Eight volunteers from our church braved another day during the COVID pandemic to first sort donated supplies and then to assemble 40 Snuggle Sacks on Saturday, January 16. Each sack holds various hygiene supplies, one meal, socks, gloves, and a blanket. They deliver these sacks to homeless shelters as well as on the streets of Flint. They were grateful for our assistance and we are very grateful for their service to the MANY homeless people in our area.
Snuggle Sacks is a new mission outreach opportunity for our church to serve the homeless in Michigan. It was founded 5 years ago by then-8-year-old Addisyn Goss of Fenton and her siblings after discovering that their grandfather had been homeless. They gave us a better understanding of the needs of the homeless and how essential this type of support is to survival. Her family is now distributing about 800 sacks to the homeless each month. The program continues to expands in Michigan and now Indiana.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, access to food has become even more important for everyone. Our church supplied a small group of volunteers (at their request) to assist the North End Soup Kitchen in preparing a warm lunch and other foods for the people of Flint who are struggling the most. We prepared a warm meal of French toast, diced potatoes and sausage patties for 60 people and placed them into Styrofoam containers. In addition, we prepared 183 ham sandwiches and placed them into sandwich bags. We also helped sort various incoming food supplies into more usable tubs that were sorted by specific food types. All of this while maintaining the best social distancing practices that we were able to perform. We felt that this was a very worthwhile outreach that also made us feel very useful.
The Shelter of Flint serves more than 1000 homeless adults and children every day! The average stay for their client is 37 days and they consistently report 90% in positive housing destinations.
On February 22, ten volunteers from our church went to serve at the Shelter of Flint. We organized their attic storage and washed/waxed their dining room floor. Our church family 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: (1) They provide emergency shelter for the homeless, (2) They provide transitional and permanent housing, (3) They provide comprehensive housing placement services in Genesee County, and (4) They provide the Homeless Outreach program as a point of entry for Genesee County including street outreach, wrap around services that partner with other community agencies, and information and referrals for needed services.
Twenty-one volunteers from our church braved a very wintery day to sort products and assemble 75 Snuggle Sacks in Fenton on Saturday, January 18. Each sack holds various hygiene supplies, one meal, socks, gloves, and a blanket. Our grateful thanks to all those in the congregation and to the Deacons who donated a large number of supplies for the sacks!
Snuggle Sacks is a new mission outreach opportunity for our church to serve the homeless in Michigan and was founded 4 years ago by Fenton preteen Addisyn Goss and her siblings after discovering their grandfather had been homeless. Addisyn gave us a better understanding of the needs of the homeless and how essential this type of support is to survival. Her family is now distributing about 1000 sacks to the homeless each month on the street and outside homeless shelters. The program continues to expand in Michigan and now Indiana.
“Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation. One donation can potentially save up to 3 lives. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.” — Red Cross
We had another very successful blood drive. We had a goal to collect 38 pints of blood and we collected 37. We want to thank the people who donated the blood, the Boy Scouts for assisting in setting up and packing up the equipment, the members who made cookies and the members who hosted the drive on Saturday, November 30. 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.
Over 19% of the people in eastern Michigan are food insecure! The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan provides food to over 400 partner agencies in 22 counties. A hungry person or family could be your child’s friend from school, your co-worker or even your neighbor.
Here is just one neighbor’s story from the Food Bank clients: Daniel supports his wife and two children by working long hours, six days a week, as a painter. In the past, Daniel’s family had to make some tough choices between paying for their bills and buying food. The family found assistance through their local food pantry, which distributes healthy food at his daughter’s school. “By helping [us] provide for our children now, they are helping us give our children a chance at a better future.”
On Saturday, November 16th, fifteen volunteers from our church performed a mission outreach at the Food Bank on Howard Avenue in Flint. They worked together to review, clean and sort through pallets of food. The group carpooled together from church.
Through your pledges to our church’s program, the mission committee makes donations to the Food Bank: $1 = 6 meals; $20 can feed a family of four for 10 days. 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. The mission committee wants to thank our members for their numerous methods of supporting the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan!
Approximately 30 walkers from our church supported the 2019 CROP Walk on Sunday, October 5, to reduce hunger around the world including Fenton. To encourage youth fund raising efforts, both Tina and Pastor Robbie created a “challenge” and both challenges were met. So Tina had two lime pies thrown at her and Robbie had 50 water balloons thrown at him. A good time was had by all!
This was Fenton’s 39th annual walk for the Fenton, Lake Fenton, Linden and Holly area but the 50th for the national walk. Walkers proceeded past various stations within 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 $355,000 has been raised in the previous 37 years of walking 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.
A group of 8 volunteers from our church assisted building a Habitat home in Gaines on Saturday, July 27. Our group installed siding on the exterior of the home and blocks in the floor joists. We had a very rewarding time.
The homeowner, Stephanie, was a missionary and has scarce financial resources. Stephanie runs a non-profit that supports churches in their mission work by helping them with marketing. Her childhood home burned down when she was a kid so she knows what it is like to lose everything and not have a place to stay. Her passion and appreciation for homeownership are guided by those memories as well as her devotion to Christ. She is very excited about her new home!
On Saturday, July 13, 2019, our church supported the Bastille Day Race in downtown Fenton. Each year, this race generates over $20,000 for the Genesee County Habitat for Humanity chapter and also 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 five volunteers who assisted with traffic control at 5 neighborhood corners plus 2 participants in the race. Thank you to the volunteers for assisting in this worthwhile cause. Everyone had a great time! Our church also provides financial support for the local Habitat chapter through our mission budget; this is only possible with the support of our members through the operating budget.
For 73 years, Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties has provided intervention services for individuals and families in crisis. The North End Soup Kitchen provides food and household supplies. We were blessed to have 7 volunteers from our church make and serve 65 meals on Saturday evening, June 15. We have assisted in alleviating hunger through our time, talents and treasure (we use some of our mission budget money to support their food program).