Many families these days are involved in supporting their favorite charity, cause, or missionary family.
Making a difference for someone else through your efforts is always a great accomplishment. Speaking from 8+ years of missionary experience, I can tell you that your missionary is always grateful for your involvement. But for many, it may be hard to know what to do apart from praying or giving regular contributions.
Here are 10 non-conventional, “out-of-the-box” ways to support a missionary family.
1. Special gifts
It may come as a surprise to you that most independent missionary's income is not stable. People promise to support them for x amount each month, but may or may not send that amount, or send it when promised. The missionary must decide each month what things to pay first and may not have enough to stretch to that special need, project or outreach he'd like to plan.
Contact your missionary family to find out what special one-time giving needs they have. You may never know unless you ask that they have a need for chairs, tables, VBS supplies, a replacement appliance, a special transportation need, an unexpected medical bill that their insurance didn't cover, money to rent a building for a two-day evangelistic event, songbooks, a projector, Bible study materials… Maybe your family can't commit to monthly support but could work together to meet that particular special need or a part of it.
With the popularity of email correspondence these days, the stamped envelope mail is quickly becoming an icon of the past. However, your missionary most likely has a few (we have about 55) individuals who still want to receive his ministry updates via regular mail.
If your family could partner with the missionary to do those mailings it would bless him by saving him time and money. Even if he reimbursed you for the expenses, the cost of mailing from the States versus from his country would be much less.
3. Affiliate links
Many companies and organizations offer affiliate commissions in exchange for free advertising. For instance, our family puts a link for Christianbook.com Home (CBD.com) and other places on our sites. If you click on the CBD link and decide to purchase something from them, CBD will pay us a small percentage of that sale. Your price does not increase for having reached them through us, but we reap a small benefit. (The same works for the recommended resources you see on our sites.)
Every little bit helps and this is a way that your dollars can be stretched to purchase what you normally purchase AND support your missionary at the same time. I encourage you to write to your missionary and find out who their affiliates are, and how to do your normal online shopping through them.