Why HOG?

Why do we participate in HOG Day?

It’s a question I receive around this time every year. Especially for those of us who have read When Helping Hurts or Toxic Charity it may seem a little contradictory to espouse both a belief in the principles in the books and an affirmation for a one-day charity day. Ultimately, however, I think our participating in HOG Day is beneficial – to us, to the recipients, and to the community.

Like the Hippocratic Oath, one of the first principles of helping others is to do no harm. So, we must ask ourselves, is participating in HOG Day causing harm? Generally, when we speak of harm in our area we are talking about doing for others what they could do for themselves leading to a paternalistic and dependent relationship.

Many of the organizations we work with on HOG Day are small non-profit organizations operating on a very limited budget and do not have the manpower to complete the projects we complete on HOG Day. In one morning, members from Grace Church contribute 4,000 hours of labor to the Greenville Community. To put that in perspective, that’s 100-40 hour weeks or 2 years of work. It is next to impossible for a small organization to mobilize the same amount of manpower in one day.

Another principle of healthy giving/serving in relationship. Needs are best met in the context of relationship – both within our church and outside. In some cases, we work with organizations with which we have an existing relationship. In this case, our work on HOG Day is a continuation of the work we’re already doing together.

In addition, HOG Day provides us an opportunity to begin a relationship with an organization we may wan to work with in the future and to bolster existing relationships. For new organizations, beginning the relationship with a one-day commitment allows both sides to get to know each other before formalizing a long-term relationship. Lastly, many Grace members will fill the gaps on HOG Day – working in locations where we will not build a formal relationship, but these organizations have requested help.

In everything we do, we want to fill gaps where work is already being done or create something new only if a need is not currently being fulfilled. By serving alongside the rest of the Upstate we communicate with our actions and with our words that we are for the city, be it Greenville, Powdersville, Simpsonville, Mauldin, Spartanburg, Fountain Inn, Travelers Rest, or Easley. We gain credibility with local leaders leading to new opportunities we would not otherwise have. Thank you for serving on HOG Day. Your work supports the ongoing work of hundreds of organizations in the Upstate.