For the first time in their 20-year-plus history, Dave and Diane Gamble have organized a fundraiser for City of Refuge, a free place for pregnant women without resources to have their babies.
The Gambles have elected to go high-tech with the fundraiser in an effort to raise $30,000 between Sept. 12-Oct. 19.
They consulted a firm which helps nonprofits like City of Refuge, and came up with an online event.
“It sounded like a cool idea,” Dave Gamble said.
Participants are directed to the website http://www.ministrysync.com/event/website/home/?e=6451 for details and information. Viewers track the fundraiser’s progress online.
“We want to raise $30,000,” Gamble said, “but we’ll take more.”
The fundraiser ends with a prayer walk, open house and spaghetti dinner at City of Refuge, tucked back in the Pine Nut Mountains about 10 miles away from Gardnerville.
Since 1991, City of Refuge has offered a safe place for women who chose to carry their babies to term.
The women receive food, shelter, education, training, Christian counseling, access to medical care and what the Gambles call “love in a Christian family” at no cost to themselves or their families.
City of Refuge receives no government funding and is supported by donations from individuals, churches and a few small family foundations.
“We have never held a formal fundraising effort, but now we must if we are to continue to provide for these young women in crisis who have chosen to give their babies life,” Gamble said.
The most critical needs are improvements to the water system, conversion from solar to more electric appliances and the ongoing expenses of caring for the women and their babies, Gamble said.
Four girls are at City of Refuge currently, and Gamble said there is a waiting list.
More than 100 mothers who sought help at City of Refuge have given birth since 1991. The home has sheltered about 250 women and children over of the years, staying “till they get squared away,” Gamble said.
Gamble said some of those babies are now teenagers and like to come back and see their first home. A tree is planted after the birth of each baby.
In addition to the Gambles, the staff includes house parents, relief house parents and a host of volunteers.
Gamble said expenses are mounting, necessitating City of Refuge’s first-ever fundraiser.
“To a point, we’re worried if we can continue,” he said. “But we won’t shut down until they drag us out of here.”
The newest project at the site is the completion of a 350-square-foot cottage where adoptive parents can live while they are waiting to take their babies home.
City of Refuge encourages the mothers to place their babies for adoption, but it is up to them to decide. The process is open, and the mothers are instrumental in selecting their babies’ adoptive families.
Trinity Cottage is to be complete in time for the fundraiser.
It is a project of the Men’s Ministry at Trinity Lutheran Church whose members have been working on construction for two years.
The cottage was built years ago by the boys at China Spring Youth Camp and moved to City of Refuge.
Volunteers from the Lutheran church built a deck and are putting finishing touches on the inside and exterior.
Valley Christian Fellowship with donations from Home Depot, provided a sink and refrigerator.
Gamble said online donations would be secure and no email addresses would be used for any other purpose than the fundraiser.
Participants also may donate by check.