On a cold and wintery day, our members shared their Christmas Joy with the community and helped the Salvation Army raise some money so that more local families could enjoy Christmas. Our members smiled, sang Christmas carols and greeted shoppers at VG’s on Silver Lake Parkway as well as at WalMart on Saturday, December 14. We were again impressed with the generosity of our community through their donations to the red kettle (and some even bought hot beverages for our “cool” volunteers).
On December 7, 2013, our church hosted our second Red Cross Blood Drive of the year. We want to thank the 47 people who showed up to donate their blood and give the gift of life to others. We also want to thank the Boy Scouts for assisting in setting up and packing up the equipment, the members who baked cookies, and the members who hosted the drive. The weather was great and the Jinglefest activities gave us some additional walk-in donors.
It’s nearly time for the Deacons’ Christmas Project. Our congregation will have the opportunity to help a family have a more joyous Christmas. You’ll be able to help by purchasing a grocery bag of food, or clothes and/or a toy for a child. This will all start November 17th after church services. Look for the Deacons at a table in the Fellowship Hall.
“In 2012, 49 million people or 1 in 6 people lived in food insecure households. Together, we can do something to provide relief to our neighbors in need. We appreciate your willingness to keep hunger relief in your philanthropic giving and we will continue to be good stewards of your funds, stretching every dollar into 6 meals for a hungry family”. 21,092,901 pounds of food were distributed in 2012 throughout 22 Michigan counties. These comments are taken from the 2012 Annual Report of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.
Through your pledges to our church’s program, the mission committee makes donations to the Food Bank. In addition, our members have supported their Empty Bowls fund raiser in September as well as volunteering our hands to assist in sorting food for distribution. On October 19, six volunteers from our church spent the morning sorting food. The mission committee wants to thank our members for their numerous methods of supporting the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and their vital ministry!
In spite of the overcast day, over 90 people from the Fenton churches showed up to walk today in the 2013 CROP Walk including 12 people from our church. This was Fenton’s 33rd annual walk for the Fenton, Lake Fenton, Linden and Holly area. Almost $300,000 has been raised over those years “ending hunger one step at a time”. One-fourth of the money raised this year will be used to support three local agencies: FISH (Food Pantry) in Linden, St. Jude’s School Lunch Program and Fenton UMC Food Bank.
A number of our members traveled to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint again this year to enjoy their 23rd Empty Bowls fund raiser on Thursday, September 26. A $20.00 donation to the Food Bank entitles a person to select a ceramic bowl created by one of the art classes in Flint; they can take this bowl home. Then they can sample from a variety of soups and breads donated by over 30 area restaurants. We enjoyed the food, fellowship and entertainment! This fundraiser occurs every September; watch for the event next year.
Fourteen volunteers from our church traveled to the North End Soup Kitchen in Flint on Saturday, September 28, to prepare and serve a lunch to people in crisis. Larry Zimbler again headed up our meal preparation by deciding on a menu, obtaining the food, and organizing our volunteers. We served beef tacos, refried beans, Spanish rice, fruit cocktail and two large sheet cakes to about 114 people. Everyone really liked the meal and we enjoyed their company.
We are happy to report that our Read & Feed program was a great success for our second year! We hosted 29 second and third grade readers from the Fenton elementary schools who had been identified as needing assistance with their reading. We hoped to “jump-start” their fall schooling by providing them with six mornings of reading experiences as well as food for breakfast and lunch. We used most of our church to have the students read to us or trained dogs, to have us read to them, to play word games, to sing songs and play games using music, to create various craft and science projects, and to have lots of fun! We used our new kitchen to serve them breakfast and lunch the days they were here. We sent food home for them and their siblings for the remainder of the two weeks. Volunteers created a book bag for each student; we used these bags each day and then sent them home with several books that were contributed by the congregation.
We want to thank the nearly 70 volunteers from our church and St. Jude’s who made this outreach possible. We want to thank the congregation for their support of our mission budget that enables this type of outreach. We want to thank Jet’s Pizza and Uncle Ray’s Dairyland for contributing the food for our final lunch; it was a huge hit with the students!
On Thursday, August 1, we hosted a picnic at Silver Lake Park Beach in Fenton for the Whaley Children’s Center. We were pleased that 40 youth and 12 staff attended from Whaley. They had a great time and were very appreciative; they look forward to this picnic each year. We would like to thank the congregation for their support of our mission budget that enables this type of outreach. We would also like to thank the many members who contributed food and hosted the picnic. We also thank Jet’s Pizza for contributing 16 pizzas again this year.
On Saturday, July 13, our church supported the Bastille Day Race in downtown Fenton. Each year, this race has generated over $18,000 for Genesee County Habitat for Humanity and brought thousands of visitors into Fenton. This year they were hoping to have a record 1500 runners/walkers! The 15k race began at 7:45 am while the 5k walk/run began at 8:00 am. Food and entertainment were available at the gazebo where the race results were also posted.
Our church supplied eleven volunteers who assisted with traffic control at 8 neighborhood corners. Thank you to the volunteers for assisting in this worthwhile cause! Everyone had a great time!