Daily we continue to be updated about the coronavirus situation and the personal toll it is taking on families, friends and communities. And now, in addition to that, we are being informed about the consequences of lockdown in the world of the economy. Jobs have been lost and businesses have closed. Future prospects for many families look very bleak. We are facing the unknown. And money worries, in terms of providing for the family, are top of the list for many people.
That does not mean that people do not think of others. This week saw an appeal let by celebrities to raise money for those in need, and £27 million was pledged altogether. And, in response to our slimmed down Tidings mailing, ardent supporters have sent donations, some of which have been earmarked for particular appeals.
However, in general, the economic picture for many charities is not as it was and this includes HHI. The ultimate knock on is how this depletion of funding will affect those people we seek to serve. And again, we are facing the unknown. So, we are grateful to all you who, without hesitation, continue to dip into your pockets and in the meantime we ask that you ardently pray for everyone affected by this pandemic and in particular our friends in India and Zambia.
We had our monthly Management Committee meeting earlier today. Because of the lockdown, we didn't meet physically, but used Zoom (a video conferencing system) which worked reasonably well. As always, there was a lot to talk about.
One issue that was a cause for concern was that we have had a dramatic reduction in our income - the donations that you, our readers and supporters, give us so generously. HHI has always been a faith based organisation, and our regular standing orders only provide about a third of the money that we send out to India and Zambia each month. The rest is occasional and one-off donations. As these are more or less random, things can get quite exciting at times!
Since the lockdown, our income has gone down to less than half of what we need to maintain our core work. We have reserves, but these are going down fast. We estimate that, at the present rate, they will run out some time in June. We aren't allowed to go into debt, so if that happens we will have to drastically slash the money that we send out to our partners in India and Zambia. This will cause even more suffering for some of the world's poorest people, who are already suffering greatly.
So my request is - can you find us some money? Maybe tell some friends or family about the wonderful work that HHI is doing?
We're doing all that we can - we are applying to a lot of charitable trusts to see if they can help. If anyone knows of a suitable trust with money available, please let us know.