Acts 435 Giving to anyone who has need

At Acts 435 we see how a small gift can make a big difference. Here are a few stories of people helped through Acts 435 and the difference it has made.

A Second Chance of Childhood

18th April 2022

A Second Chance of Childhood
When J approached our advocate he was desperate for help to raise the balance for a school trip for his granddaughter. Since the death of her mother, J has stepped in to raise his granddaughter but he had to give up his job to do so and has since had to rely on benefits and an extremely low income. J was confident the residential school trip would benefit his granddaughter in many ways, both educationally and socially, as well as building resilience and reinstalling a sense of joy in such a difficult time. J felt his granddaughter had lost some of her childhood in light of the tragic loss of her mother.

The full amount for the trip was raised, with help from Sittingbourne Family Church, and J's granddaughter was able to attend the trip, which was such an incredible blessing! J sent the following message of thanks: "I thought it was time to let you know how grateful I was when you helped me to ensure my granddaughter got on her school trip. I was worried sick that she would miss out, again, because I could not get the money together. When I was advised the funding had been found I just cried with relief. Your generosity has made that happen so I thank you for making it all possible for her. Sometimes, as in this case, asking for help was difficult, however, I now know there are people who still do care and that gladdens my heart."

J continued to explain his granddaughter has had a really rough time this year, and the trip away enabled her to relax with her friends and be a child again. A second chance for the joy of childhood, what an incredible gift!

The Power of a Stranger

15th March 2022

The Power of a Stranger
D found himself in debt following a back injury that prevented him from working. When our partners at CAP (Christians Against Poverty) Debt Centre in Northampton first began supporting D, he was sleeping in his van. Without any disposable income and numerous debts he had no means of making any progress in finding a place to live. D's best course of action was to apply for a Debt Relief Order.

With no surplus income, D had no means of paying the £90 fee for a DRO. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the fee was raised and D was able to secure a DRO. He recently sent this incredibly moving thank you message explaining the far reaching impact of this donation:

"This is the hardest thing I think I've had to write in a very long time. To refer to you as "Acts 435 donor" seems so strange because I don't know your name, but you too never knew mine and yet you went out of your way to help me. Thank you just doesn't seem to say or mean what I'd like it to. In comparison to what it meant and felt to me. The burden and weight that yourselves and Christians Against Poverty have taken off me - words cannot describe, It's like I can breathe again for the first time in so long. Things suddenly don't seem so dark and lonely. You and CAP have shown me the power of a stranger, and how it really touches you deeper than I could have imagined. This gift will stay with me for the rest of my life now and where I can I will pass this gift on in whatever way I can even if it's buying a homeless man a sandwich or helping someone who has fallen. So once more I'll say thank you to you all for everything you do, for all those people you'll never meet..."

Thank you to Christians Against Poverty, Northampton, for supporting D, we're so thankful he was able to receive this life transforming support.

Prevented from Drowning in Debt

2nd March 2022

Prevented from Drowning in Debt
As a charity we are seeing more and more people whose finances are being impacted by the rising cost of energy prices, as well as other household bills and items. This gentleman in Liverpool recently asked for help, and our partner charity was able to post a request for him:

"This gentleman was referred to us recently after their finances had been impacted by rising energy prices. He had already put a payment plan in place with his energy providers, however they have now increased his direct debit amount even more. He is now unable to pay for all of his outgoings and is struggling to make ends meet. This support would allow him to keep on top of his payments for the next month and put some plans in place to reduce other outgoings and keep his head above water."

Acts 435 donors stepped in to help with the next months payment, which enabled him to have the breathing space to figure out how he was going to be able to afford everything. Once the request had been met, the local Advocate said this:

"Thank you for your support, this was such a blessing to the client! Your kindness has made such a difference at such a difficult time, he had no idea how he was going to tackle his arrears along with the rising energy bills which are particularly troublesome for him as he could not cover all of his outgoings. You have truly prevented him from drowning in debt."

A gift in time for Christmas

17th December 2021

A gift in time for Christmas
Each year Acts 435 gets many requests for Christmas gifts as families struggle to make ends meet during the winter months. This single Dad had recently moved to permanent accommodation with his three children, and after spending money on furnishing the new home with essentials he was unable to afford presents for his children. His local Advocate posted a request so that he could buy presents from local charity shops so that he had something to put under the tree on Christmas day.

Here is what he had to say on receiving the funds to buy the much-needed gifts:

"This morning was spent gathering gifts at the charity shop for the kids. They had put things aside for me too and I will be honest I think they had totally spoilt them. Wrapping was a joint effort between me and the church volunteers and gifts were put in individual sacks. I kept crying, it’s more than I could ever hope for. I am going to volunteer next year! They hugged me, prayed with me and I know I have friends for life. We are being picked up for a carol concert too! But this couldn’t have been done without you the donors of the money. You have helped me out in my time of greatest need and I will never forget how that helped us. Paying it forward one day will be my goal, helping others as you helped me! Happy Christmas and thank you again."

The gift of a final goodbye

4th November 2021

The gift of a final goodbye
D is a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) client who is on a tight budget to repay his debts. His brother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he wanted to be able to visit him and talk to him about his faith before he died. The journey was an 800-mile round trip and the visits had put a real toll on his budget, which was causing him emotional strain. The CAP Centre Manager requested £120 towards petrol costs to ease the burden on D's finances, and make sure that he could visit his brother-in-law.

D was so grateful for the gift, and said: "Thank you so much for this gift. Because the spiralling cost of petrol for the trips to visit my dying brother-in-law was taking its toll on me mentally as well as the physical strain of so much driving. This final trip that you have paid for turns out to have been our last because my brother-in-law passed away peacefully during that visit and we were there praying for him at the end. It meant so much that my wife and I were there with him to say goodbye so thank you."

A comfortable night's sleep

15th October 2021

A comfortable night's sleep
When the local Advocate met with N she found out that she had needed to take everything out of her bedroom due to bed bugs, and this had left her with nothing to sleep on.The Advocate said: "The environment she lives in is a difficult one and a nice new bed and mattress would be really wonderful for her."

Thanks to the generosity of Acts 435 donors this Advocate could help N to source a new mattress, and even had the privilege of accompanying her to the shop. Here is what the Advocate had to say:

"Today I had the pleasure of meeting the client in a local store in order for her to choose a mattress. She was so delighted to be able to try out the beds and the store had one on display where the headboard was free which was wonderful as she was able to have that within the budget we were working with. She said the mattress was so tall and comfortable. N was smiling so much as we paid at the cash desk and her new bed will be delivered on Saturday which will enable her to have the first comfortable night's sleep for a long time. She asked me to thank everyone who has helped her. She said she was overwhelmed by your kindness and has found such hope in the UK. Thank you."

Giving the Ability to Attend the School Prom

26th August 2021

Giving the Ability to Attend the School Prom
Every year many school children attend a prom, but for some families the expense of buying smart clothing can be unreachable.

F grew up as a young carer for both her parents, and her dad recently faced a prison sentence. He says: "I wasn't the best dad. My mental health put her through too much. I may be mentally ill but I love her and want her to feel special for one time in her life. I hate asking, but I'm putting my ego aside for her. A special dress [for her prom] would be buying a memory for her. I can't pay for it in money, but I'm volunteering to pay it forward because it's time I was a Dad she's proud of. Thank you for helping me be that".

With the £80 donated towards this father's requests he bought his daughter a beautiful prom dress. The local Advocate got to attend the dress fitting, and see the fantastic memories that were made through this experience:

"This was one of the most moving experiences to be lucky to have been involved in. A arrived with her parents to the surprise of a gorgeous, elegant prom gown. Her father, who has suffered for over a decade with acute psychiatric illness, with A having been a young carer for him and her mother who suffers with eating disorders and anxiety, couldn't stop crying to see his daughter at her first dress fitting. He said, 'For everything that has happened, and all the wrong things I feel I've done, someone out there has made me feel proud of being a father and I've never been so emotional in my life before.' A was very pink in the cheeks and overwhelmed by her appearance and said 'Thank you. I don't know or where to find the right words because I don't even know who you are, but if I get chance to write to you, or even meet you one day, I will tell you how it feels like you've made me the luckiest person in the world. I can actually go to the prom and be proud and I feel like a woman instead of a little girl!' Her mum was also very tearful and clutched A's hand and just stared into her daughter's face and stroked her cheeks. She was speechless except for saying "thank you" over and again. It was just a dress but this family hung onto this experience in a way I can't describe. It was a privilege to be there and pass this feedback on to you.

A Fresh Start in a New Home

17th August 2021

A Fresh Start in a New Home
L was recently helped by one of our partner charities in Gateshead. He had been sofa surfing since being released from prison, and having served his community hours, he was now able to look for employment. However, the job he found was a long commute from friends' homes, and he needed a more permanent home of his own. L had asked for help with his bond to secure a flat he had found closer to his new workplace, and donors quickly stepped in to help.

Here is what the local Advocate said when donors helped to meet this request:

"Thank you very much for your generous contribution towards L’s new accommodation. I went with him on the day he moved in and it’s a lovely flat - clean and very well looked after. L is just over the moon! He is so thankful for the way you’ve helped him to secure his new home, which has already made a huge difference. He's really enjoying his work and the owner is really pleased with him, saying he’s ‘doing a fantastic job’! With stable and permanent housing, and a much easier 30 min commute to work (rather than 2+ hours and several buses he had before!), L can now settle into his work, with the prospects of a long-term career ahead. Thank you so much!"

The generosity of donors has enabled L to have a fresh start in a new home with a secure job, and he is very thankful!

Help for the New School Year

2nd August 2021

Help for the New School Year
This family have been impacted greatly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Both parents were self-employed and had little help with income when they were unable to work. Their twins are about to start secondary school this September, which is a huge cost for those on low income.

After going to their local foodbank an Acts 435 request was posted to help them with the cost of school uniform. After the request was met, here is what the mum had to say:

"Thank you for contributing towards my twins' school uniform. This year has been so tough, possibly the worst. With a growing family we have always had to budget and save for things but we have always provided for our children. When Covid-19 caused lockdown, our lives like so many others changed. We couldn't work, we had to claim benefits, about which we had no idea. We suddenly went onto monthly pay. With all this we honestly didn't know what to do. We were now getting food parcels that I felt embarrassed about getting as we’d never been in such a situation, but this helped too much to let my pride stop us from getting them, we couldn't afford to say no. This is how I met someone from the church who offered help with school uniforms. I am so grateful."

More Than Just a Carpet

23rd July 2021

More Than Just a Carpet
This lady has had to move to a safe house after several difficult situations. She has felt very lonely and isolated, as she is not able to contact friends of family. The support and hope brought about by the carpet given by Acts 435 donors has enabled her to feel more settled and valued. Here is what she said to the donors who gave towards her request:

"I have just cried. I don't know who you are but you have made me feel like my life could be about to start going right. I know that's stupid to think that about some carpet but every day I look at the concrete floor and have to wear my shoes with my pyjamas to get in and out of bed and it makes me feel so dirty and useless. When my support worker told me what you had done and took me for a surprise to go and choose some carpet and get the man to come over to measure my room, it was like my birthday and Christmas and winning something good all together. I'm so excited about it coming and I'm looking forward to living here. It's been tough because I can't have any contact with anyone in my family or friends and I don't know anything about this place I'm living in now. It's for my safety but it's hard. Having a comfy home is going to really help me settle in more and you have made that possible for me. I have dyslexia so I can't write this properly but I've asked my support worker to type it for me and I hope you know you are like angels. Thank you."