2016 Message to our Friends
Greetings from The Albert Baker Fund!
As we look back over the many wonderful individuals we’ve funded in the last year, we can’t help but think of the powerful ripple effect that educating one person can make in the life of a family, a church, and a community.
Our non-profit organization is named for just such a person, Albert Baker—the older brother of Mary Baker Eddy. During breaks from his studies at Dartmouth College, Albert tutored Mary, nurturing her thirst for knowledge while providing an education that was rarely available to young women at that time. What an important gift Albert gave to Mary—and subsequently to all of us!
A gracious mentor
The founders of The Albert Baker Fund (ABF) chose to honor Albert Baker because of the impact his mentoring made in the life of his beloved sister. ABF, started in the 1960s as a modest loan fund for college students, has grown to serve thousands of Christian Scientists throughout North America, the Philippines, Europe, the United Kingdom (UK), and 13 countries in Africa. In the spirit of Albert’s loving example to share his education, ABF has adopted the motto, “pass your blessings forward” as one of our core values and an enduring message to our students.
A half-century of selfless giving
This loving spirit connects our students to a long line of ABF donors, volunteers, and friends. Our founders clearly saw the benefit of Christian Scientists achieving their educational goals, and over the decades, our donors have helped us sustain and promote this worthy cause. We are deeply grateful for this half-century of selfless giving, and the specific ways that this generosity, in turn, strengthens the entire Christian Science community.
Meeting the needs of Christian Scientists, year by year
In our earliest days, The Albert Baker Fund managed a single program: a revolving loan fund for college students. Every year since, Christian Scientists have contributed to ABF, enabling us to expand the ways we meet the educational needs of those in our community and help them advance their life’s purpose.
Our core programs
The number of participants in our four core programs in 2016 shows the scope of ABF’s outreach to Christian Scientists:
College, Graduate School, and Vocational Training in North America
- In 2016, ABF made 181 financial awards to students 92 colleges in the US, supporting students from Alaska to Florida and from California to Canada.
International College and Vocational Training in Germany, the Philippines, the UK, and 13 countries in Africa
- This year ABF made 214 awards to international Christian Scientists studying a wide range of subjects, including one student in the UK doing graduate work on Mary Baker Eddy!
Christian Science Nursing Training in North America, South America, Europe, the UK, and Africa
- In 2016, we made 90 awards for Christian Science nursing students to attend courses at partner facilities across the US.
- This coming year, we will fund our partner in Switzerland, Le Verger, to conduct Christian Science nursing training in Nigeria, Angola, and Uganda. This program will enable Christian Scientists to receive training in their own country and bring healing and comfort to countless African Christian Scientists.
ABF Career Alliance: a community-based career network
- This newest ABF program grew naturally from our role in funding education. The ABF Career Alliance connects current students, recent grads, and career-changers to a network of professionals eager to share their career experiences, spiritual perspective, and connections to internships and job opportunities.
- The ABF Career Alliance includes online job-search resources, job and internship listings (within and beyond the Christian Science Movement), and regional in-person events. In 2017, the Career Alliance is planning events for Texas, Northern California, and the Pacific Northwest.
- If you would like to “make a connection” or to “be a connection,” just go to www.abfcareeralliance.org and join this growing community of more than 1,000 Christian Scientists helping Christian Scientists.
Expanding within our mission
As contributions given in gratitude from our donors have allowed us to grow our core programs, consistent with our mission, we have also expanded thoughtfully into areas that “…provide resources for the education and development of Christian Scientists.”
Christian Science US Military Chaplains’ Master of Divinity Degree
- The scope and reach over a lifetime military career of these dedicated Christian Scientists really can’t be calculated. Every year, ABF funds 1–3 future chaplains. Before entering their ministries, the students must earn a Master of Divinity degree at Boston University, and ABF is here to assist.
TMC Youth Internships at The Mother Church
- This year ABF funded 16 students from nine colleges, who discovered first-hand the worldwide reach of Christian Science while working in meaningful roles that paralleled their college majors.
Internships at The Longyear Museum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
- The 3–5 college interns at Longyear that ABF funds each year are serious students of Mary Baker Eddy. They follow a rigorous program to prepare for work in museums and as archivists.
DiscoveryBound’s National Leadership Council Program
- Each year nearly 150 Christian Science teens participate in a dynamic four-year leadership program that fosters spiritual growth, a service approach to life, and coast-to-coast connections with other Christian Science teens.
A lifelong impact
The financial support that our donors give to Christian Scientists seeking a vocational or university education often makes a lifelong impact. We frequently hear recipients say that ABF’s funding came at a crucial time in their young lives, and that our support meant everything to them. Now, decades later, they still feel that gratitude and are moved to help others take the next steps toward achieving their life goals. That circle of gratitude and giving—passing one’s blessings forward—continues to motivate and inspire all of us in our work at The Albert Baker Fund.
Remaining funds needed
In 2017, The Albert Baker Fund will distribute at least $1.4 million to benefit approximately 800 individual Christian Scientists. Earnings from ABF’s invested funds will pay for more than half of our educational grants and loans, as well as all of ABF’s overhead expenses. We—and our recipients—turn to our fellow Christian Scientists with a sincere request for contributions to cover the remaining funds we need to accomplish this important work. Won’t you join us, today? When you contribute to ABF, 100% of your gift goes directly to our students.
Every dollar of your gift will be matched
During this year-end appeal, your gift will be doubled by a very special challenge grant. In gratitude for your vital support, ABF Trustees and their friends have committed $30,000 to match your year-end gift. Beginning right now, every contribution will be matched dollar-for-dollar.
Please give generously. Every dollar received—and every dollar of matching funds—will go directly to advance the education and progress of Christian Scientists.
We are constantly inspired by the lives of our Christian Science recipients. At the same time, we strive to honor the example and memory of our fund’s great role model, Albert Baker. We thank you sincerely for all that you do to help us fulfill our mission. Together, like Albert, we are setting into motion countless blessings for many years to come.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Alan R. Bashor
Chief Executive Officer