DONATION OPPORTUNITIES:

SERRV Catalog Sale – Today, November 5 and November 12
Once again, the Board of Outreach is happy to offer a catalogue sale from Serrv, a non-profit organization that creates long term connections with marginalized artisans and farmers in 25 countries. Together they build hand-made product collections that are a catalyst for positive change world-wide. Through fair trade purchases, artisans and farmers are able to lift themselves and their families out of poverty and communities are transformed. Find out more about their 68-year history of supporting fair trade at www.Serrv.org/about us.
We will have a table and catalogues available at Coffee Hour on 11/5 and 11/12. The profits from the Serrv sale help the Youth Mission Trip and the FCC Food Pantry. Please consider Serrv items for your Christmas needs or try their fabulous Devine chocolate for a sweet indulgence.

The Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive from November 5 until December 10. Donate a pair of pajamas to children (infant - teens) waiting to be adopted. Scholastic will donate a book for every pair of pajamas.  Leave all donations in the Pajama Drive Box or see Heather Mills.  Sponsored by the Board of Christian Education.

Alternative Gift Market, December 3 and 10. Looking  for  creative and meaningful gift ideas  this holiday season?   The 17th Annual Alternative Gift Market offers the opportunity to make a donation to a worthy cause in someone’s name instead of purchasing a store-bought present. More than ever, people near and far are in need; gifts to these charities will improve many lives. The Gift Market will be held in Patton Auditorium immediately after the worship celebration on December 3 and 10.  Each donation will be accompanied by a gift card for you to personalize along with details about the charitable organization. The seven charities include:

Bridges Outreach: A Union County-based organization assisting  people  who  are homeless  or  in  transitional housing. FCC continues to provide bagged lunches once a month and other essentials  to Bridges for distribution, but funding is needed to pay for transportation costs.
Doctors Without Borders: A Nobel Peace Prize winner, it  is  an  international  medical humanitarian  organization delivering  emergency  aid  to  people  affected  by  armed conflict, epidemics,  natural and  man-made disasters and exclusion   from   health   care,   in   over   70   countries. Donations  fund  the  medical  professionals  and  other volunteers in thousands of aid missions each year.
Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless: A Union County-based   organization   assisting   individuals   and families  who  are  homeless  or  near  homeless,  gain shelter, rental  assistance,  rent  subsidies,  transitional housing and permanent housing. Donations fund the staff and  volunteers  that  provide  case  management,  crisis intervention,  an after-school  program  for  children,  and housing/life skills related education.
FCC's  Food  Closet: Located at here at FCC, the Food Closet  provides  food  and supplies  to  the  needy  in  our community.  On  average  5-6  individuals/families  “walk-in”  each  week,  many  in  dire  circumstances  relating to difficult  medical  or  housing situations.  Donations help fund  the  supply  of  food,  toiletries  and/or  grocery gift cards.
Heifer  International: An  international  organization providing animals such as chicks, ducks, goats and sheep to  needy  families.  Donations  will  fund  the  purchase  of animals that provide both food for the recipient families as  well  as  a  source  of  family income  to  raise  their standard of living.
Caring  Contact: Located  in Westfield,  Caring  Contact is  a  caring  and  crisis  hotline serving  callers  in  need throughout  New  Jersey.  The  organization  is  devoted to promoting     emotional     wellbeing     by     providing opportunities   for   people   to   express   themselves   to compassionate listeners in a safe environment. 
Roots  and  Wings: Roots  and  Wings  provides  those  who  age  out  of  the foster care system with safe housing, educational support, counseling, and life  skills  in  order  to empower  them  toward  self-sufficiency.  Your donation  will  help  support  several homes in  Union  County  for  deserving young adults transitioning to independence.


Other Gift Giving Opportunities In addition to the Alternative Gift Market, the Board of Outreach Ministries is also sponsoring three additional gift-giving opportunities this holiday season:

Gift Tree For Children & Adults– Continuing our tradition of support for the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, this Christmas season we  will  again  collect  gifts  for children  and  adults.  Look  for  a  small Christmas tree set up in Patton Auditorium from late November through the mid December. On the tree will be ornaments with a gift suggestion written  on  the  back.  We  invite  you  to  select  an  ornament,  purchase  the suggested gift and return the gift unwrapped no later than December 17.

Gift Card Collection - Homeless Teens  & Young Adults Deserve a Present Too –Many of the Elizabeth Coalition for the Homeless families have children between the ages of 14 and 24, an age when cozy pajamas and  teddy  bears  don’t  make  great  presents anymore. Gift  cards  are  the perfect solution for these young people. The next time you are shopping, please  consider  purchasing  $10-$25  gift  cards.  Cards  from  Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, ShopRite, or Visa/MC are best. These cards will be collected at the Christmas tree table in Patton during Coffee Hour through December 17.

FCC Food Pantry Reverse Advent Calendar– Bags with instructions &  suggestions  will be  located  near  the  Gift  Tree.  Pick  up  an  empty shopping bag to take home, and each day we ask that you place one food, toiletry  or  cleaning  item  in  the  bag.  Return the  bag  to  FCC  by  December  17 with  the  items  collected  and  they  will  be  used to  stock  the  FCC  Food Pantry during the winter months!

The Board of Outreach hopes you will take advantage of one or more of these opportunities to support those most in need in our local area during this holiday season. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

 

HURRICANE HARVEY & IRMA
In the wake of the recent natural disasters the Board of Outreach would like to share several resources for disaster relief.

*The United Church of Christ’s Global Sharing of Resources team has created a Hurricane Harvey disaster page with suggestions on ways people in the wider church can help going forward:   http://www.ucc.org/disaster_hurricane_harvey.  Donations to the Emergency USA fund can be made online from this page. If you prefer to donate by mail, make checks payable to United Church of Christ, with "Hurricane Harvey" in the memo. Mail to: United Church of Christ c/o Financial Services, 700 Prospect Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100

*http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/28/546745827/looking-to-help-those-affected-by-harvey-here-s-a-list  provides a list of other organizations providing various types of relief to Texas hurricane victims including everything from diapers to pet rescue/care.

*American Red Cross    www.redcross.org

According to Bob Ottenhoff, president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, now is not the time to donate products or services. Instead, he says, “people should send money to groups they trust, and that have the ability to provide aid where it’s needed most.”

PATTON RENOVATION PROJECT more info

Donations are welcome from Members and Non-Members

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