We have a proposal. It is simple -- and simply bold. Let’s give away $1 million!
That’s right - $1 million, all to projects that dream of doing good in their neighborhood.
We’re here! After a year and a half of dreaming about what God could do in our midst if we discerned with God how best to give away $1 million, it’s time to set the Blessing Initiative fully in motion.We're so grateful for each of you who cast your vote on the slate of Initiatives candidates. It's been a true joy to learn about each idea, and we hope you've felt the wind of God's Spirit behind each of them. (We know we have.) A total of 314 votes were cast, and upon completing the count, the action by ballot was approved by a near-unanimous total, thus releasing the funding to the four awardees.
On top of that, you voted for these projects to receive an additional bonus - 50% for the first place recipient and 25% for second place. There was no wrong way to go here, and we're delighted to announce that Whitter Wildflowers Preschool gathered the most votes - thus releasing a bonus of $40,000 - and Avivo came right after them, thus releasing a bonus of $37,500.
Now, the real fun begins.If we're honest, we're getting pretty excited. From high-quality and affordable preschool for kids and families in Minneapolis to mentoring and job training for people coming out of prison to two creative takes on combating housing insecurity in our neighborhoods, we get to see a lot of beautiful Kingdom work take place in a lot of different places and contexts, and we feel so lucky - blessed, really - to begin the long and fruitful work of walking alongside these ideas and organizations: cheering them on, praying for them, and engaging practically with them where it makes sense.
In other words, both the Blessings and Initiatives recipients are now partners of ours. Over the coming weeks, we will begin to mapping out their transition from award recipients to partners. Stay tuned for more info on how to begin engaging with them!
P.S. We still have a fun thing or two up our sleeves for celebrating all 9 of these awards recipients, so also keep in touch on Sunday mornings and in your Colonial Weekly on Wednesdays as that comes together! Not signed up for Colonial Weekly? Get plugged in here.
Volunteer Needs (April 1st, 2021)
From the beginning, our hope with our Blessing Initiative recipients was to find ideas and organizations that could call us into a long-term partnership where we could roll up our sleeves and serve where it made sense.
Are you ready? We've got a few opportunities right out of the gate:
(1) Whittier Wildflowers has a small classroom in need of painting. It'll take 3-5 people working a few hours. Contact Elgin Manhard to find out more.
(2) Oasis for Youth recently experienced a setback when their resource closet was flooded, leaving them with no choice but to destroy their donations at Oak Grove. For now, we want to come alongside them and fill as many of their emergency needs as possible, which include the following:
- Microwavable and single-serve food items (soups, ramen, ravioli, etc.)
- Single serve snacks (chips, trail mix, fruit snacks, beef sticks)
- Shampoo, conditioner and body wash
- Dish soap, other household cleaners
- Toilet paper & paper towels
- Baby wipes
As you're able from March 31st - April 14th, we invite you to bring these items to a labeled bin by the Connection Corner right by the entrance when you walk in. Contact Jane Wilson with any questions.
Past Blessing Initiative Updates
We are so grateful and glad to unveil our five Blessings award recipients, each of them receiving $20,000.Learn more about the recipients by clicking here.
Pray alongside us.We received just under 30 applications in all, and each one of them is an idea that's exciting and full of heart. To all who championed or helped to champion one of these ideas — thank you.
You've dreamt with us.
Now, we invite you to pray alongside us.Would you join us in thanking God for each application — and not just for the idea, but for each person behind it?
And would you join us in praying for discernment for our team of Colonial members — each from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives — as they begin screening each idea?
Thanks for dreaming big with us.At 11:59pm on November 5th, the window for applications for the Blessing Initiative officially closed.
We've already invested $200,000 in organizations on the frontline of COVID-19 relief, and we're excited to extend the remaining $800,000 to support Spirit-driven ideas and begin a long-term partnership with the organizations behind them.