Benevolence Policy

The Bridge desires to glorify God by being generous as He blesses and directs us. We strive to be good stewards of the funds entrusted to us by God and the congregation. We desire to help those who are in genuine need. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  The Bridge can only help as God blesses us to help. We have a monthly budget for benevolence that may run out as it is used.  The Bridge Staff may recommend and refer people to participate in any appropriate local programs that are offered to meet some requests. Records are kept for those who have been helped.

Important Notes:
  • The Bridge will only help individuals and families, that are not regular attendees of The Bridge, once in a 12-month period. 
  • The Bridge will make benevolence determinations on a case-by-case basis based on information gathered from the assistance application. 
  • The Bridge will make payment directly to the company/vendor of a benevolent request or provide the requestor with a gift card as determined by The Bridge Staff. 
  • At no time will the recipient receive cash or personal check payment directly from The Bridge.

The Objective of this Document:
The objective of this Benevolence Policy is to:
  • Establish and outline an objective, unbiased process for the evaluation of requests for assistance
  • Provide written eligibility requirements and criteria for receiving assistance from The Bridge
  • Describe the request, approval, and disbursement process

Biblical Basis for Benevolence Fund:

The Bible is clear in our call to care for those in need. 
In Deuteronomy 15:7-11, God commands the Israelites to be “openhanded” and “freely lend” to the poor and needy among them and to “give generously.” 

Purpose of the Benevolence Fund: 

  • The purpose of the benevolence fund is to meet the essential needs of our Bridge family and the community of Maryville and surrounding areas. The benevolence fund is a financial safety net for families or individuals if savings/investments, assistance from family and/or friends, or government programs are not able to meet their needs. It is intended to be a temporary help during a time of crisis. 
  • Generally, assistance from The Bridge is intended to cover an individual’s or family’s basic needs. The benevolence fund is not designed or funded to support multiple requests from a single individual or family. 

Oversight & Accountability:
  • The policies and guidelines in this document are to be guided and directed by Biblical principles
  • The anonymity of anyone requesting assistance will be preserved outside of The Bridge Staff & Board. Exceptions may apply if there are concerns beyond finances.
  • A minimum of two staff members will determine who will receive funds and in what amount

  • The Bridge Staff will be apprised of the need for extreme confidentiality when dealing with personal issues of those in need. All matters will remain within the confines of The Bridge and its staff and board. The Bridge staff may divulge personal information to appropriate outside individuals when it is in the best interest of the recipient. 

Recipients of Assistance:
In order of priority, recipients of assistance will be: 
  1. Regular attendees of The Bridge
  2. Community members in or around Maryville, MO


  • Required to complete a benevolence application form before the distribution of assistance
  • The applicant can demonstrate that they do not have the means to provide the necessary needs for themselves or their family

Benevolence Need Categories:
  • The Bridge Benevolence fund is able to help with physical needs which include, but are not limited to: 
    • Food
    • Shelter
    • Clothing
    • Transportation
    • Medical Assistance
    • Related bills to any of the above (i.e. utility bills, medical bills, etc.)
    • Other needs as deemed appropriate by The Bridge Staff. 

  • The Bridge Benevolence fund will NOT assist with: 
    • Business investments, debts or anything that brings financial profit to the individual or family
    • Paying off credit cards. Exceptions can be made when an individual has had to use a credit card in a crisis or emergency (e.g. hospitalization, family death, etc.)
    • Individuals who are wanted by the law or for paying fines as a result of breaking the law
    • Legal fees arising from criminal behavior
    • Gambling debts
    • Personal loans
    • Private school fees or tuition

  • The Bridge will also not assist in cases of 
    • Unwillingness to work
    • A demanding, unteachable, or uncooperative spirit

Process of Applying for Assistance:
  • Individuals or families that are seeking assistance from The Bridge are to obtain and submit an application for assistance, along with all supporting documentation. Review and approval of the application, as well as communication of the amount and form of assistance, will be done by The Bridge Staff as quickly as possible. The Bridge staff will try to discuss and get back to you within one to two business days, but the process could take up to five business days. 

Guidelines for Disbursement:
  • The Bridge’s Benevolence fund is intended as a source of last resort, to be used when the individual or family requesting assistance has explored all other possibilities of assistance from appropriate sources. It is intended to be a means of assistance during a time of crisis or other hardship. 
  • Disbursements from the Benevolent fund may not be made in the form of a loan. 
  • Those requesting help must be willing to grant The Bridge Staff permission to follow up on any of the information provided to them. The Bridge Staff will be sensitive to confidentiality issues. 
  • All disbursements from the benevolent fund shall be made directly to the party or entity to whom payment is due and not in the form of cash given directly to the individual or family requesting assistance (e.g. rent will be paid directly to the landlord, an electric bill will be paid directly to the electric company.)
  • Generally, The Bridge will not exceed the amount of $300 when assisting an individual or family who does not regularly attend The Bridge and the amount of $500 when assisting an individual or family who is a regular attendee of The Bridge. *Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.