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Online shopping now benefits Christian ministries

Canton church member launches, new website for missions support

 

Joe Westbury/Index

Bev Siler, left, a first and second grade Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church of Loganville, touches base with Children’s Minister Keith Wages on a recent Sunday morning. Wages is hoping that rebates generated from the SendThemForHim.com website will provide additional revenue for the children’s ministry. For example, he says that the ministry will receive the first month’s $19 fee for new Blockbuster online accounts that are signed up through the website.

Georgia Baptists who enjoy online shopping now have a way to support their favorite ministry by patronizing certain vendors.

SendThemForHim.com, an online shopping rebate program, has been rolled out and is generating income for participating ministries across the state as well as around the nation. There is no subscription fee needed to participate.

The website is the brainchild of Sherrie Hunt, a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Canton. The site was recently launched “to help Christian ministries, missionaries, organizations, and churches raise money.”

Keith Wages, children’s minister at First Baptist Church of Loganville, hopes the website will generate funds to offset the rising costs of providing curriculum and other children’s material at the church. With curriculum averaging about $100 a month “every little bit helps, especially if it doesn’t cost us anything to participate,” he says.

As more individuals from the church become aware of the buying program he hopes the rebate amount will increase and enable the children’s ministry to make additional purchases to build a stronger program.

“The way I understand it, we will receive about $100 for every new business card that is accepted through American Express, and we will get about $30 for every new standard account that is opened. Those are the biggies but we will receive small percentages from regular online shopping from nearly 300 merchants that are listed on the site.”

Hunt said shoppers receive “the same pricing and specials as if they had entered the merchant’s online website directly. It doesn’t cost anyone anything and it only adds a few seconds to reach the store.

“Supporters simply enter merchant websites from your support page and your group receives cash donations for every qualified purchase made. There is no markup in any of the products. Supporters make only purchases they were going to make anyway so your group gets rewarded without anyone spending any additional money.”

The site is intended to be a continuous, long term, year-round fundraiser for mission groups, missionaries, churches, and other Christian charities.

There’s at least one Georgia missionary family who has already signed up for the rebate program from among the seven who are listed. The Aaron and Robin Bruski family are serving in Romania; Aaron Bruski formerly served as the children’s pastor at the Loganville congregation where Wages is now on staff.

 

Normal purchases to unique support

Ministries desiring to be listed as rebate recipients can fill out an online application at the website.

Hunt, on the website, explains that supporters are encouraged to only make purchases they would normally make. What makes the program so unique, she adds, is that ministries are not asking any of their supporters to spend extra money.

The website currently lists ministries that are broken down into four categories: Christian organizations, church ministries, missionaries, and mission groups. Among the national groups participating are the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering from the North American Mission Board and Focus on the Family. While not all the groups are Southern Baptists, they are evangelical.

Some of the 300 merchants include 1800Flowers, A&E Channel Store, Amazon, American Express, Apple iTunes, BabiesRUs, Bass Pro Shops, Barnes & Noble, Office Depot, Staples, Office Max, and travel sites such as Orbitz. Each merchant rebates a predetermined amount.

For more information contact Hunt at contactus@CalvaryFundraising.com, by phone at (770) 617-4931, or directly from the website on the “contact us” link.