Since its inception, the ministries of The Firs have been supported and grown by the generous gifts of friends whose lives have been touched at one or more of our facilities and programs.
Today about 7% of our operating budget and nearly all of our capital or building projects are funded by regular gifts, pledges and donations. Each year hundreds of people give to our ministry as they believe the Lord is directing them.
While cash gifts are essential they are not the only way to give. Some folks make a bequest to The Firs in their estate plan or add The Firs as a life insurance policy beneficiary. Some name The Firs in their trust or may establish a gift annuity contract. Others give a gift of stocks, bonds, mutual funds or even tangible items such as property, land, automobiles or boats.
The Firs is a member in good standing of the ECFA (Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability) and go through a full audit every year.
Giving to the General Fund at The Firs does not involve a specific designation. The gifts to this fund go directly towards covering operational expenses of the whole organization. You can choose to give a one-time gift to the “G/F” or you can give on a regular basis throughout the year. We can set you up with a monthly electronic funds transfer from your checking or savings account or PayPal can charge your gift to your credit card (Visa or MasterCard).
While this does not appear to be a very glamorous designation for your gift, it is absolutely essential that our programs are supported by the gifts of our friends. Our need for people to contribute monthly, semi-annually or even at the end of the year is still our highest priority.
Beyond our operational expenses at The Firs are our needs for facility improvements. These are an ongoing necessity at each of our ministry centers. These capital projects include such matters as furnace replacements, new roofs, vehicle acquisitions, kitchen equipment, new waterfront toys and much more. Since projects come from lists that are always being added to constantly, improvement funds have been established to deal with this flow of project needs. If you are interested in supporting The Firs by directing your gift towards one or another Improvement Fund (Firwood, Fircreek, Retreat Center, Chalet and ASA) then projects will be taken care of one at a time as prioritized and as funds are available.
One of our primary concerns at The Firs is to do all that we can do to keep camp affordable and not just available to the wealthy. We do this by relying on contributions to our General Fund and, therefore, subsidizing the growing expenses of our programs. But for many still, that is not enough. So we have established a Campership Fund which serves as a means for parents who can’t afford to send their kids to camp to actually get the chance to do just that. Through this fund we are able to disburse $25-50,000 per year but the needs are much greater. Contributions to this fund go directly to helping get these kids to camp.
THANK YOU to everyone who joined us or sponsored a golfer for our 8th annual Firs Golf Marathon on May 23, 2016! The goal of The Firs Golf Marathon was to raise funds to support the ministries of The Firs in a fun and creative way. By combining the love of a game and the fun of playing it all day long with a wide network of people – a substantial amount of money can be raised in a unique and relatively short period of time. Golf, therefore, took on a new meaning as every swing of the club directly raised funds to help us provide a quality camping experience for thousands of kids.
For more information on the Golf Marathon, click here.
Thank you to all who joined us on October 15th, 2016, at the Bellingham Golf & Country Club for our 9th annual Firs Extravaganza dinner and auction! The evening consisted of great food, delectable desserts and lively bidding on a host of fabulous items. All proceeds from the night will benefit the ministries and programs of Camp Firwood, Fircreek Day Camp, the Retreat Center, ASA and the Chalet.
For more information on the Extravaganza, click here.
The Firs, 4605 Cable Street, Bellingham, WA 98229 • 800.765.3477 or 360.733.6840
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