coats in every way we could possibly think of. (Thanks Josiah for the artwork-we are blessed to have some of his talent directing our efforts) We talked about it. Blogged about it. Showed pictures of the coats coming in. (Thanks Garrett-big time). There were posters on the walls, graphics on the screens, and cards in your hands. We wanted EVERYONE who came in contact with actionchurch to know what we were attempting.
- You don’t need to lie or “over-hype” to get people to respond. We told folks that kids were cold…not that “dozens of cute little boys and girls with giant waif eyes will die if you don’t bring a coat this week” :-) We also let people know that this was a big goal…it was scary…and we were NOT “sure of success”. People responded anyway.
- Faith is about taking action when it DOESN”T seem like you will (or should) succeed. Thank you all for helping to build my faith through this whole deal. The LAST THING that it seemed like should happen, would be to take on a major effort for our community right now. It seemed like that instead we should play it safe (which is never safe-btw) and prepare financially for equipment and moving expenses for the future. Quite frankly it seemed “impossible” to meet the need of “500 coats for Christmas” anyway. I’m NOT saying this to point out my great faith…quite the opposite…I had so many doubts about this whole thing…but I felt that it was the RIGHT thing to do, so we proceeded anyway. I pray I NEVER forget the lessons learned from “the time we gave 500 coats for Christmas”
…so what have you learned?