The Board of Outreach Ministries is 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.
Year round opportunities:
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.
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