To give is divine

Jeff vonKaenel

Despite the fact that the national economy appears to be slowly recovering, Sacramento unemployment remains above 12 percent. Many of us are finding it difficult to make ends meet, and the downturn has forced more and more of our friends and neighbors out on the streets. Without help, many of these homeless Sacramentans will become discouraged and just give up. What’s needed is a little divine intervention.

Lo and behold, Capital Christian Center Rev. Rick Cole has heard the call. His congregation, along with the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, has been the driving force behind the One Day to Prevent Homelessness campaign. The idea is simple. On the week of March 21, the collection plate will be passed at local cathedrals, chapels, churches, synagogues, mosques, tabernacles and temples. The goal is to raise $400,000 for the homeless, which will enable Sacramento County to receive an additional $1.6 million in federal stimulus money. That’s a total of $2 million to address the needs of our homeless population.

To assist with the cause, SN&R will be running a special section in the March 11 issue, promoting the interfaith community’s effort to raise money for our area’s homeless.

Over the years, I’ve been to services at more than 100 local congregations. I’ve found our local faith leaders to be funny, smart, dedicated and down-to-earth people. Regardless of denomination, they all share a belief that we should help those less fortunate than ourselves.

One of my first calls was to the Rev. Michael Kiernan, who oversees the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament downtown. Parishioners there just raised funds for Haitian relief, and intrigued by the One Day to Prevent Homelessness campaign, Kiernan agreed to meet with Mayor Kevin Johnson and other members of the religious community earlier this week.

At St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, I talked to my dear friend Rev. Faith Whitmore, who told me that her congregation had just raised thousands of dollars for Haitian relief. She said that of course her congregation would participate in raising money for Sacramento’s homeless community.

I was on a roll, starting to feel some of that divine intervention at work.

We are blessed to have more than 1,000 faith organizations in the Sacramento area, which give millions of dollars to the community every year. Their efforts to feed, clothe and house the needy are truly staggering. But even if you don’t attend regular religious services, you can help. When you contribute $1 to Sacramento Region Community Foundation’s One Day to Prevent Homelessness campaign, the feds match it with $4. If divine inspiration should happen to strike, get out your bank card and make a donation at

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About the Author

Jeff vonKaenel
Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review newspapers in Sacramento, Chico and Reno.