Two weeks ago today, a devastating earthquake struck off the coast of Japan causing a massive tsunami wreaking havoc on property, displaced many and killed thousands. In the wake of tragedy there is one thing that is always certain. Americans and many others from around the world will come to the aid of those hurting and in need. We sent teams of searchers to look for survivors. Our military brought in emergency aid and water. Nonprofit groups mobilized to provide food, water, shelter and safe zones for children.
Over the last two weeks my church has also been active and helping to support the relief efforts. Just after the earthquake Bayside Church took a second offering in each of its seven weekend services to raise $85,000. When churchgoer and restauranteur Taro Arai (Mikuni) approached Bayside about hosting a fundraiser they launched the beginning of a miracle. In ten or so days, they reached out to other restaurants, lined up entertainment, secured an amazing artist to paint on stage during the event, and got other businesses to donate auction items. Last night, 900 attendees and 100 volunteers helped raise an additional $85,000.
I never like to say it's all about the money, it's not. There are many other churches, groups and individuals that have raised smaller (and larger) amounts of money to help those impacted by recent events in Japan and other disasters around the world. The important lesson here is that one group or one individual can make a huge difference. If Bayside would have just taken a second offering, it would have been an amazing gift to the people of Japan. However, there was more in-store and with the help of an entire community even more was raised to support two amazing charities, World Vision and Covenant World Relief.
We can all make a difference. How are you living your life to make a difference? What partnerships can you develop to help double your impact?
Below are some pictures and a video taken at last night's event (I did not attend, but followed along on Twitter). Pictures courtesy of BaysidePictures.com. Full recap from BaysideOnline.com and KFBK.com.