ACAS is the association which implements the philanthropic work of the Church. It is the tangible expression in the city and the world of our church’s love and care for those in need. The association organizes a series of activities throughout the year to raise funds, which it then distributes across several projects both in Strasbourg and in the world. The association depends on Church members’ involvement and contributions to be able to offer help to those who are in need of support.
Projects supported by ACAS
In 2015 we were able to finance tuition fees for students in Pakistan, which is a project which started some years ago and has good results. In Madagascar, we continued the support to the Church in Foulpointe as we had committed to do last year, and we also supported this year the Tananarive School. ACAS sends money each year for the Bishop’s Appeal; last year we were able to contribute both to the Lent and the Advent Appeals. The Lent Appeal focused on assisting migrants in Athens, while the Advent Appeal focused on the Apostoli and Lighthouse refugee relief projects in Greece on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Kos.
Locally we supported both CASAS and the CIMADE, which are organizations which help migrants and asylum seekers here in Strasbourg. We exceptionally supported a Haitian medical student, who was facing huge difficulties in financing his studies. He managed to pass his exams and is now continuing his studies. We also raised funds to support the work organized by the Fédération d’Entraide Protestante (FEP) to help Syrian refugees cope with the trauma of war and exile via psychological support. Unfortunately, so far very few refugees have arrived in Strasbourg and the psychologist the FEP intended to hire was not needed, so this money has not yet been allocated. In case the needs for Syrian refugee support in Strasbourg do not increase in 2016 we will donate the funds to an organisation supporting Syrian refugees elsewhere.
Contributions to ACAS
Everyone can contribute to the charitable work of the Church by:
* volunteering for activities organised by ACAS, such as collecting items for the Dorlisheim flea market, bringing items from Strasbourg to Dorlisheim, manning the stand at the flea market, tidying, bringing unsold material to Emmaus, joining the bredele cooking task force, joining the ACAS Burns’ Night team which operates the bar at this yearly event of the English speaking community, initiating a new fundraising activity or organising an activity to support or bring comfort to vulnerable people.
* buying items sold by the charity, e.g. products from the Sunday Hampers, Christmas cookies, Christmas cards, raffle tickets, calendars or, in the coming year, also bookmarks
* contributing in kind and donating items for the Dorlisheim flea market or the raffle, preparing food for the Sunday Hampers, sending pictures for the calendar
* donating funds to the ACAS association. ACAS being a “organisation à but non lucratif” it can receive donations and issue tax receipts. An official registering procedure with the Préfecture called “procédure de rescrit fiscal” will be finalised soon in order to make doubly sure that members never have any problems with the tax authorities.