As I write this edition of the Board Chair Blog, I’m keenly aware that – if you’re reading this – you’re probably a supporter of Westminster Neighborhood Services. Maybe you’re a volunteer who has spent time in our food pantry or soup kitchen, serving our neighbors who are struggling with basic needs. Maybe you’re a donor, contributing financially to fund Westminster’s critical programs and services. Or maybe you’re an employee of a local company or organization that sponsors Westminster’s work financially or through group volunteer activities.
No matter how you’ve shown your support for Westminster Neighborhood Services—thank you. Without you, Westminster couldn’t deliver in such meaningful ways for our neighbors on Indy’s Near Eastside. In our recently released annual report, we’ve shared some awe-inspiring numbers:
Nearly 33,000 neighbors collectively served through our adult and youth programs.
Over 10,000 nutritious meals served to local schoolchildren through our after-school and summer youth programs.
17,000 neighbors experiencing food insecurity received help through our twice-weekly food pantry.
None of this is possible without the support we receive from generous donors and selfless volunteers. We’re a nonprofit organization and we rely on the help of our supporters to keep our doors open. And while we’re grateful for every bit of support we receive, we know that we could do even more for our neighbors with more resources.
Today, I have a proposition for you: I think we should go steady.
If we were in high school, “going steady” meant that we made an exclusive commitment to someone, pledging to spend time with them and devote ourselves to their well-being and happiness. It was sweet and sometimes cringey, and often ended with the angsty drama that only teenagers can generate.
What I’m proposing by going steady with Westminster Neighborhood Services is different. I’m suggesting that you choose Westminster as your preferred community organization for support.
Become a monthly donor. If you’ve contributed to Westminster in the past—thank you. Have you considered becoming a monthly donor? Maybe a large, one-time financial gift is out of reach for you, but – if you break it up into a recurring monthly donation – your annual gift could be much higher and easier to fit into your budget.
If you became a $20 monthly donor, would you notice much difference in your personal budget? Probably not, but your cumulative gift of $240 annually would make a significant impact on Westminster’s ability to serve our community.
Becoming a recurring donor is easy: From the donation page of Westmin.org, you can select the option to make your donation a recurring gift, using a credit or debit card for the recurring payment. Or if preferred, you can use your bank’s online bill-pay service to have a donation sent to Westminster on a monthly basis. Please send donation checks to this address: Westminster Neighborhood Services, P.O. Box 11465, Indianapolis, IN 46201.
Volunteer regularly or with increased frequency. Volunteers are the life-blood of an organization like Westminster. We have an amazing and dedicated staff, but we simply don’t have enough people to meet our community’s needs without volunteer help.
If you’ve volunteered with us in the past, we’d love to see you again. There is always a need for volunteers in our food pantry on Monday and Thursday mornings. No need to make a long-term commitment, though: We welcome you to volunteer with us whenever your schedule allows, whether it’s weekly, once a month, every few months, or once or twice a year.
Especially if you’re retired, self-employed or between jobs… While your schedule is a little loose, why not spend a few mornings at Westminster? You’ll be rewarded with the appreciation of neighbors who are seeking help and the satisfaction of knowing that you contributed in a meaningful way.
What’s in it for you?
“Going steady” with Westminster is not without its perks You’ll get regular updates from the organization, keeping you in-the-loop of current events and achievements. You’ll receive genuine messages of appreciation from Westminster staff members and board members who value your contributions. And you’ll align yourself with a community-based organization that’s making a real impact in the fight against poverty in Central Indiana.
Say yes to a steady relationship, and we’ll welcome you into the family of Team Westmin, where you’ll be appreciated for the gifts of your time, talent and treasure.
Let’s go steady!
Becky Doemland, Board Chair
Westminster Neighborhood Services