There are many ways to contribute to the life of Bethesda Friends Meeting, such as regular attendance at Meeting for Worship, speaking in Meeting for Worship, greeting newcomers with warmth and enthusiasm, bringing flowers for the center of Meeting, helping with hospitality or in the child care room, teaching religious education classes, serving on a committee, and contributing financially. These instructions concern that last topic, making a financial contribution.
We measure our financial health in terms of the amount donated, and also in the participation of everyone in Meeting.
DONATE by making a Financial Contribution to BFM
By credit card
There are three ways to donate to BFM: Using your credit card (BFM pays the 3% credit card fee). Paying by check, which means no fees are subtracted from your donation.
We appreciate your monthly contribution, which helps Bethesda Friends have a consistent, steady source of income.
"Restricted" vs. "Unrestricted" Funds
Social Concern of the Month
If you want to direct a donation to one of our Social Concerns, please choose from the list below. The donation should be made during the designated month. Use our Donate Online Now page to donate online. Scroll back up for information on how to donate via a written check.
The Social Concerns Box for January is for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN)
The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) is the first grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to fighting global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Their mission is to build and mobilize a powerful grassroots movement in this unique region that surrounds our nation’s capital and to call for state, national and international policies that will put us on a path to climate stability. Some BFM members join in CCAN's annual Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser, and a Quaker team often tops the donation chart.
The Social Concerns Box for February is for Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC)
The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition "aims to end the practice of torture wherever it occurs and to support survivors as they empower themselves, their families, and communities." TASSC has an integrated and survivor-centered approach to its work. They offer aid in social services, legal services, health and wellness, as well as advocacy and outreach.
The Social Concerns Box for March is for Bethesda Help
Hunger in our community comes in many forms and is probably more wide-spread than most of us realize. Approximately 63,000 of our neighbors in Montgomery County are not always sure where their next meal is coming from. The pandemic and lockdowns have greatly increased the need. Bethesda Help offers immediate short- term food and financial assistance for rent (to prevent eviction), utility bills (to prevent service interruption), and prescription medicines (as needed) to residents in southern Montgomery County. For details and volunteer opportunities, see: www.bethesdahelp.org
The Social Concerns Box for April is for Ramallah Friends School
The Social Concerns Box for May is for scholarships to the Ramallah Friends School in the Palestinian West Bank. Much of our contribution used to be raised at Spring Fling, and now we depend on offerings made via check or online. This support is an opportunity for us to help build peace in the Middle East via this Quaker school that has been in existence since 1869 (more than 150 years).
The Social Concerns Box for May is for the Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR)
This Quaker program Right Sharing of World Resources was established in 1967 with the notion that well-off people had much to learn from poorer people. With our donations, RSWR can award grants to groups of marginalized women in Kenya, Sierra Leone, and India to fund individual micro-enterprise projects. The start-up money provided by RSWR promotes self-sufficiency such as the purchase of seeds, well-digging, or the purchase of animals. RSWR provides Friends the means by which we can examine our life of plenty, offer a practical outlet to assist and empower some of the poorest people in the planet (some of whom are Quakers), and come to a deeper understanding of economic discipleship as part of our individual and corporate life as a faith community. The RSWR web site also has educational resources for youth and adults.
The Social Concerns Box for June is for Comfort Cases
Comfort Cases believes that every foster child deserves to feel a sense of dignity, for example to be able to pack their belongings in a special bag that they can call their very own. Each Comfort Case for a baby, child, or teen is a soft backpack or duffel with PJs, a blanket, toiletries, stuffed animal, and books (including a coloring book or journal). The group also engages communities and educates the public about the issues facing youth in foster care, for example by providing volunteer opportunities for all ages. Learn more at https://www.comfortcases.org/about-us.
The Social Concerns Box for July and August is for Jubilee Jobs
Jubilee Jobs, since 1981, has placed nearly 25,000 people into marketplace employment. Work for sustenance, dignity, and hope describes the common goals Jubilee Jobs shares with those in need, including those who are homeless, in recovery, ex-offenders, public welfare recipients, and recent immigrants. It provides continuing support for up to two years. See www.jubileejobs.org to learn more and to volunteer.
The Social Concerns Box for September is for the Mary Jane Simpson Scholarship Fund
Each year this fund awards college scholarships to DC public school seniors with high potential, who are coping with difficult backgrounds and have very low incomes. The fund is managed jointly by Bethesda Friends Meeting, Friends Meeting of Washington, and Langley Hill Friends Meeting. BFM plays a vital role in funding, selecting the awardees, and making decisions about the program’s policies and practices. Since the scholarship fund first began, it has awarded 163 scholarships to graduates from 20 DC Public schools. The amount of each scholarship depends on the donations received--and ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 per year per student for the four years of college. Each year the program supports about 5-10 students, again, based on the funds we have. Please be generous.
The Social Concerns Box for October is for Interfaith Works
For nearly 50 years, Interfaith Works has provided affordable housing and social services to families in Montgomery County as they transition from homelessness to independence. Key programs are their clothing center, emergency assistance, and vocational services. BFM has long been one of the member organizations, and BFM children participate in an annual mini-walkathon for the homeless. Interfaith Housing Coalition is a subsidiary of Interfaith Works that provides permanent housing and supportive services to families in 26 units across the county.
The Social Concerns Box for November is for A Wider Circle
A Wider Circle is the recipient for the Social Concerns Box in December. It is a local non-profit organization that assists individuals and families moving out of shelters to more stable living situations. A Wider Circle also offers intensive courses on job skills, financial planning, stress management, nutrition, and parenting. Its mission is to end poverty. Anyone in need of help can find it there. In one year, A Wider Circle furnished the homes of more than 13,300 children and adults and delivered more than 400 educational programs. They also recycled more than three million pounds of furniture and home goods. More than 10,000 volunteers serve at A Wider Circle annually, including members of BFM several times a year.
The Social Concerns Box for December is for Bread for the City
Bread for the City is a major provider of food, clothing, medical care and legal and social services for thousands of low-income DC residents. In 2020, its greatest pandemic-period surge (as reported by its centers in Shaw and Anacostia), is a 400 percent increase over 2019 in families needing free food. Also up sharply in 2020: demand for legal services involving evictions, debt disputes, and withheld government benefits. In 2020, Bread for the City has also been providing free COVID tests on demand for walk-ins. In October 2020, its advocacy unit won a federal lawsuit restoring SNAP (food stamp) benefits for 20,000 DC residents that the U.S. Department of Agriculture planned to eliminate in April.