Saturday, September 10, 2011

Do the Amish give to charities? Do they help the poor?

Can you picture a group of Amish men flying cows into Romania to start a farm to feed orphans? How about Amish distributing Bibles door to door?  How about Amish women processing 400,000 cans of chicken, beef and hamburger to give to the needy? The latter seems Amish, doesn’t it? We see the Amish as folk living quaint lives on the farm. Let me help blow your mind!
Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) is a worldwide Amish and Mennonite charitable organization run by volunteers that log in over 200,000 hours of work a year.  Annual donations made by mostly “plain people” are $116,168,060, according to Charity Navigator.  BUT 98.8% of this money actually goes to ward relief efforts in the US and around the world. (Some charitable organizations give less than 70%  to their actual cause)  CAM is run by a volunteer board and has only three paid positions, the top CEO making $45,895 a year. CAM has staff, bases and distribution networks in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Haiti, Nicaragua, Liberia and Israel. I don't know? I was blown away completely. CAM is doing a top-notch job.
So what is CAM doing right now? According to their newsletter, their international focus is the ongoing devastation in Haiti and the famine in Africa. In the US, they're helping Hurricane Irene victims.
Plans are for CAM’s Rapid Response Teams to help victims of Manville, New Jersey, clean up from flood damage caused by the hurricane. Leroy Heatwole, a Rapid Response Team director, says, "We are in Manville walking into the flood area with the homeowners who are just returning to their homes. There are a lot of homes flooded, from six inches to all the way to the roof. Plans are to do more investigating and then start mucking out homes as soon as the water level goes down. We will be needing lots of volunteers from the PA community.”
CAM has a wonderful mission statement:  Glorify God and help enlarge His kingdom.  “. . . whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31)
For more information on Christian Aid Ministries, visit their website, run by less conservative Mennonites who use electricity and the internet ;) 
I've chosen to really spotlight CAM in my Amish Knitting Circle Series with Trestle Press. The women in the circle will be knitting scarves and shawls for Joplin, Missouri hurricane victims. I hope it will raise awareness for this wonderful ministry.
Karen Anna Vogel
Amish helping Hurricane Irene victims...


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this information with us. I did not know and I am kissin cousins with the Amish :-)

  2. That is one of the wonderful things about novels. They can share truths in a way that makes it real to folks, not just hearing that this group exists, but actually "meeting" some of those folks and seeing them in action.

    I used to live in Somerville, right next door to Manville. I never would have expected help of that sort to come from the Amish community.

    Thanks for sharing this info.

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  4. I attended a Mennonite church here in Smithville TN for 3 years, and have heard them talking about sending some of their members to disaster clean ups in distant places at times. It's something that they like to point out to visitors. But when it comes to helping those locally who were homeless and in need, they didn't seem to be moved to do so, even though the homeless camp was only a few miles away. They seemed to ignor the problem, and even spoke badly of those who did help the homeless as being prideful and contributing to the problem. So I'm glad to hear that some Mennonites are doing what scripture demands. Unfortunately many will not.