Building Blocks

Posted by
/ /

Forty thousand dollars is a decent amount of money, but not huge.

The median salary for a family of four in the United States is about $42,000. A family of four can live pretty well on $40,000, if they spend wisely. Just a bit of care, and one can do pretty well.

You can send two kids to college with $40,000. A kindergarten teacher makes a little more than $40,000, and so does a basic graphic designer. It’s not shabby, but it isn’t excessive, either. A pretty basic amount. You can’t live excessively on $40,000, but you can survive.

Did you know that Anawim’s budget is about 40,000 dollars a year? Our total budget. Some years we get that full amount in donations, some not. Not sure you believe me? Look at how much we spent last year.

For that amount this is what we do:

  • We provide a staffed day shelter, warehouse, gardens, mail, worship for the homeless in Gresham.
  • We provide about 20,000 meals a year all over Portland.
  • We provide hygiene items, clothes, and sleeping gear to over 300 homeless around Portland and Gresham, even if their items are stolen or taken away.
  • We provide about 4000 pairs of socks and about 2500 showers a year for the homeless.
  • We provide housing for up to 10 homeless individuals at a time.
  • We providing caretaking and management for a three acre property in Gresham.
  • And we are open at our regular hours every day of the year, no closing for holidays, because the homeless don’t get a holiday from being homeless.


Mind you, this 40,000 isn’t miracle money. It means that our staff don’t get a salary, even if they work up to 60 hours a week. Some get housing from Anawim, everyone gets at least some of their food from Anawim.

We aren’t whining. But we wanted to let you know a couple things:

  • Our ministry isn’t able to do all we can because we have a lot of money. Helping the poor doesn’t require tons of money, just a lot of heart and a lot of commitment. And some friends who are poor.
  • We’d love to have a larger budget. We’d love to provide a salary for our staff, or at least a regular stipend. We’d love to give everyone breaks and perhaps a staff retreat. We’d love to have a day shelter in St. Johns. We’d love to reopen in Southeast Portland again. We’ve got lots of plans. We are just waiting for the Holy Spirit to stir some folks to give us the finances we need to do it.
  • You don’t have to be wealthy to help us financially. You hear about those organizations that say “any little bit helps.” Well, we mean it. We are so close to the edge all the time that we literally praise God every time someone donates a bit to the kitty. Occasionally it means that we get to keep the electricity on. Really.
  • The average pastor of a congregation in the United States makes twice as much as our whole organization does. I’m not judging, I’m just saying. You draw your own conclusions.

Please feel free to donate to Anawim so we can do more with a little.

Subscribe to the Anawim blog via Email!

* indicates required