Why become a VSEA Participant?
The VSEA Program was developed in early 1994 in response to clergy concerns about their ministry to individuals with emergency needs. Pastors questioned the wisdom of giving cash to individuals, expressed concern about those who frequently approach churches for assistance, and felt they did not have access to other possible resources.
Currently, we have
congregations, with more considering participation. To become a participating congregation, you merely need to contribute to the VSEA’s common pool of funds. The program maintains two accounts.
- The Administrative Account covers program costs such as office supplies, the coordinator’s pager, and staff. We ask that congregations contribute approximately $100 per year to cover administrative costs.
- The Designated Account contains monies which go directly to client aid. Contributions to this account vary.
We ask congregations to look at the VSEA program as a cooperative ministry of local churches, through which funds are shared. It is not an in-an-out account in which you can only use what you contribute. Some churches have high needs but limited resources, while others have low needs but extra resources. This has worked well, with congregations respecting this fluidity. Each individual congregation determines its contribution based on resources and need. Contributions have varied from $50 to $1,000 yearly, with the average contribution being around $200.
The VSEA Program provides:
- an instructional and resource manual
- access to information in an extensive client data base
- a supply of vouchers redeemable at local merchants
- pre-paid auto fuel cards
- 24-hour assistance and resourcing
- we handle all the financial matters - there is no need for you to handle the cash
The VSEA Program does not replace your ministry to people in need; it assists you. We provide you with information, suggestions and a means of assistance. The ICM office does not normally meet with clients unless unusual circumstances arise. When the client's need cannot be covered by our printed voucher, the office can make special arrangements and will meet with the client.