Spotlighting Our Local, National & International Outreach
Summer is here! The weather is warming. This is the time of year for vacations. For the Missions Committee, things are a little slower too. With school out, Truscott needs can be shelved for a little while. There's certainly not the flurry of activity that we see in November and December. So we'll enjoy a little respite, but that doesn't mean we don't have plans on the horizon.
Tentatively planned for Sunday, October 15th, the Missions Committee will be sponsoring a Missions Fair. We will be highlighting volunteer opportunities in the community and within our own walls. Coy Hall will be the epicenter for the event with tables on the perimeter where representatives can answer your questions about volunteering. Our plan is to have representatives from organizations with which our church has close ties, such as Community Kitchen or Pastor Woody's laundry truck, as well as other in the community. Of course, a fair like this wouldn't be complete without snacks and drinks, so mark your calendar.
UMC ... our church ... our congregation has a long history of following the Christian tenant of aiding those less fortunate ... those in need. Whether it's traveling on mission trips both foreign and domestic, helping out at the local food bank, or donating to charity, we have walked the walk. The Missions Committee would like to learn more about where you serve, how you make a difference, and what organizations you'd like to know more about. Perhaps you'd like to share your volunteer experiences by writing about them in the Mission Memo. Or relate what Mission means to you. To get in touch with the Missions Committee, you can reply to this email or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As our family likes to say: It's just math! In this case, it was an over-count in the Easter Offering. It was originally reported at $9490 but when it was reviewed, the revised number came in at $8,250.60. That's still a very large donation from our generous congregation. A third of the original amount, about $3160, had been delivered to Community Kitchen before the error was discovered. Unfortunately that meant that hurricane relief directed by UMCOR and earthquake relief in Turkey and Syria would be getting a smaller piece of the pie. But these three organizations are receiving funds to help make things right in the world thanks to you, the members of First United Methodist Church.
On Saturday May 13th, the Loveland community stepped up to help fight hunger in our county. The National Association of Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Day is a nationwide event. Postal carriers distribute bags ahead of the event and then pick up the filled bags on their routes. The Food Bank for Larimer County had representatives and volunteers at the Loveland Post Office on Cleveland and three other Post Offices in the county to collect the food donations.
Pro-Tip: for those volunteers looking to avoid a strenuous workout, sign up for the first shift. The Food Bank had two 2 hour shifts at 1:30pm and 3:30pm. When we showed up for the second shift, the first shift crew was standing around chatting. But soon after, a postal delivery truck showed up and we all made quick work of transferring bags into totes (big cardboard bins on wooden pallets) located in the Food Bank truck backed up to the Post Office loading dock. The first shift had managed to nearly fill three totes full of donated food, but they were done so they soon left. That's when things picked up with a steady stream of postal carriers returning to unload their trucks.
Actually, not all the first shift volunteers left. Rylan, a tall, lanky high school senior chose to work both shifts. He is enlisted in the Marines with plans to go to boot-camp in August, so he thought he'd get a good workout helping to collect tons of food. He wasn't wrong!
For Thadd, delivery truck driver for the Food Bank, this was not his first postal food drive . He figured he'd volunteer early so he could get his choice of location before he was "volun-told". He had worked the Post Office on Cleveland before because it was convenient. Optimistically, he brought 15 totes to fill with donations. The most he had filled before was 8 totes.
For the next hour and a half, we unloaded mail trucks and roller bins filled with bags of food practically non-stop. Thadd kept moving empty totes into the back of the truck and we would fill them up. We continued until all 15 totes were filled, at which point we started stacking bags on the floor of the truck. We probably could have fit more, but Thadd, who is also safety officer for the Food Bank, pumped the brakes on adding more in order to stay under the 8000 lb weight limit for the truck. He requisitioned some of the metal-wire totes used by the post office to collect the remaining donations. After the final mail truck had rolled in, there were three additional filled totes left at the post office to be picked up the next week. The total donations at Cleveland more than doubled those of prior drives. Loveland had recognized the need and had outdone themselves this year!
A few days later at the Food Bank, the comment was made that this drive generates the most waste. People will clean out their cupboards to provide food for those in need without regard to how old it is. Generally, processed food is good beyond the marked expiration (or "Best By") date but the Food Bank won't distribute food beyond specific limits. They require that canned food expiration dates be no more that one year old and other packaged food can't be older than six months. Baby food has the tightest restriction at one month before expiration. But fear not, the food outside the limits doesn't end up in the landfill. Instead, there are several local farmers that take the waste to feed their hogs or other animals. There's even one woman raising chickens who takes some of the unusable donations.
This is the biggest food drive of the year for the Food Bank. It's an important event to ensure those dealing with food insecurity can put a healthy meal on the table. Doubly important since it has gotten harder for the Food Bank to find grants to support operations with the declared end to the Federal COVID-10 Public Health Emergency. The Loveland community is to be commended for its outpouring to and compassion for those less fortunate in need of food.
Colorado Kids Belong-We believe in a
family for every child.
a child is removed from his or her family as a result of abandonment,
abuse or neglect, a foster family stands in the gap until the child
and family can be reunified. 4,248 kids in Colorado are in
Foster care right now.
In Colorado about 35 percent
of kids are successfully reunified with their families; 17 percent
are not and often seek adoption. We are working to recruit and retain
enough foster parents to ensure every Colorado child can count on a
safe, supportive place to belong.
the greatest need is for foster parents, there is also a great need
for “Foster Family Helpers.” A
foster family helper is a volunteer that is screened and trained
through the Department of Human Services (DHS) and, once approved,
can be matched with a foster family based on interests, type of
support needed, and location. Depending on needs they may
provide ongoing support such as: transportation, meals, or childcare.
process to become a foster family helper includes attending foster
care orientation, attending a 1-hour training that is conduct monthly
over Zoom, completing a background check, and fingerprinting. The
county pays for the background checks and fingerprinting so it is
completely free to become a foster family helper. The whole process
usually takes about 4-6 weeks.
FUMC Mission/Social Concerns Committee has interest in promoting
Foster Care and Foster Family Helpers. For further information
please contact Barry Wehrle or see the Colorado Kids Belong website:
The Cupboard is Bare
This is a reminder about the food pantry at Trinity Church. Back in September of 2021, the Missions Committee was considering relocation of the original pantry started by Sharon Anhorn when Trinity swooped in to provide space on their property. We pledged to support the pantry.
Since then, Sharon's Little Free Pantry has received a facelift. As indicated on the dedication plaque, a much larger double door cabinet was built by Bob Troendly back in November 2022 to replace the two smaller cabinets. There is plenty of space, but the shelves are pretty empty right now.
Donations can be dropped off at the pantry which is easily accessible on the southwest corner of Trinity Church. As clearly posted on the cabinet door, only nonperishable food, toiletries and pet food are accepted, so that means no perishable food, clothing, etc. Also the Missions Committee will consider occasionally holding mini food drives at the church on Sundays to support the Little Free Pantry. Check The Window for details as they become available.
The church has received many thank you cards from Harvest Pointe residents who were recipients of our Christmas gift bags. The bags included a $100 gift card and a couple of snowmen. The King Soopers Community Rewards Program helped to fund these gifts through your purchases. The thank you cards pictured represent less than half of the number that the church received. As you can see from the photos of some of the notes sent by the residents, the gift bags were very much appreciated.
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