Learn & Serve: Intern Support Update!

A few weeks ago, you got to meet our Learn & Serve interns for the year.  Beth, Faniel and Hamp have been hard at work both in and out of the SIFAT office helping support and lead Learn & Serve retreats as well as other events.  One component of the L&S Internship Program is raising financial support.  Interns are required to raise $9,500 in order to cover the living costs of their time at SIFAT as well as to provide them with a $145 per week stipend.  While the idea of raising this much money may be daunting, the process of raising support has many positive effects.  Here’s what our interns—and donors—have to say about support-raising:

For Beth, the process of raising support has provided an opportunity to share her post-college plans with friends and family.  Without having to raise support, Beth wouldn’t have necessarily had a reason to share this news with them.  Their responding support reminds her of just how many people care about her. “Lot’s of people love me, and I don’t always remember that,” Beth said.  “It’s encouraging, and it’s incentive to work hard and to not let them down.” Beth has also enjoyed the non-financial support she has gotten from friends, including receiving care packages (some including silly putty and stickers!), as well as visits from far-away friends.

Raising support provided Faniel with several surprises.  He found himself overwhelmed with the Lord’s faithfulness and provision even when things felt dim.  He received support from people he didn’t even ask of. “People I didn’t expect to support me gave, and I felt moved that they thought enough of me to support my work,” Faniel said. Faniel also noticed a shift in his perspective toward supporting others who are fundraising, and now feels more inclined to pay it forward. “People who I knew were raising support supported me, and I feel more passionate to support them back with the salary they helped provide me with.”

Hamp found the process of raising support to be both challenging and invigorating.  As a recent graduate, Hamp felt strange asking people to support him instead of supporting himself.  He realized, however, that people want to contribute to worthwhile causes and he had the perfect opportunity to spread the word about the work SIFAT is doing. “My hometown is only an hour away from SIFAT, but many people have never heard of our organization,” Hamp said.  “Raising support has offered me a way to not only share this ministry with others, but provide ways for them to partner with us and support not only me, but SIFAT as an organization.”

The process of support raising doesn’t only affect our interns.  Donors to our program also learn and grow from the act of supporting our interns. Kathy Wetherholt, who was first involved with L&S when she attended the L&S summer experience, decided to give financially after personally seeing the impact L&S staff has on her family and friends. For three summers, Kathy attended L&S as an adult leader for her church. She later came back to volunteer for a session through the FLEX staff program.  Kathy’s experience at L&S moved her to give financially to our staff fund to help enable L&S Interns continue the work that she has seen to be so impactful to her youth. “I am amazed at how the faith of these young adults is so mature and how committed they are to fulfilling the mission of SIFAT’s Learn & Serve program,” Kathy said.  “They patiently and cheerfully love each adolescent  while helping them learn how people live in other  parts of the world.  Many adults do not have the time or energy to even attend as a chaperone, but hopefully everyone can commit to donate financially to ensure the high caliber staff at this Spirit-filled, life-enhancing program.”

Our interns are still actively seeking support in order to fund their time with SIFAT.  If you feel led support our interns’ work, you send financial contributions directly to SIFAT.  Please make all checks Payable to Servants in Faith and Technology and write “L&S Intern” in the memo line. For questions on how to give towards the Learn & Serve Internship fund, please contact us anytime by emailing learnandserve@sifat.org