Finding the items or services needed by a family isn't always a simple task, especially with limited available resources. Below, we give some helpful tips and answer a few FAQs related to finding the items or services you've committed to.
- Check with Your Team Leader, Point Person, or Network Leader
In areas where a CarePortal network has been operating for some time already, there may already be partnerships that you simply don't know about yet. Don't be afraid to reach out to your church's point person or local network leader and ask, or invite them in to consider how you might work together to develop a new one that would lead to more kids and families being served by the Church.
- Consider Your Church Members or Who You Might Know Already
Churches are full of all kinds of people with all kinds of gifts. It's very possible your church already has members who own businesses and could empower your teams to do more. It's also possible for additional resources you didn't expect to come from inviting others on social media or direct invitation. You might be surprised by how many people want to help if they simply knew about the need!
- Local Business Partnerships
Since CarePortal requests represent vetted, real-time opportunities to serve families and kids in crisis, they can often lead to formal partnerships between responding churches and local businesses where commonly requested items or services are suddenly available for reduced cost (or no cost) to the Church. As you recognize what items or services are requested most often, work with your church leadership to ask around and see if there's a new partnership your church could develop!
- Share Your Current Connections
If you already have a partnership with a local business or know of a great local place to shop that enables you to meet CarePortal requests more easily, share that tip with your network leader so they can recommend it to others!
Frequently Asked Questions
- How are estimated values of items determined?
The value of items can be adjusted by the caseworker who enters each request. These items and services are added by the caseworker from a catalog of commonly requested items, most of which start with an estimated value based on market research done by a committee of CarePortal network leaders and users. Sources most often considered and tracked by this committee are Walmart, Amazon, Wayfair, and Target.
- Is it okay to give gently used items or should they always be new?
This question is usually best-answered by the caseworker who entered the request on behalf of the family. In many cases, they will indicate in the description of their request when an item needs to be new, but it's always a good idea to check and make sure. Your local network leader(s) may also operate with specific policies when it comes to giving used items to families. On behalf of all requesting agencies and local CarePortal networks, we simply ask for used items to be in excellent working condition. All items provided should seek to honor the family who receives them.
- If a "funded" item will cost more than estimated, can more funds be collected through the CarePortal platform?
CarePortal allows certain users to offer funding through the platform to equip a specially-trained local church to meet the need(s) of the family. The amount of funding given is limited to the estimated value of each item included on the request. If this estimated value isn't enough to cover the request, the Church have a few different options. They can:
a. Cover the remainder from another source, outside the CarePortal platform b. Add a Church-Entered Need to explain the situation and include the additional amount or remainder of items needed so anyone can offer additional funding through CarePortal c. Connect with their local network leader or requesting caseworker to add another item to the same request, which would also allow others to respond and offer additional funding.
If you have additional questions or need more help, please connect with your local network leader or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.