1 We want to change the world - Help for the Homeless: One thing that has always bothered me in every city we have lived is the large amount of empty store fronts that are around. There are small ones (strip centers) and large ones (Ames, Kmart.). Some have been empty for years and years. What if, we were able to turn these empty non productive sites into places that homeless people could use as a shelter? The system could be administered by the local churches and the day-in, day-out procedures could be run by the homeless peoples themselves. You would need an onsite leader and have the more mentally astute people organize and run the shelter as a return on staying there. Most empty buildings have some type of bathroom. We would need to figure out how to get the water and electric paid for.Cots and additional portable bathroom facilities could be brought in. All of this could be closed down quickly if the building sold. It costs the city money to control and track the homeless population. By having specific locations that administer shelter to this group you have control and could save on the budget. Because the city would see savings regarding the handling of homeless people. They could give the building owners a tax break on the property as compensation. This tax break may even be enough to pay for the water & electric. This kind of effort can be rolled out slowly one or two location to see if the idea is viable. I believe the Churches would get behind this since they already run an onsite program of taking a week to house the homeless in the winter.
#2 Great article in the Va. Pilot this week on the "Blankets for Homeless". 2 women making a huge difference! maybe make "I care" kits with combs, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, etc. and help deliver them to our "tent cities" here in Va. Beach. Or care packages for children of homeless with socks, T-shirt, etc.
#3 Take the theme from the Va. Conference on Mission: "Together we CAN" and do a canned food drive. People from our congregation can go to their own neighborhoods to collect food items or monetary donations. We may also be able to place collection bins in local stores, banks, theatres, schools, etc. another name could be: "Yes, we CAN make a difference!"
#4 "Manna bags"--consists of a new pair of adult tube socks, a few bandages, several nonperishable granola bars, some Vienna sausage or other non perishable food, an envelope of Cup of soup or instant oatmeal, and a gift card for a few $ at a fast food restaurant. You may add a verse and a prayer as well and the address of your church with an invitation to services, WED night meals, food pantry, etc. These bags are to be given out to any homeless person you meet. The "Manna Bags" sound similar to the "Agape Bags" that the youth at Foundry UMC make up and give out to those who might be requesting help at stoplights, etc. They do include information on a scripture verse, info on their church, and their food pantry, etc. in each of the bags. Bottles of water are included along with non-perishable small food items that don't require cooking, many utensils, etc.
#5 We could have a church wide yard sale to raise funds for any number of charities. A local charity ... I read recently that VB pulled funding for the PIN dental support for the homeless, and they are looking for donations. You can read about it here... http://pinministry.org/_blog/PIN_Ministry/post/Funding_Crisis_City_of_Virginia_Beach_Pulled
Funding_for_PIN%27s_Dental_Program/ . Also, there are several organizations working to get clean water to so many around the world and they need funding. This is a basic necessity that we take for granted.
#6 A church in TX and another in Winchester, VA are part of a local ministry that would house 2-3 homeless families that are working to get back on their feet. They have jobs, but need a place to stay, eat, etc. Each participating church hosted them for one week on a rotating basis. Gave them a place to sleep in the church, provided their meals, and watched the children during the afternoon, etc. Maybe there is already one going on in this area, and we could participate? Or maybe we could start one? There would obviously be many details to work out, but I think it could make a big impact. This is also a good way to involve families with school age children to help with the childcare/playtime.
#7 In Maryland this winter they had the Drive-thru Difference ran by the local radio station. We could do something similar but change the phone number and or our twitter and include an invite to our church. From the KTIS website: It’s simple: Go to a drive-thru for your morning coffee, or out for a quick bite for lunch, or anywhere you go to make a purchase and just pay the bill of the person behind you and show a little kindness. You’ll impact someone’s day in ways much greater than just buying something for yourself. To get started, simply Download a Drive-thru Difference Note (PDF). Print it out, even a few copies, and take it with you when you go about your day. Hand it to the cashier to give to the person in the car behind you. It’s a great little note to let them know you cared and it’s a perfect opportunity to introduce them to KTIS…and maybe, just maybe, introduce them to Christ.
#8 We could find an organization that we want to support and everyone donate something of value from crystal, to furniture and also ask merchants to donate things like meals, motel rooms, jewelry, and etc. Then we can find an auctioneer to auction the items off with proceeds going to that fund. We have done this in the past to raise money to help bury a child. We raised over $8,000. This will be of no expense to us. The auctioneer usually puts it on his website for us for free. They both donated their services for the cause.
#9 My thought would be to hold a combination community resource fair and family fun day. We could also involve local businesses and have a community sale fundraiser, with the proceeds from sales going toward outreach via the existing and expanding food pantry, a community clothes closet (storage) and a ministry designed to connect individuals to employment opportunities and skill development. So basically a combination of things, all Christ-centered, that would provide a means for feeding, clothing and ultimately positioning people in need to get back on their feet, or just promote well-being in uncertain times. I feel that we really need to look at long term sustainability of our outreach efforts now if we want to grow our reach in the community, and while feeding people what we can is fabulous, the number in need is going to keep growing. If we can bring people in by offering and providing basic needs, provide opportunities for developing self-sufficiency and then deploy those people to then help others in need, then we have a process that can be duplicated, grow exponentially, and maybe really can change the world.
For this upcoming event, if we start right away, we have a little time to get business sponsorships, which could provide an opportunity for local businesses to show and sell their products or services with a percentage of profits going to CCUMC, marked for community based programs. Organizations could also recruit for employment opportunities; make it a job fair too. We could invite schools and colleges to attend and provide info on programs, financial aid and scholarships, etc. Local agencies like VEC, VB Social Services, VB Redevelopment & Housing could provide info on assistance that they offer. There could be information and resources for health and wellness for all. I'm sure we could get Sentara/Optima Health to participate there. We could schedule mini breakout sessions for presentations on various topics like resume writing, public assistance options; networking; finance management, etc. And of course we would need info on all of our ministries and programs, and how to get involved. We could even give out a spiritual gifts assessment at the event. A "yard sale" section could be set up for whatever people want to sell and participants could either pay a table fee or donate the proceeds back to the church. For the family fun part, we would need activities for kids, youth and adults. Again, sponsorships could be used to cover big ticket items like a bounce house, free food, bottled water, etc. Raffle prizes (maybe a themed basket prepared & given by each ministry area) with winners announced at Sunday services, could be fun too, and a way to get people back. We could possibly host a blood drive onsite during the event. If we distribute groceries or clothing at the event, those areas would need to be set up and managed. Otherwise, we would need to provide info and coordinate getting those people in need connected to clothes "shop" and receive food pantry items. Entertainment could be donated by local bands as well as our in-house talent...
There are tons of things that could be incorporated into a community resource/family fun fair, and it could provide great exposure, starting with a press release with advertising driven by partnering businesses. Could we move the date out a few weeks...maybe six?! (:
#10 Support the GOOD NEWS JAIL & PRISON MINISTRY.
#11 During last 2012 Mission trip to Miss. for Katrina help, we learned the church at Van Cleave did a
"the church has left the building" Sunday. Everyone would come in work clothes and after short
church service for everyone, they would go out into the community to help others. .
#12 Judeo-Christian Outreach does an incredible job in our community in assisting the homeless with food and shelter. But they also help to get these folks medical and dental care and try to get people back to work and on toward an independent status when possible. They are somewhat limited in what they are able to do based upon their size and staff. Our church, along with other churches in the area, has been instrumental in providing a food outreach to this organization. I would love to see our church, again along with other churches if possible, offer any additional assistance to this wonderful organization in order to assist more people in our area in such dire need.
#13 The MIM & CORE have already scheduled an automobile safety check & car wash for Saturday that
weekend 9-1. We can advertise to a broader base
#14 Holding one special Sunday service at the 31st St. Stage at the oceanfront. We could play praise songs, Randy could share the Word we could hand out bibles to the public that are there. There's also may be some homeless that could show up. The old Sat. Night Praise team held a service one Sunday morning there several years ago and it was received very well by the people there. It was only the Sat. Svs crew that participated and we were a bit overwhelmed with not enough of us to respond to the people who came by. We also took up a spontaneous special offering for a homeless couple that came by. Since then, I've always thought that was a missed opportunity for all the people who attended Sunday morning to take part in what was some real street outreach.
#15 I'm for the yard sale. Since we don't have much time until that weekend, it would take the least amount of time to put together. People are always looking for a place to donate. Advertising is easy. This is a good time of year when people go from one yard sale to another. This may be a way to set up a fund for those calls that have to be turned away, the food pantry and of course missions.
#16 “Fill a Bag, Feed the Hungry”—each person drops off paper bags with info on them 1-2 weeks before. Saturday, May 18 bags can be left outside for pick-up or dropped off at CCUMC. Truck out in front of CCUMC with banner on it. Donations go to the Southeastern VA Food Bank and the CCUMC Food Pantry
#17 “Plant Peace”—purchase a small 2” plant for a $1 donation. Donations go to various charities or
#18 “Flowers for Folks in Need”—buckets of flowers. $1/stem. Donations go to various charities or
#19 Add a clothes closet/book closet to the new and improved Wednesdays. Ask for donations. If
storage is an issue…fundraiser to buy a large shed
#20 Yard Sale at church to raise money for missions—held in Family Life Center—leftovers go to
Ronald McDonald House or CHKD
#21 Golf Tournament to raise money for missions
#22 Kickball Tournament to raise money for missions
#23 “Run for Mission” 3K, 5K and 10K races
#24 Focus on this mission in Guatemala www.livingtoserve.org where some from CCUMC have gone and
#25 Adopt a nursing home and let it begin on the “Change the World” weekend and then plan events
throughout the year to be a presence in the lives of the residents
#26 Do a needs assessment at one of the area homeless shelters and plan a huge work day on the
“Change the World” Weekend and do building repairs, new linens, yard work, wash windows, meet the
guests, provide a meal, etc
#27 Plan a huge “field day” for the kids and families in the community. Almost like a “fair” with food,
games, rides, rent inflatable moon bounce, rock climbing walls, etc and have a free carnival for
#28 Adopt a school in need in the area. Do a needs assessment and raise money to buy supplies, make
repairs, provide outdoor play areas. Could even lead to tutoring and volunteering