Why Leadings?

Not to lead, but to be led            -- by the Holy Spirit.

See Leader, Servant, or Slave? in the section below, "Walking the Walk".

Jack in Denali National Park, 2012.

God's Wrath

Why was Sodom destroyed? Ezekiel tells us in chapter 16, verse 49: "This was the sin of your sister, Sodom: Pride, full-ness of bread, and abundance of idleness. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

That's also why Jerusalem was destroyed.

And now, with greed as our national virtue, what hope is there for the United States of America? We are afflicted by imperialistic pride, obesity, and entertainment addiction, and we are all called to do our part to "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy".

"Strengthen the hand" is the King James wording. Modern translations say "help the poor and needy." And there's a world of difference between the two. Helping the poor = as little as throwing some cash in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas time. That's charity. It's doing for, not doing with.

My Grandmother was right about charity. On a below-zero day, she went out on the back porch with a skillet to throw hot grease on the back-yard snow. She shivered as she re-entered the kitchen and said, "Wooooh, colder than charity."

Strengthening the hand is much different. We get personally involved with another person who needs help, and we work with her or him to get the needed help. That's risky. You're vulnerable. It takes prayer, time and patience. You need knowledge and wisdom from the LORD. There are great rewards, however. You get a brother or sister.

Strengthening the hand is great work for our churches -- which we ignore far more often than we perform. Why? Because we're afflicted with the Ameri-can curse of individualism. Christians are to be a tribe -- a tribe that takes care of each other. In Galatians 6:16, Paul calls us "the Israel of God" -- the new 13th tribe.

Jesus said, "The poor you shall always have with you." He didn't mean that as a curse -- the notion that the poor are an inevi-table nuisance and expense, to be hidden in the slums. Rather, He was saying, "You shall always be among the poor."

When you strengthen hands, you fulfill Deuteronomy 15:4-5: "However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God . . ." It's a glorious responsibility and promise.

And how do prosperous Americans fulfill that promise? Generally, by making sure they have no contact with people who are poor -- and we have been that way from our beginnings in the 17th century. Early villages in Massachusetts solved the problem by out-lawing poor people. Today, we deal with the same problem by confining the poor in urban reservations, our slums.

As the Supreme Court Bailiff says at the beginning of each session, "God save the United States of America..." 



Recommended form for funding proposals:

PROPOSAL TO:   XYZ Foundation

REQUEST:       $40,000   [Don't be coy about your request.  The foundation people know you're asking for money.  So, start with the amount.]

FOR:                  Title of Program

FROM:               Requesting Agency

ISSUE:               Whether ABC Agency can meet the needs of XXXX people.

Statement of Need.  [What are the problems? Who is affected? Why is this important?]

Proposed Program.  [Who? When? Why? Where? How many? How much? Include staffing.]

Program Budget.  [Budget summary -- not a detailed budget -- and not the agency's budget]

Realities.  [What are the makes and breaks for your program? What difficulties do you expect? How will you meet them?  Note:  Do not include the need for funds.]

Evaulation.  [How will you -- and the foundation -- know when you have succeeded?]



No matter how complicated your project, get the essentials into a two page-proposal.  Then, add all relevant attachments.

Why two pages?  Foundation trustees and/or staff have to read stacks of proposals.  Unless you have a succinct, persuasive proposal they may not bother to read it.  If they do read it, they may read only the first page or two.

Put the two-page proposal on contrasting paper -- such as buff -- with the attachments on white.

You have included attachments, so if you've caught their interest, they can get additional information from the attachments.


Attachments to Include in Every Proposal

The Agency's 501(c)(3) letter from the Internal Revenue Service

The most recent income statement, along with the budget for the current year

The most recent balance sheet

Your most recent annual report


You may also want to include letters of support, photos, articles from newspapers or magazines, as well as other relevant documents.

Comments about the Proposal

Include points that show you are informed about the Foundation and its interests.  If you have previously received funding from this Foundation, say so, and tell how you utilized the funds effectively.

A sample proposal (imaginary): 


Proposal To:                      X X X X X X  Foundation

Request:                            $350,000

For:                                   An Eastside Winter Home for homeless neighbors this winter

From:                                The Seattle YMCA and the Sammamish Family YMCA

Issue:                               Whether the Eastside can provide housing for 275 homeless residents this winter. 

Community Needs

This winter, at least 275 people will be homeless in four cities – Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland and Redmond.  The Eastside Interfaith Social Concerns Committee (EISCC) provides the estimate of 275.

No shelter is now available to house these neighbors in on the Eastside, except that Issaquah has four units, with others under construction.

The four cities have already authorized funds of $24,000 for sheltering homeless neighbors, and EISCC now holds those funds in trust.  $9,000 is already spent to get this program under way.

Proposed Program:  Winter Home

The Albertsons store at 5530 Eastlake Sammamish Parkway is currently empty. Scheduled for demolition in May, 2011, the store is thus is available for the winter months from mid-December through mid-April. The owners are willing to lease the 50,000 square foot building as a winter home for a net rent of $2 a square foot – a rent of only $8,335 per month (in contrast to the commercial rental of $58,000 per month). We already have a 30-day option to lease with the owners.

The Seattle YMCA, in cooperation with the Sammamish Family YMCA, will oversee the project this winter. We propose to provide safe, sanitary housing for up to 275 homeless residents in the vacant Albertsons store.

All four cities -- Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland and Redmond – strongly support the Winter Home. Their letters of support are attached, along with other needed items of information.


The vacant Albertsons is in a residential area.  We are already marshalling community support in Issaquah for the project.  Without strong support, NIMBY protests can scuttle the project.

We need to build elements into the program that meet legitimate community concerns for safety and appearance.

Health is a major consideration and potential problem at Winter Home.  Thus, high sanitation standards must be maintained – to prevent epidemics and infestations.

One strong public objection we will hear is that Winter Home will attract homeless people to the Eastside. That's probably true.  But, is it better to have them roaming the streets and dying in the cold? 

Budget  --  From mid-December, 2010 through mid-April, 2011  --  4 months – 17 weeks

Salaries, including payroll taxes            119,000

Food supplies                                       105,000   (We expect matching donations from QFC, Safeway)

Rent                                                      33,000

Seattle Light & Power                             37,000

Comprehensive insurance                       14,000

Real estate taxes                                      2,000

All American Waste Services                    28,000     (Toilet trailers and shower trailers)   

City of Issaquah Waste Management         4,000

Gas & maintenance for truck                     3,000

Seattle City Light                                      3,000

Washington Energy Services                   13,000

Overlake Village Laundry                           3,000

Unanticipated Expenses                          10,000

     Total estimated budget                    374,000

Less funds held in trust by EISCC          -24,000

            Total funds needed                   350,000

Admission Requirements:  We accept no walk-ins.  All applicants must be referred by a responsible organization in Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland or Redmond.  Referring agencies include city and county governments, United Way agencies, churches and synagogues.  Applicants must have no residential address and no means of obtaining rental housing.

Needed Resources:  See details of needed resources in Attachment #2.


We will achieve our objectives if we answer yes to the following questions by April, 2011:

Did we provide safe, sanitary winter housing for at least 250 homeless neighbors, from late December through the end of March?

Were we able to help at least 25 families move from dependence to independence?  Did they get jobs and apartments?

Did we stay within budget?  Or, if not, were we able to raise the additional funds to meet the expanded budget?


                                                                                                             Sylvia Cianciolo, Branch Executive

                                                                                                             Seattle YMCA



 Item                                                                                       Page

1.            IRS 501(c)(3) letter, Seattle YMCA                                  3           

2.            Needed Resources for Winter Home                                 4

3.            Winter Home Salary Schedule                                          6

4.            Bellevue City Manager's Letter of Support                       7

5.            Issaquah Mayor's Letter of Support                                   8

6.            Kirkland Letter of Support, Chair of City Council             9

7.            Redmond City Manger's Letter of Support                      10

8.            Option to Lease, Albertsons Store                                   11 



Putting Winter Home together in a few weeks is an enormous job, but we are under way.


Organizers:   Jill Eggelstrom and Charles Varnum

Program Director                     Being interviewed

Home Director                         Being interviewed

Asst. Home Director                Being interviewed

YMCA Accountant – half-time

Head Cook:   Molly Parsons

4 Cooks / Servers                    Being interviewed

Driver:   Tony Rios

Two janitors – half-time.

Construction and Demolition Crews:   Temporary hires

[Note:  Preferential hiring consideration is given to homeless neighbors.]

Restaurant Kitchen: Dick's Restaurant Supply in Seattle has just acquired the equipment from a foreclosed restaurant in Issaquah.  In return for our picking up the equipment now and delivering it to Dick's facility on South First Street in April, Dick's is giving us the use of the equipment at no charge.  Thus, we are receiving 2 ranges, 2 ventilator hoods, 2 commercial refrigerators, one large freezer, a commercial dishwasher, 2 stainless steel work tables, 2 steam-tables for serving, an icemaker, a three-unit sink, and three slop sinks.  (Two slop sinks are for janitorial use.)

Dining Tables and Chairs:  We are seeking donations of surplus folding tables and chairs from Eastside churches, synagogues, agencies and businesses.  Our objective is 300 chairs and 50 tables.  We already have commitments on 219 chairs and 42 tables.

Partitions:  Currently, Albertsons is a vacant cavern.  Partitions are needed for privacy, so families can have their own space, and areas can be set aside for women and for men.  We are already in contact with local corporations to get donations of surplused partitions.

Rest Room Facilities:  The Albertsons store has a men's and women's rest room – adequate for a super-market – totally inadequate for the Winter Home, but these rest rooms will be handy on cold nights during the winter.  However, for normal use, All American Waste Services is leasing 14 restroom trailers and 14 shower trailers.  On the west side of the building, Habitat for Humanity will build a long temporary shed to house the 28 trailers and protect residents from rain, snow and cold.

Garbage and Recycling:  Handled by the City of Issaquah Waste Management.  We will lease eight dumpsters. 

Transportation:  Throughout the term of this project, there is daily need for hauling supplies. Evergreen Ford has supplied a two and a half-ton moving truck for the Sanctuary's use from December through final clean-up and storage in April, 2011.

Heat:  Albertsons has a large, and inefficient, natural-gas forced-air heating system.  We will maintain temperatures at 68 degrees at floor level.  IBEW members have volunteered to install 16 ceiling-fans to circulate the warm air and contain costs.

Beds:  We are contacting motels, hotels and hospitals in the region for surplus beds, mattresses, and mattress pads.  Our objective is 275 of each.  So far, we have pledges for 112 beds, 128 mattresses, and 91 mattress pads.

Bedding:  We are seeking donations of bedding from Eastside churches and synagogues. We estimate that we will need at least 300 sets. Many residents have surplus bedding in their homes, so we ask that churches and synagogues ask their members for donations of pillows, pillow- cases, sheets, and blankets. To allow for weekly laundry, we will need 600 sets of pillowcases and sheets.

Laundry:  American Meter & Appliance is installing coin-operated machines -- fifteen washers and fifteen dryers.  Those washers and dryers will be used for residents' clothing.  They're being installed along the north wall, formerly the Deli.  Each week, Overlake Village Laundry will commercially wash sheets and pillow cases, at half its regular price.  However, we do delivery and pick-up.

Activities:  It's boring, just sitting in a vacant suburban supermarket.  So, we expect to work with residents in setting up their own community government and in planning events, athletic programs, educational programs, etc.

Support Services – All volunteer, in cooperation with Eastside congregations, agencies, and para-church ministries.  Support services will include:

Job counseling and job placement

Personal counseling and family counseling

A representative from King County Department of Human Services – to assure that the residents – and YMCA/Winter Home – receive available entitlements.

Help in getting into rental housing

Health education

Legal counseling, three hours a week

A barber and a beautician one day a week

Classes in English as a second language

Worship:  Local congregations will provide transportation so Winter Home residents will have their choice of places to worship.

Long-Term:  Winter Home will not be just a one-time event.  Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland and Redmond have an on-going need for housing the homeless, particularly during winters.  This year, we are receiving large donations of usable equipment.  Thus, we must seek out warehouse space for equipment, plus a permanent location for Winter Home.




From mid-December, 2010 through mid-April, 2011  --  4 months – 17 weeks

Payroll taxes are included

            2 organizers                                                    16,000

            Program Director                                            16,000

            Home Director                                                  8,000           

            Asst. Home Director                                         6,000

            YMCA Accountant – half-time                         8,000

            Head Cook                                                      16,000

            4 Cook's helpers                                              24,000           

            Truck driver                                                       8,000

            2 janitors – half-time                                          8,000

            Temporary labor for construction & demo         9,000

                   Total                                                       119,000



Purpose of this blog is to compile a book for my grandchildren to read in 25 years.

Copyright © 2012 by Jack Towe


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