LSA opens auctions to more Lutherans

Lutheran congregations, schools, colleges, and universities for the first time are being invited to join in Lutheran Services in America’s (LSA) eBay “Trading trading.jpgGraces” auction to raise funds for their ministries.

LSA is not only expanding its Feb. 5-12 national event to Lutherans other than its member social-ministry organizations that benefited from participation in 2006 and 2007, but is inviting other Lutherans to join “Trading Graces” in online auctions every month from January to June of this year.

The monthly emphasis weeks are Jan. 1-8, March 4-11, April 1-8, May 6-13, and June 3-10.

“With ‘Trading Graces,’ anyone who is part of a Lutheran congregation, school, or social-ministry organization can now become a seller, as well as volunteer, donate, or buy,” John Carter, LSA’s manager of operations, told Reporter in a phone interview.

“In fact, they can use their eBay selling account at any time of the year to help raise funds for their organization,” said Carter, who emphasized that proceeds from the auctions go directly to sponsoring member organizations.

Carter said LSA-related social-ministry organizations in the first two years of the national online auction “fared better with raising more funds through the ‘Trading Graces’ online auction when they recruited an eBayer to list and sell for them.

“That is why we are trying to get word out this year that each participating organization needs to enlist an eBayer to help them,” he said.

Barbara Below, director of Social Ministry Organizations with LCMS World Relief and Human Care, agrees with Carter on that point.

“There is a good possibility that every congregation and school has someone who is a seasoned eBay seller, and can jump right into the fundraising effort with little problem,” she said.

Below sees participation in “Trading Graces” as “a potential inter-generational fundraising effort” for Lutheran congregations and others, noting that “many young people are familiar with eBay and computers, and retired members might be able to help with packing and shipping items.”

To volunteer, donate, search the preview gallery, enter the live eBay online auction, or learn more about “Trading Graces,” visit www.ebay.com/tradinggraces.

Or, contact John Carter at jcarter@lutheranservices.org or (410) 230-3548.

LSA — one of the largest nonprofit networks in the country — is an alliance of the LCMS, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and their 300 related health and human-service organizations.  Last year, they provided services to more than 6 million people.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans provided startup funds to build the “Trading Graces” Web site and for marketing the fundraising program.

Posted Jan. 4, 2008

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