Rachel

Happy Summer to All!

We have a client I would like to share with you about and see if we are able to come together in support for her ongoing journey to wellness. Christ in Action has been working with Rachel, an adult female regarding an ongoing mental health issue she has been struggling with. Rachel has been dealing with anxiety and depression for most of her adult life, these have caused her to engage in some maladaptive behaviors that are damaging to her relationships, finances, and to her overall well-being.  Through our conversations Rachel has expressed willingness in participating in mental health counseling. Though she is employed, she does not currently have health insurance.

Together, we found a reliable therapist close to her who specializes in grief counseling, anxiety, and impulse control disorders.  The therapist has also offered CIA a significantly reduced rate for counseling services. We have agreed to assist Rachel with a number of weekly therapy sessions so she can begin to heal and identify healthier coping mechanisms that will work for her.  Christ in Action is asking for your help in covering the cost of therapy sessions, around $500.

As always we celebrate the diverse interests and gifts and talents of our CIA Alert team.  If hearing Rachel’s story inspires you to invest in her journey you are able to follow the instructions and click on the link below.  We are grateful for your continued support through action and prayer!

Have a blessed week!

You may donate ONLINE at SecureGive via the link:

https://app.securegive.com/pathfinderstl/st-john-lutheran/donate/category

Follow the prompts to log in or donate anonymously.  Enter the amount of your gift in Church Ministry One Fund and under “include a message”, type “CIA – Rachel”.

Long-Term Financial Stability

Hello everyone!

As many of you know, Christ in Action is constantly adapting to the needs of West County’s population. Perhaps the most important changes we have made over the past few years include a move towards helping clients achieve long-term financial stability. This means providing long-term change resources–including debt management programming, referrals for resources, financial assistance, financial education, and (hopefully) soon–match savings accounts.

Due to the results of an outstanding amount of research and time we (and other agencies and churches) have put into this topic, we are shifting our focus away from emergency funding in order to promote independence and long-term financial change. Christ in Action will still help people in emergencies find resources. We will still walk with them through their struggles and support them through hard times. However, this also means that we are moving away from assisting with immediate “emergency funding” (rent, utilities, car repair costs). We still help with those things as the client progresses through our program, but the priority is focusing on “how can we help the client’s monthly income outweigh the monthly expenses?” Too often, this problem is put on a back burner and it creates a loop in the cycle of poverty as costs add up over time. Our ultimate goal is to help clients create a sustainable, financially healthy lifestyle. The changes we have made over time support that goal and empower our clients for the long-term.

If you’re interested in learning more about Christ in Action, or want to find out how you can get involved, contact Mandy Branch (Christ in Action Coordinator at Pathfinder Church) at 636-779-2311.

 

 

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who donated towards our CIA Christmas needs, we were able to make gift bags for all of our clients! Thank you also to those who participated in Adopt-a-Family!

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Ralph Update

Hello everyone,

I wanted to let you all know that we not only met but exceeded the amount that Ralph needed for his electric. He is so grateful and states that “this blessing could not have come at a better time”. So, thank you all for your contributions and for making this possible!

Ralph

Hello everyone,

This week I am writing to tell you about a new client CIA has received. Ralph is a 73 year old veteran. He lives alone and is very conscientious about how he spends his money. Ralph is currently living on his Social Security Income and is in the process of applying for a pension as a supplemental income to his SSI.  He has also had assistance from the VA.

Ralph is struggling to pay all of his bills every month, one of which his electrical bill is extremely necessary as he has a few medical issues that require at home equipment that need electricity.   While he has been going through the process to get this extra pension his electric bills have backed up and though he is making head way on paying them, he has been unable to get ahead.  Ameren has agreed to extend the due date on the outstanding balance.  We would like to help him take care of the balance so he is not worrying about it over the Christmas season and he can start fresh in the New Year.  The total is $504.33, please help us make his Christmas a little brighter!

If you’d like to donate, please click the link below, or copy and paste it into your browser, and mark “Christ in Action” in the memo!

Follow the prompts to log in or donate anonymously.  Enter the amount of your gift in NEXT – Church Ministry Fund and under “include a message”, type “Christ in Action”.

https://stjohn.securegive.com/SG/WebOnline/Home/Index?WO=stjohn

 

 

It’s that time of year…!

Hello everyone,

With the holidays coming up, we would like to keep you all informed about how Christ in Action is serving our families this Christmas. In the past, we have facilitated Adopt-a-Family, we have given gift cards, gift baskets, and more. Our clients have been most appreciative of receiving gift cards to shop for their own children.  For December 2018, we are going to continue this act of love by purchasing gift cards and providing holiday gift baskets for our clients.

This tends to provide a sense of “normalcy” in regards to finances when parents can shop for their own children for Christmas. It restores a feeling of independence and accomplishment in parents by being able to provide for their family in such a personal manner. We would also like to provide our CIA parents with their own gift-card so they are able to treat themselves over the holidays. If you are interested in participating, please contact mbranch@stjstl.net.

By Christ in Action providing gift baskets filled with “household items”, parents can worry less about spending their money on day-to-day needs and enjoy shopping for their children. Items we need to collect for the gift baskets include; paper towels, trash bags, batteries, dish soap, hand soap, Kleenex, dish scrub brushes, holiday candles, dish detergent, loofahs, dishtowels, and whatever else you may run out of during the holidays! We would love to accept any heartfelt Christmas cards from you to our clients in addition to donated items. If you donate after December 5th, please contact Mandy at mbranch@stjstl.net to see what we still need before you shop!

All purchased items for the gift baskets can be turned into the St. John Ministry Center Lobby reception desk, marked “Christ in Action” beginning Wednesday November 21st through Monday December 17th.

If you would like to participate in Adopt-a-Family, please contact Mandy at mbranch@stjstl.net with that information and we will contact you if and when a request arises.

Dawn’s Story

I wanted to share a little bit of background information on a 56 year old client we met with recently & a short paragraph at the bottom about what we did to help her.

Dawn’s adoptive parents gave her an amazing life and were her entire support system. She was diagnosed with hydrocephalus as a baby and therefore sustained some brain damage that caused her a long-term disability. Dawn was able to finish high school with special needs programming and received her  diploma.  She lived with her parents until her mother passed away in 2010 and her father moved to Florida.

Dawn witnessed her mother’s death in 2010 while at her mother’s dialysis appointment. It was both tragic and very traumatic for Dawn who recalls screaming for the staff to help, but that they all seemed uninterested in her urgency.  Ultimately her mother passed away from the incident.  Dawn has been harboring some resentment towards her remaining brother as he made the decision to end life support. Her mother did gift her their house before she passed away, so she has been able to live there for years with no payment. Dawn still grieves her mother to the point of tears almost every day, along with her brother who died in a car accident when Dawn was only 13.

Dawn recently chose to contact her biological siblings (she is 1 of 8 children). She shared that it was a mistake saying “I wish I had never met them, I want nothing to do with those people”.  Dawn had positive hopes for what her biological family would be like and was crushed when she discovered they weren’t who she thought they would be.

Today, Dawn’s only income is disability. She has struggled with keeping her bill payments spread out where they don’t leave her short of money all at one time.  After extensive conversations with Dawn, we came to a conclusion that she tends to be too trusting of people who are looking to take advantage of her financially. Dawn is setting up an appointment with a financial coach this month to help educate her on how to protect herself from financial crimes and manage her money. Additionally, we referred her to a grief counselor and support group. Dawn had a need for truck repairs which we were able to assist with. Our CIA alert team was able to raise $820 to cover the costs for Dawn! We continue to work with Dawn to check in on her progress.