Altar Call -- Opelika-Auburn News
Walter Albritton
July 22, 2001

What to do with your tax rebate check if you donít want it

Now I have heard it all. Some fellow named Chuck Collins is trying to persuade people not to accept their tax rebate check from the government, or to send it to him. He will use the money to provide "tax education programs" to teach people the foolishness of Congressí recent tax refund legislation. He claims to have "re-directed" over one hundred thousand dollars already from tax payers who have embraced his plan.

Collins contends that sending the money back to the United States Treasury is the right thing to do because the government will need it in a few years. So we should all be good citizens and refuse to accept and spend our little check.

Well, good friends, if some of you are tempted to join the Collins band wagon, I have a few ideas I want to run by you before you send him your check or send it back to the US Treasury. But first let me reassure you that coughing up 1.9 trillion dollars over the next 10 years is not going to ruin our government. Be at peace about that. At the rate the government is sucking taxes out of our pockets, the treasury will hardly miss the money being refunded to us.

But, if you donít need your tax rebate, then instead of sending it back or to Collins, consider one of these ways to put it back into the economy:

  1. Give it to Alfred Kalembo. He is a seminary graduate (next May) who is going back to his native Zambia to minister to the one million children there who have been made orphans by AIDS. There are orphans per capita in that African nation than any other country in the world.

  2. Send it to the East Alabama Food Bank. They will use it locally to provide food to hungry people.

  3. Mail it to Youth for Christ. Kevin Flanagan and his staff will use it to help a teen ager find a new direction for life before another young life is wasted.

  4. Give it to your church and earmark it for the nursery. Every church needs more money to brighten up the nursery so the babies will feel loved while they are crying for mama.

  5. Walk into the United Way office for Lee County and ask them to use it to help a family that is strapped because of medical expenses.

  6. Call me and I will give you the name of a man who lost his job and needs a little help until he can find work.

  7. Call Nancy Bolt and tell her you want to help with Christian Care Ministries, a new agency that, among other things, is trying to help people secure a vehicle so they can drive to work. Some people who have found work still have no means of transportation.

  8. Give it to your church to start a fund to buy a new church van. If your church already has a van, do it anyway. The van will soon be ready for the dump heap, like our church van, and your money can be used as seed money to inspire others to give.

  9. Send your check to Sandy Toomer. He is a pilot with Missionary Aviation Fellowship and lives in Shell, Ecuador. Almost daily he flies children out of remote Rain Forest villages to receive medical treatment without which they will die in the jungle. Your rebate check might provide fuel or tires for Sandyís plane.

  10. Give it to the Salvation Army. These Army people know how to help the poor. They are good at it. And they need help in every community.

  11. Send it to Newman Crook. That will require faith -- to send your check to a Crook. But fear not, Newman knows some people in the Dominican Republic who work daily to help the poor there. Actually Newman has good connections in that country; his own father is a medical doctor who makes frequent trips there to work in a medical clinic.

    Ask Doctors Allen and Shirley Lazenby about the work there; they just returned after doing a week of surgical work in that clinic.

  12. Mail it to Doctors Keith and Dianne Byrd who retired early as educators and are flying in early August to Kenya, Africa, where they will teach in a Bible School. They sold their home and are within a hundred dollars of raising their full support to serve as missionaries.

  13. Send it to Mark Whittig in faraway Colombia. Mark is rescuing street kids from drugs and alcohol and teaching them to play soccer. When they take a break to rest, Mark talks to them in their own language about the God of the Bible and invites them to get to know him.

  14. Stop by Bishop Larry Torbertís place on Marvyn Parkway and give your check to him. Tell him to use it to help some of the transients who sometimes need a motel room for a night while stranded in our fair city. The fund is usually depleted, as it is right now. Larry is president of the association of local pastors who try to keep this fund available for strangers in need.

  15. If none of the above appeals to you, give your check to your pastor. Tell him it is money you donít need. After he faints, wipe his forehead with a wet rag and take him out to lunch. Put the money in the missions fund. If the treasurer faints, this will be a signal that you need to start giving more than a dollar a week to your church.

  16. Donít miss the point of all this. Ignore Mr. Collins, and when your rebate check comes, use it for a good cause. It will be your chance to express your own opinion about whether government money should be released to faith-based ministries.