Time to ‘Shine’ for Sunrise

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I am urging each of our 2,400 Kentucky Baptist churches to support a one-time special offering, Sunrise Children’s Services’ “Shine!” campaign!

Just a few months ago, Sunrise was in the headlines. The agency’s former CEO proposed to its board of directors a change in hiring practices that was contrary to biblical principles. Kentucky expressed their concern. The Sunrise board heard that message and acted on it, rejecting the proposed change.

It should come as no surprise, however, that funding streams were severely damaged during the last three months of 2013. That’s when many donors, unsure of where Sunrise stood, simply did not give.

As a result of their biblical stand, Sunrise has a cash flow crunch and needs our help. To remedy this problem, the KBC Mission Board has approved the “Shine!” campaign.

You know Sunrise. It is one of the most beloved Baptist entities in our state. Since 1869, this KBC-affiliated agency has been a refuge for abused and neglected children across the Commonwealth. Sunrise is, and always will be, a Christ-based ministry that provides physical, emotional and spiritual healing to children in desperate situations.

Sunrise’s recent step of faith has led to a new and exciting day! That step of faith has also kept the focus on children. And children really matter most at Sunrise. From Paducah to Pikeville, Sunrise provides comprehensive care to more than 600 children each day, many of them referred by the state. Government funding, however, falls far short of what Sunrise needs to serve children who have faced adversities that most of us could never imagine.

Sunrise receives about 70 percent of its funding from government contracts, leaving a funding gap of around $7.5 million. Some secular funding sources, displeased with Sunrise’s hiring practice that seeks to keep good role models in front of the children, have withdrawn the monies they had earmarked for Sunrise. To make up for this deficit and do much needed repairs on some of the aging facilities, Sunrise stands in need of $5 million.

It’s time for each of our 2,400 Kentucky Baptist churches to step out and fully support Sunrise’s “Shine!” campaign! We are praying that KBC churches will give $2,000 each. Some of our smaller churches will understandably give less and our larger churches will give more. We need all churches and all of our Baptist friends involved. Will you join us in underwriting every dollar of this $5 million “Shine!” campaign?

Watch for your Sunrise “Shine!” kit, coming soon in the mail. If you have questions, please phone Carmen Gibson, Claudia Eggleton or Randy Greene, Sunrise campaign leaders, at 502-538-1000.

Thank you so much for all that you do, and have done, for this incredible organization.

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