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Extreme Fundraising: Gift Cards and More

Opportunities to Serve
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Glen Mar’s “Extreme Fundraising” opportunities share the common theme of generating “free money” while not costing participants anything extra. Shop on Amazon? Read about the Amazon Smile program. Buy gas, groceries or clothes or go to restaurants in your community? Check out the Gift Card Program. It’s a win – win!

Gift Card Sales Approach $5 Million!

When the Gift Card Program began in 2007, no one could have predicted how successful it would become.  What was known is that it was very easy, and because more than 600 families have since used the program, it has been widely accepted.  Although COVID prevented the total sales from passing the $5 Million mark in 2020, with a boost in sales during the summer, fall and holiday season, that benchmark may be reached in 2021.

Why Use Gift Cards?

To date the Gift Card Program has generated over $221,000 – for FREE!  That is because you only spend what you would normally would.  A $100 Giant card costs you $100, but the church paid $95 for that card, a $5 discount/profit, and you can use that card for several visits at Giant… or until the balance reaches zero. There are gift cards available for dozens of merchants. The percentage each card generates varies and ranges between 1% and 20%, with the average being 5%.  Now that restaurants are popular once again, please keep in mind that most restaurants provide a rebate between 8-13%, while three – Eggspectations, Tino’s Italian Bistro and the Iron Bridge Wine Company each provide a 20% rebate!

How does this benefit the church?

First, over 400 Glen Mar families created Family Accounts designed to help reduce their Mission Trip costs. So far, they have set aside over $50,000 and used $38,000.  Several dozen ministries have also benefited because gift card purchasers indicated that was where they wanted their proceeds to go. Another $23,000 was used to provide over 100 scholarships for mission trip participants.  The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has received an extra $34,000, and over two dozen other ministries and ministry partners have shared tens of thousands of extra dollars – all at no cost to you, the gift card purchaser.  Those ministries include the, the Pastor’s Emergency Fund, the Early Learning Center, Music Ministries, Children’s Ministries, the Walk/Journey to Bethlehem, Relay for Life, the Day of Service, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, and ministry partners such as the Hurley Development Corp. in Hurley, Virginia and Ames Memorial UMC in Baltimore. However, the biggest user of the gift card program remains Glen Mar itself, having purchased over $460,000 in gift cards, and by doing so reducing ministry expenses by over $23,000!

But wait! There’s more! As an added incentive, when you buy gift cards, the rebates you generate appear on your Glen Mar end-of-year statement.

How to Buy Gift Cards

Please stop at the gift card table on Sundays, as in-person sales have resumed or learn how to order cards on-line that can be picked up at the church or sent to your home.  Another option is to print gift cards at home from the ShopWithScrip website. If you are not yet registered as a Glen Mar supporter, please contact us via email for details.

But wait… there’s more!

Support Glen Mar Ministries using Amazon Smile

Before you shop at Amazon.com, please visit Amazon Smile and register as a Glen Mar supporter. Amazon will return to the Glen Mar Mission Ministry team .5% of every purchase initiated at Amazon Smile. You can significantly increase your free contributions to Glen Mar ministries by using the Amazon.com gift cards which will return an additional 2.25% to your family account or other ministry that you designate. If you need assistance, please send your questions to us via email.

The main things to remember are that it’s easy and it’s free!

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