The Christian Retail Association (CRA) is raising money to help Christian bookstores across the U.S. in the wake of COVID-19’s economic damage. Its goal is to raise $10 million for independent bookstores in need.
The Christian retailing industry has already been facing mounting challenges over the years as online retail giants like Amazon grow in popularity. In 2017, Family Christian Stores closed after being in business 85 years. The chain shut down its 240 bookstores after declaring bankruptcy two years prior. Then in 2019, LifeWay closed all its physical locations and shifted to an online-only strategy.
But with COVID-19 closing many brick-and-mortar bookstores’ doors indefinitely, Christian retailers’ problems have only grown worse.
“While we know that the government’s $2.2 trillion bailout will help our independent Christian bookstores, they are going to need more help than that,” says Sue Brewer, chief operations officer of the Munce Group, a working partner of CRA. “The products our stores have to offer are just what people need in times like this. They bring hope and encouragement, reminding us we are not alone, because God promises He will never leave us or forsake us.”
CRA has been posting prayers and encouragements on Facebook to encourage Christian retailers during this crisis. But they know the need is financial as well as spiritual.
“We are going through a time our country has not seen this century,” CRA wrote on Facebook. “Our whole economic system has been shut down for almost two months. Unemployment is higher than we have ever experienced. And we are all forced to stay home. …
“We can’t afford to lose any more Christian bookstores now. We are going to be bold and ask that you help us collect $10 million to help keep these stores in business. This will help them pay their bills for the two months they were forced to be closed.”
CRA President Bob Munce says that while many people may give to a good cause, only Christians will give to the cause of the gospel. For this reason, CRA is taking a grassroots approach to raising funds, asking believers to share their message of hope and giving on their social media pages.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Charisma News