Sunday, March 04, 2012

Help the Religious Institute survive! What You Can Do!

The Religious Institute -- and I - am in the fight of our life.

I believe with all my soul that the Religious Institute ( must survive having its parent organization close down and the loss of all of our funds.

In last week's post, I told you that The Unitarian Church in Westport ( immediately became our new fiscal sponsor. On Monday, with the assistance of the Probono Partnership, we will begin filing to be an independent organization and becoming our own 501 c 3.

We are accepting tax exempt donations immediately. You can donate at or send a check to TUCW/Religious Institute to 21 Charles Street, Suite 140, Westport, CT 06880.

If you are local, you can volunteer. We need at least one volunteer a day to do clerical work. Please call first as our offices are tiny.

If you believe in our mission promoting sexuality education, sexual health, and full inclusion of women and LGBT in the life of the faith community, you can ask your friends through FB, twitter, or blogs to "like" us on FB, take the Faithful Voices Pledge at, or send us donations.

You can send a card or a note to the Religious Institute offices for our staff and advisors. Every kind word is making a difference. Use the address above.

Please know that the Religious Institute has contacted every possible local, state, and national authority and they are investigating. Please know that I am working 15 to 18 hour days to survive -- and to do things like write CNN blogs and appear on radio and TV shows on current sexuality issues where our religious voices is desperately needed. Please know that our program work is continuing but that our usual 24 hour turn around time on requests for assistance is slowed down.

During crisis, whether this kind or in a personal tragedy or loss, people have often told me that they don't reach out because they don't know what to say. What we need to hear is simple: "I'm sorry. What can I do? Your work is valued." (If you are reading this and don't know about our ministry, please go to

The kindness of loved ones and of strangers has been uplifting. We know we are surrounded by prayers. My church is doing all they can. Our web site designer is hosting us free for a year. A seven year old sent in $1.45. Churches are holding special plate collections. My chiropractor has offered a free session for all of our staff. A hair dresser even offered me a free blow out. People have brought lunch to the office for us. A church sent the office spring flowers.

I am confident we will survive. YOU can help us survive. Please make your most generous donation (again is the quickest way) and please PRAY.

Rev. Debra W. Haffner


Anonymous said...

I don't make contributions online any longer, but mailed a check today. It won't get picked up until Monday. It may reach you Wed. but probably Thurs.

Steve Caldwell said...

Debra - I sent a check to your organization last week.

I'm curious what exactly happened with Christian Community, Inc that caused your organization to lose funds.

Did Christian Community experience bankruptcy? Was this mismanagement on their part? Did something criminal happen with Christian Community's management of your organization's funds?

Best of luck sorting this out.