How Your Dollars and Cents Help Salt & Light Make Change

The changes we have undergone at Salt & Light have drawn a ton of attention because of our unique approach to access to basic to resources like food and clothing. For many, our developmental model is all they need to know to believe in supporting our work. The fact we are creating jobs while building towards a self-sustainable model through people shopping in our grocery and thrift stores is icing on the cake.

As more and more people learn how shopping in our stores help to support the programs and services at Salt & Light, our challenge is the community thinking we no longer need their financial contributions. While our one-of-a-kind model is treading into uncharted territory for a nonprofit by finding ever-increasing levels of self-sustainability, it is important for us to communicate that we aren’t there yet.

Our annual budget is approximately $2.75 million. Based on our current sales projections, about 85% of that will be funded by people in the community shopping in our grocery and thrift stores. While it is unheard of for a nonprofit to realize this kind of self-sufficiency, it leaves about 15% ($412,000) we still need to raise from financial contributions.

Certainly, we should celebrate and shout from the rooftops this social entrepreneurial model for what it is becoming, but we have to be careful we’re not so loud people can’t hear our need for help.

We anticipate the contributions made will primarily go to cover the store credit our participants earn, with proceeds from grocery and thrift sales used to cover the cost of operations. In the first eight months of this year alone, our participants have earned and spent over $230K in store credit, with 75% of that being used to buy groceries.

These aren’t people standing in line waiting to be handed a pre-selected bag of groceries. They are working as part of a community and experiencing the fruits of their labor as a result. This was made possible through giving, but also through people shopping in our grocery and thrift stores—where buying groceries for your family actually helps someone else to feed theirs.

Historically, we have been an organization funded through the support of a community deeply concerned with helping those in need. Whether it’s $10 or $100 a month, we need people who want to see lives transformed, believe in our model, and want to see us continue to grow something I believe will transform how communities across the country engage poverty.

In order for this kind of transformation to take place a person first must believe they are capable. They have to begin to see themselves as someone of value and worth with something to offer. This kind of life change was recently touched on by one of our participants while watching a video we shared discussing our capital campaign:

“I’m crying right now because Salt & Light has literally given me back my self esteem. I want everyone in our community to realize that those who were broken are getting healed through helping others.”

As simple as this may seem, for someone who has spent much of their life feeling marginalized—often treated as though they have nothing of value to contribute—this is a monumental first step.

If you want to be a part of bringing help and hope to people in our community, click here to find out how you can help.

 

Why Should You Attend Financial Peace University?

One of the opportunities we provide to empower our participants and community members is Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  This nationally acclaimed program gives individuals resources to take control of their finances, work towards being debt free, and the privilege of being generous.  Statistics in America show us:

  • Average Household Income: $56,516
  • Average Household Debt: $187,187 (Mortgages, Student Loans, Auto Loans, Credit Cards)
  • 76% of people live from paycheck to paycheck
  • Average household wastes 24% of their take-home pay on consumer debt.
  • 64% can’t cover a $1000 emergency
  • Money problems are one of the top 3 reasons for marital problems and divorce

FPU has proven to be a game-changer in helping improving people’s financial outlook.  Dave uses conventional wisdom along with Biblical principles to spell out ways to experience freedom in this area of their lives.

  • God wants us to be wise stewards. “Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest” (Proverbs 3:9).
  • God doesn’t want us to be in debt. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Proverbs 22:7).
  • God wants us to be generous, and to allow our finances to be a part of His plan in the world. “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” (Proverbs 19:17).
  • God wants us to prosper. “Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground…” (Deuteronomy 30:9).  [*NOTE: “prosperous” doesn’t necessarily mean “rich” and doesn’t only apply to finances]
  • God want us to experience peace. “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’…For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6: 31-33).

Every paid participant will receive an FPU membership kit with the student manual (9 sessions), course CDs, FPU “wallet,” and other valuable money management tools.  Read here to learn more about our next course, starting September 20th.