Minute on Personal Assistance Fund (3/2010)

From the minutes of the meeting for worship with a concern for business, 3/7/2010, this minute supersedes the minute on a Personal Assistance Fund from 9/2000:

Minute on a Personal Assistance Fund
for Patapsco Friends Meeting


If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; not withstanding ye give them not those things which are useful to the body; what doeth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

James 2:15-17

A Personal Assistance Fund is established as part of the General Budget.

The Personal Assistance Committee is appointed to oversee disbursements from this fund to members and regular attenders as requested.

The committee that oversees this fund shall be available in a timely way to those asking for assistance who have bodily needs: food, clothing, shelter or medical needs which if not met quickly are likely to become urgent. Requests for aid should be made to the clerk of the committee.

Responsibilities of Personal Assistance Committee members and of those requesting aid:

Any two members of the Personal Assistance Committee have the authority to disperse up to 50% of the amount remaining in the Personal Assistance Fund at the time of the request. If more funds are needed, the requestor must meet with the Personal Assistance Committee.

Members of the committee should seek to discern the nature of the help being requested, the level of help being requested, the likely duration of the problem and the ability of the committee to give the requested aid, and the rightness of the request.

The committee should help the person requesting aid to develop a plan to address his/her needs.

Committee members should be prepared to follow up with the person requesting aid and to provide spiritual support.

The business of the committee shall be conducted in strict confidence. If, however, the committee and person requesting aid are clear the problem is not a bodily need, or goes beyond bodily need or that the need exceeds the resources of the Personal Assistance Fund, then, with the agreement of the person requesting aid, the committee may refer the problem to another committee or to the Meeting as a whole.

Repayment of disbursements from the fund:

Disbursements made from the fund shall be considered non-interest bearing loans. After a disbursement has been made, it shall be the responsibility of the committee and the person requesting aid to establish a plan for repayment, as appropriate. If it is appropriate to have a repayment plan, the plan should be one that the person requesting aid can in good faith agree to. Aid should not be dependent on the likelihood of repayment.

Committee Members:

The committee shall have 3 members, all of whom are regular attenders at Patapsco Friends Meeting. One member shall be appointed from and by the Ministry & Care Committee, one shall be the Treasurer of the Meeting and one shall be appointed by the Meeting through its nominating process. The term shall be for 2 years.

After approval by the Meeting of the members of the committee, it will meet to select a clerk, review its purpose and determine any other necessary business. All other meetings will be called.

The Committee shall report the amount of aid given and the number of people who have received aid to the Business Meeting at least once a year.

Approved on March 7, 2010

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