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The Helen Appelberg Mustard Seed Fund

A Living Legacy

“With what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” Mark 4:30-32

To best honor our founder, The Rev. Dr. Helen Appelberg, we can’t think of a more fitting way than to announce The Helen Appelberg Mustard Seed Fund. COHI began as a “mustard seed” in 1994. Planted in fertile soil in many locations, it is has produced large branches throughout the world to support vulnerable and hurting people. This fund will ensure that Helen’s legacy lives on by funding new COHI centers around the world.

Join us “Planting More Seeds of Hope” to build up the Kingdom of God and transform the lives of those to whom we listen with the ear of our hearts.

Give to the Glory of God and in honor of The Rev. Dr. Helen Appelberg for her vision, inspiration, and love. 

This past year, in addition to sharing your time and talent, many of you shared your treasure to help COHI meet the challenge from our benefactor to match up to $9,000.  With your generosity, we not only met, but also surpassed the challenge by over $3,000. Your gifts helped position us for greater growth and service to continue to live out our mission, enabling lay people across the United States and into Malawi, Africa to do the work of ministry by allowing us in 2018 to:

  • Develop the full potential of recent improvements in operating capacity, including:

  • Enhancing our website with resources to support regional representatives and existing centers (Circle of Care ideas and resources) as well as encourage inquiries

  • Continuing to utilize Constant Contact for creation and delivery of monthly e-blast communications

  • Promoting our dedicated COHI Facebook page to encourage communication from across all COHI regions and the opening of a Facebook business page to expand our exposure 

  • Significantly increase publicity for the annual COHI conference and increase the number of attendees

  • Operate a booth at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA to introduce our ministry to many

  • Maintain enhanced financial and program support for our regional representatives for regional retreats and center support 

  • Support COHI training to priests in all Anglican Dioceses in Malawi who then took the ministry to their parishes

  • Work to protect our copyright

  • Add new centers across the country

This year, we do not have the opportunity for a challenge grant from our benefactor who has generously supported us for several years. Their goal for our community was to help us along the way until we became self-sustaining as Benedict intended for his communities. This year we must be self-sustaining. If 100% of us gave at least $20.00 each year, we would have a solid base of $25,000.00 to build on. We would all be “planting seeds of hope!” We do not need or expect to dramatically increase our annual budget in the years to come, but we must be able to generate at least $30,000 each year in philanthropy (over and above income from center licensing fees) to sustain our current program and to further share the transforming experience of serving in this unique pastoral care ministry which creates communities of caregivers who seek and serve Christ in one another and those they meet. 

With your gift, in 2019 we will be able to:

  • Continue to target faith-based organizations, inviting them into our ministry

  • Increase marketing efforts to encourage clergy-to-clergy communication on the benefits of COHI for their communities 

  • Build the larger COHI community by making connections and strengthening the bonds with individual regions and centers through support from COHI board members 

  • Expand the number of our centers by 10% in 2019 and concurrently increase our total membership by the same percentage

  • Expand the number of centers for vulnerable populations, such as retirement centers and Hispanic communities

With the 2018 Fundraising Campaign we will continue to build the larger COHI community as we learn from each other what we value about COHI. Listening with the ear of our hearts, sending prayers, forming Benedictine communities, and growing spiritually are testaments to life in our COHI community which is made better by all of us.  

The Helen Appelberg Mustard Seed Fund is a forward-looking endowment, the earnings of which will strengthen our organization and endow the future of our mission. Your contribution will underwrite endeavors to strengthen our internal capacity to further invest in this transformational and unique ministry and plant seeds of hope. Join us in creating a promising tomorrow for caregivers in answering God’s call to serve and for care receivers in being filled with love and hope.

“Fundraising is first and foremost a form of ministry. It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission.” Henri Nouwen