This past Thursday, Sept. 22, marked this year’s North Texas Giving Day during which the Church of the Incarnation raised over $30,000. Gathered funds will cover opportunities for students, such as scholarships to attend off-site retreats, lectures from significant figures in the Catholic world, having free dinners every Wednesday through Open Anselm nights and going to Portugal for World Youth Day.
Preparation for the event began with reaching out to all of the people who donated last year to encourage people to participate.
“We sent them a postcard with the QR code to make it easy for them to donate again,” said Karen Bless, assistant to the chaplain & rector. The postcards also had pictures and the date of the occasion.
Apart from the communication site Flocknote, the occasion was advertised on the North Texas Giving Day site, where not just a financial goal was mentioned, but also the ways in which the Church of the Incarnation intended to use the collected contributions. This year, those preparations led to a successful campaign.
“We were really fortunate, we exceeded our goal from last year. Every year when we participated we’ve been able to raise more money than the previous year, and so we’re just so grateful for the generosity of our donors,” Bless said.
Generosity is key to the functioning of the Church of the Incarnation, and UD’s community has proven capable of sustaining it.
“It’s just incredible to see how generous people are to the Church. And none of it’s possible without them. And so we’re so fortunate to be able to do so many things for our students and impact such a large number of students because of people’s generosity. So we’re very, very grateful for their gifts and we do keep that in our prayers for sure,” Bless said.
Both campus ministry and the Church of the Incarnation are funded entirely by donation, but despite this, all NTGD funds were specifically set aside to create more opportunities for students as the general mission of the Church is much wider than just acquiring necessary items for service.
“People love to know that they’re giving dinner to a hungry student and not that they bought a candle for the altar,” Bless explained. The basic needs of the Church are instead funded through regular collections at Mass.
Father Joseph Paul Albin, O.P., chaplain & rector, commented on the importance of giving.
“We are asked again and again in sacred scripture to offer our first fruits to God. God, who holds us in being, gives us the grace to live and breathe, God who has opened the doors of Heaven asks us to give so that we can remember that we are completely dependent upon Him. It reminds us too that our material goods are blessings, but that they are not what life is about it. When we give generously, we can know and believe that God will never be outdone in generosity.”
Bless explained that many feel that giving in small amounts is not any great help to the Church.
“There are so many people who think that if they don’t have a large amount of money to give, their gift won’t make a difference, or if they can’t give thousands of dollars, then they’re not contributing in any way.”
Bless continued, however, that any amount of charity is valuable to both the Church and campus ministry.
“But our Lord in the Gospel reminds us that the widow who puts in the two small coins is the one who gave her the most right, because she didn’t give a large sum, but she gave out of her very livelihood. And it’s really moving to me, when students donate or tithe to the Church, because they’ve got the $5 that they were planning to spend at the Cap Bar, but they give it to the Church instead, because they believe in the Church’s mission. I think that’s really beautiful and moving,” she said.