Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Miracle in Southern Lowcountry

The Beaufort Fund, which makes grants in Beaufort, Hampton, Jasper, and Colleton Counties, gave out checks last week to 57 nonprofit organizations for a total of $500,000. If you think that is the miracle I am writing about you need to think again. It's not the money, it's how the miracle-workers of the nonprofits of those four Counties looked out for each other while minding their own mission.

Applicants to the Beaufort Fund can request up to $15,000 in funding. Many don't. Many realize that money is hard to come by and they actively "leave money on the table" so their neighbor nonprofits can get some. Hard to imagine, but that's where the miracle comes in.

Every applicant to the Beaufort fund writes a proposal for funding that includes a dollar amount. That funding request is based on what the organization intends to do with the grant. We always ask what the organization would do with less money should the Beaufort Fund be nearly exhausted before their turn comes. Nearly every nonprofit responds that they could get by with less and that while not ideal, less would be acceptable. When asked why they did not ask for more, many reply that they did not want to take away from other needs served by the Beaufort Fund.

In the Gospel according to John, Jesus fed 5,000 with seven loaves and two fishes. Some interpret this miracle as a result of Jesus creating more food. The attendees at the Beaufort Fund Award Ceremony believe a different type of miracle took place...one they saw with their own eyes.

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