A Message from a Friend of Emerald

I am a friend of Emerald Youth Foundation, just like you. I would like to tell you some news and share my story.

As a supporter of Emerald Youth for about 20 years, I have always been impressed at the ministry's fiscal accountability. Anything that people offer is well received and well used – money, time and prayers. It all goes directly to benefit city kids.

God has blessed this stewardship with amazing growth this year:
• The Sansom Sports Complex, currently under construction, will be home to more than 350 soccer players and host new sports like lacrosse and flag football.
• Emerald Youth organized a new non-profit to launch Knoxville's first public charter school, Emerald Academy, which gives city parents a choice in education.
• In partnership with the City of Knoxville and Faith Promise Church, Emerald Youth has reopened the E.V. Davidson Recreation Center pool to house its swim school.

The truth is, God has given Emerald much to steward. Now Emerald desperately needs our help.

The reach and number of programs has expanded so quickly, Emerald needs our support to help pay for the increased number of young people served. Specifically, Emerald needs several thousand dollars to close out 2014.

I'd like to tell you how this need has affected me.

Through the years, the stories of young people who came up through Emerald Youth have had a big impact on me. A young lady who now works at my office grew up in Emerald Youth, and it changed her life. I was so grateful, when my family and I attended the Legacy Dinner in October, that we could hear the powerful testimonies of others changed by the ministry, like Bella Horusenga and Ashley Cochrane.

Recently, the Lord put it on my heart to give more to Emerald Youth. I had bought some property as an investment. I had the goal that whatever gain I made on the property, I would give that to Emerald Youth.

But it was funny...the land did not turn out to be a good investment.

I felt like God was saying, "Why are you just giving the gain? Why not give out of the principle?" I felt like he was telling me that we need to give sacrificially. I felt the burden to do more than what we do normally.

If I gave from the gain, I was not really giving anything but the money I had made. So I gave the entire amount from the sale of the property, which was $50,000. My hope is that others will collectively match or even exceed this amount and let
God use it to bless urban youth.

My message to you is: Be careful what you plan on! If you are considering giving and say, "I'll wait until I have excess to give," don't wait. You are better off to give now, even if it is just a little.

I certainly would have been better off to just give the money to Emerald Youth from the beginning instead of investing it. My reason for waiting was my grand plan to give. But God doesn't need my plan on how to utilize my money. He just needs my trust.

Once you find a place like Emerald Youth that is a good steward, accountable, provides great performance in seeing the kingdom and getting personal results, trust God. Let him worry about maximizing the dollar. It's his to begin with.

When I first got involved with Emerald Youth, I realized that my children are like the kids Emerald Youth serves. But because our family's circumstances are better, my kids have a better chance to lead the safe, Christ-filled, healthy lives all children need. I have a responsibility to help provide that for other young people.

Please make a generous, end-of-year gift to benefit Knoxville's urban youth.

I write this anonymously, as the best way to tell you my story.

Thank you for your partnership with Emerald Youth – it may be one of the most fruitful investments you'll ever make.

A Longtime Friend of Emerald Youth