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Tell Your Story: Guest Post from the Center For Generosity

08 Sep 2021 8:31 PM | Jen Burch (Administrator)


At GSB Fundraising, we get camp! We know the impact you have on the lives of the campers and counselors you serve, and it is our mission to help you strengthen your mission. That is why we have launched the new Center for Generosity, to give you ongoing support and access to valuable resources like storytelling and communications calendar outlines. Telling your impact stories will strengthen generosity and engagement for your ministry. Here is a sample story from Good Earth Village Camp in MN after learning the power of storytelling as a result of working with a GSB consultant.

A Story Sample

For most of his life, Miles didn’t understand why he didn’t fit in at his school or community. “Life and relationships were challenging for me,” he shared. “I always felt like I had to try and be something different. I had to put on a mask.” 

Miles' first summer as a camper was in the 6th grade. He spent a week with his home congregation, Bethel Lutheran. “I just remember really enjoying being here. I don’t really remember what we did, but I remember feeling good.” He came again as a camper for confirmation and then returned three years later to serve as a high school senior helper. In 2019 he served as a Staff in Training. With each new camp experience, Miles remembers feeling like camp was a place where he could be himself. “I could take off my mask.” 

During the midst of his 2019 summer and throughout the fall of that year Miles was being tested to help him and his family understand why he struggled with fitting in at school and with peers. “I actually found out on Christmas Eve,” he said. “I was diagnosed with Autism. That really answered a lot of questions and it felt good to know and have answers.” 

Before his diagnosis, Miles lived each day wondering and trying to make himself fit into the mold the world expected, but at camp, he didn’t feel that stress or pressure. “All of the staff are open and accepting. At camp, I didn’t have to try and fit into a box like I normally did at school. I could just be me. That was especially helpful when I didn’t know why I was so different.” 

Now Miles is sharing his gifts and talents, as well as what he has learned through the challenges of life, during his first official summer as a counselor. Without knowing it, the safe and accepting community the staff create at Good Earth Village gave Miles a place of belonging and security. Your generosity to this ministry makes this holy village possible for all the campers like Miles who need to know they are loved and valued as beloved children of God. Thank you for making this safe community a reality. 

The Follow Up Thank You Letter Tied To The Gift 

Dear Pastor Jason and Chuck,

Thank you very much for the significant and beautiful gift that was recently approved for Good Earth Village. This summer, one of our new summer staff came to us after many summers as a camper and one summer as Staff-in-Training (2019). Miles told me that he had always had trouble fitting in at school, but at GEV he felt welcomed and accepted, and he had authentic and deep friendships here that eluded him outside of camp. While it bothered him that at school he felt an outsider, knowing that he had peers that accepted him at camp carried him through. 

Last year, Miles learned that he has autism. Suddenly those feelings at school made sense, and the acceptance at camp became even sweeter. He was met and loved where he was, as he was.  

That's the sort of return on your investment that is priceless. Every project we complete because of your generosity makes it easier for people to participate, and more participants means the world gets to see Miles as we see him: a beloved, perfect child of God. 

Thank you! We look forward to worshipping with you this weekend!


Learn more at www.centerforgenerosity.com

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