Together with donors, InFaith Community Foundation addresses a number of pressing and unmet needs facing our shared community. Over time, donors have left gifts directly to InFaith to impact ever-changing community needs. The issues we address are born of donor interests and informed through our relationship with the community. InFaith identifies key issues and develops initiatives to achieve effective, positive and lasting change.
Ending Family Violence. In partnership with Faith Trust, The Safe & Healthy Churches initiative equips parish-based teams of church and lay leaders to respond to domestic violence and sexual abuse by providing tools and resources on how to adequately address the religious issues of domestic violence and child abuse through in-person trainings and webinars. An estimated 100,755 individuals have been in the five year history of the program through the trainings, webinars and overall initiative.
- Since its pilot in 2010, the program has been successfully executed in six US cities, training 470 people and 140 churches, as well as delivered 50 webinars.
- Over 71% of participants state their church is now actively working to address domestic violence and child abuse.
- After attending the training, 93% report it has raised their awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence and child abuse, and the importance of a faith-community response.
InFaith’s Creation Care/Environmental Initiative has committed nearly $400,000 in grants to build capacity, help congregations reduce their energy footprint, promote leadership and engage InFaith donors around the concern of creation care. Past partnerships include support of Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC), launching Concordia Seminary’s (St. Louis) Center for Creation Care and supporting EcoFaith Recovery. Outcomes of these efforts include:
- The Energy Stewards Initiative of LRC invites participating congregations to commit to reducing their carbon output. In 2014, 30 congregations and 20 camps took part in the program and one congregation was honored at the White House for their achievements.
- Concordia Seminary’s Center for Creation Care instituted a pilot project to partner with congregations to equip Christians to live out their lives as responsible steward of God’s creation. Practical congregational resources for education and worship were developed and now introduced to pastors and congregations across the country through workshops and seminars, engaging over 600 individuals.
- EcoFaith Recovery internships are designed to activate the leadership potential of youth and young adults through stipended service-learning opportunities. InFaith’s support has provided internships for 17 young adults.
Through this initiative, the foundation collaborates with Lutheran World Relief (LWR) to continue life-saving work around the world with determination and dedication, remaining committed to “forgotten emergencies” even after media attention fades. Beyond working to meet basic needs, such as food and clean water, LWR works in partnership with our global neighbors to increase their capacity for change that is lasting and meaningful.
Most recently, InFaith directed grants from Thrivent's Employee Giving Campaign to provide lifesaving resources to northern Iraq.
Details from LWR:
In June 2014, dramatic events added substantially to the humanitarian crisis in Northern Iraq where an estimated 200,000 Syrians were hosted by the government. Armed group(s) of Islamic State (IS) of Iraq and Syria took over the swaths of land in the north and west of Iraq from the Iraqi central government’s control. Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq was quickly overrun and this drove large numbers of Christians and the Shiite section of Muslims, who did not accept the IS, out of the land from their homes. Additional attacks from IS drove individuals out of the relatively safer place of the Nineveh plane toward the Kurdistan region to seek protection and security.
According to the government’s estimation, there are approximately 540,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Duhok Governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq. Initially, individuals and families forced to flee their homes lived in community halls, unfinished private buildings, churches and abandoned homes. Quickly, the government began to develop camps for a number of displaced individuals to live and to receive immediate relief assistance.
Lutheran World Relief (LWR), in partnership with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and their partners, have directed grant funds from Thrivent’s Employee Giving Campaign to provide lifesaving resources, specifically: Personal Care Kits, food security, community based psychosocial support, water system(s) and sanitation improvement to IDPs in the region.
InFaith Field of Interest Grants
Provides immediate relief to communities and victims of disasters
Camp Noah of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota was awarded $11,000 to support two 2015 Camp Noah events. Camp Noah serves children in disaster impacted communities.
- One camp was for children impacted by an EF-3 tornado that hit Brookport, Illinois on November 17, 2013. This small town of 951 lost three people and nearly 50 homes were destroyed.
- Another camp was held in Ferguson, Missouri. On August 9, 2014, a police officer shot and killed a young man, Michael Brown, which lead to significant civil unrest and community trauma in response to the killing. Camp Noah partnered with other local entities to hold a camp.
In 2015, 100% of parents surveyed reported that they would recommend Camp Noah to other parents. One parent summed up the impact of attending the camp this way, “My children are more confident and more prepared to handle whatever life sends their way.”
Supports services designed to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families
Wheat Ridge Ministries was granted $10,000 for the purpose of two $5,000 Joshua Grants, which will be used to empower smaller faith communities in 2015.
Addresses issues and needs in the area of Christian education at all levels
Works to improve the quality of life of individuals and families within the Christian community
Upbring (formerly Lutheran Social Services of the South) received $5,000 of general operating support.
ELCA and related organizations
Supports urgent and unmet needs of the ELCA and its ministries
A grant of $8,600 was distributed to benefit the Syrian Refugee Crisis through Lutheran Disaster Response. The grant dollars were awarded through the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA to benefit from a matching grant opportunity. Ongoing conflict in Syria has displaced millions of people. Lutheran Disaster Response, working through partners in Syria and surrounding areas, are focusing their response to meeting the needs of Syrian refugees who have traveled to Jordan.
LCMS and related organizations
Supports urgent and unmet needs of the LCMS and its ministries
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod received $70,000 for its Parish Nurse Program, which strengthens the physical and spiritual health of LCMS parishes across 35 districts.
WELS and related organizations
Support urgent and unmet needs of the WELS and its ministries
No recent grants
Ecumenical / interfaith organizations
Support urgent and unmet needs of interfaith ministries
No recent grants