On November 17, 20 volunteers from our church spent the morning sorting food for distribution to the partner agencies. We sorted 5642 pounds of food that will create 188,550 meals for families. The Mission committee wants to thank our members for their numerous methods of supporting the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan!
The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan helps provide food to the hungry in 22 counties in the eastern half of Michigan. Over 19% of the people in eastern Michigan are food insecure. There are 400 partner agencies in 22 counties that work daily to make a difference. 98% of the money raised goes toward services.
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 them in sorting food for distribution.
Over 140 people from the Fenton churches showed up to walk in the 2018 CROP Walk on October 7 including 42 people from our church. We think this is a record number of walkers from our church! The contest between St. Jude’s and FFPC increased participation and interest! Since we “won”, Pastor Robbie was a good sport and shaved his beard off!! Because St. Jude’s participation was also up, Pastor Tracy still dyed her hair green.
This was Fenton’s 38th annual walk for the Fenton, Lake Fenton, Linden and Holly area. Walkers proceeded past various stations with Bush Park designed to raise hunger awareness as well as around downtown Fenton. Alternately, participants could sit and rock at one location or could do Jazzercise at another.
Approximately $14,000 is raised each year through this walk to “end 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.
On Saturday, September 15, volunteers from our church had a wonderful time assisting Adopt-a-Pet on a sunny fall day. We cleaned the dog kennels, weeded the flower beds, painted the doorways and cleared some brush. Since 2006, Adopt-a-Pet has found homes for over 3000 cats and dogs and funded veterinary care for some very sick animals. Their objective is “to find loving homes for homeless dogs and cats as well as assist people in the community to find homes for their personal animals.” We use our time, talents and a portion of our mission budget to assist them in meeting this objective.
We are happy to report that our Read & Feed program was a great success for our seventh year! We registered 19 second and third grade readers from area elementary schools who had been identified as needing assistance with reading. We hoped to “jump-start” their fall schooling by providing them with four 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 to trained dogs, to have us read to them, to play word games, to sing songs and play games using music, to create various arts and craft 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 next several days. We also sent them home with books that were contributed by the congregation.
Parents were overwhelmingly positive about the program. All of the students were excited and enthused to participate. The reading specialists at the various elementary schools have indicated that we are making a positive difference!
We want to thank the MANY volunteers from our church and St. Jude’s who made this outreach possible. Thank you to our congregation for their support of our mission budget that enables this type of outreach. We also 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 Saturday, July 14, 2018, our church supported the Bastille Day Race in downtown Fenton. This year the race generated $23,750 for the Genesee County Habitat for Humanity chapter and brought thousands of visitors into Fenton. The 15k race began at 7:45 am while the 5k run/walk began at 8:00 am. Both races were wrapping up by 10:00 am. Food and entertainment were available behind city hall where the race results were also posted.
Our church supplied nine volunteers who assisted with traffic control at 6 neighborhood corners plus five participants in the race. Thanks to everyone for assisting this worthwhile cause. Everyone had a great time!
We want to thank the 30 people who showed up to donate their blood, the 27 people who were able to donate, the Boy Scouts for assisting in setting up and packing the equipment, the members who made cookies and the members who hosted the drive on Saturday, June 2. We are grateful that we can host such an important life-preserving event for our community! In addition, we use some of our local mission budget to support the Red Cross programs.
On Saturday, May 5th, nine volunteers from our church traveled to the North End Soup Kitchen in Flint to prepare and serve a lunch to people in crisis. Since it is early in the month, “only” about 40 people showed up to be served a meal; the number grows as they run out of food money later in each month. Our volunteers find this an especially meaningful outreach in seeing the need and feeling like they are doing something very important.
On April 21, nine volunteers from our church went to serve at the Shelter of Flint. We organized their attic storage, cleaned one of their apartments, and cleaned and waxed their dining room floor. We helped them make a difference in our world using our time, talents and treasure (we use some of the mission budget to support their essential services).
The Shelter of Flint has several essential programs that serve more than 1000 adults and children each day!
- They provide emergency shelter for the homeless
- They provide transitional and permanent housing
- They provide comprehensive housing placement services in Genesee County
- They provide the Homeless Outreach program a point of entry into services for Genesee County including street outreach, wrap around services that partner with other community agencies, and information and referrals for needed services
Members from our church as well as the community met on Sunday evening, January 21, 2018 to discuss human trafficking in our county and what we can do about it. In its various forms, it amounts to slavery in our times! More than 75% of the victims in the US were born and raised here. Approximately 1 million men, women and children are victims. Approximately $40 billion a year is generated from human slave trading.
Mr. Steve Kramer from the Michigan State Police described how prevalent it is, how easily it occurs and how vigilant we need to be. If you know someone is in immediate danger, call 911. The national human trafficking hotline is always available to request help or find services: 1-888-373-7888.
Ms. Amy Rouleau described her personal story as well as the plans to construct a Restoration Place to house and help heal up to 12 girls at a time. They have purchased the land and are about half-way to obtaining enough funds to build the home. We are encouraged to assist in their fund-raising efforts by: (a) donating your loose change in a jam jar and returning it to our church by February 25 or (b) making a donation via their website (www.RestorationPlace.org) or via mail (P.O. Box 37, Swartz Creek, MI 48473) or in person.
Mrs. Polly Sheppard, an elder in our church and on numerous relevant boards in Genesee County, described the many facets of the efforts in Genesee County to address this huge problem. Polly described how we can be part of the solution. Please let Polly know how you would be willing to help.
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 9. We were again impressed with the generosity of our community through their donations to the red kettle. The mission committee wants to sincerely thank the many volunteers for making a difference in our community!