The primary mission of the Board of Outreach Ministries (BOM) is to extend the hands of the church by identifying and supporting individuals or organizations that provide for the less fortunate and improve the conditions of others. In Fiscal Year 2017 Outreach contributed $56,000 to 14 agencies and programs. This amount includes mission grants that are set aside as a portion of annual pledges and well as special offerings collected at Easter and World Communion Sunday. We make contributions to national, international, and local agencies and programs, as well as FCC programs. The most recent year for which we made mission grant contributions was 2017. With the church moving to a calendar year fiscal year, additional grants will be made in February 2019.
In 2017 we supported PADS, an individual PADS’ client, scholarships for pre-school students, and Lighthouse (a program for LGBTQ youth).
Most of our funds went to local agencies that provide services and programs in the South Suburbs. In FY ’17 the following agencies were supported with grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000:
Jones Memorial Community Center, Chicago Heights
Contact: Cheryl Roop, Executive Director
Established in 1917, programs include emergency financial assistance; a food pantry and free lunches; classes in technology, financial literacy, health and wellness, and children and youth tutoring and mentoring. FCC funds were used to support additional programs, particularly in the evening and among teens and preteens.
Bethel Family Resource Center, Chicago Heights
Contact: Tonii Harris Taylor, Program Director
Bethel offers 15 programs that include adult literacy programs, job training for teens and young adults, after school tutoring, and a summer performing arts and film camp for youth ages 8-18. FCC funds were used to pay tuition for 15 youth to attend the 8-week camp.
Respond Now, Chicago Heights
Contact: Carl Wolf, Executive Director
Respond Now focuses on hunger, health, and housing. Services include a food pantry and a community garden, rent and utility assistance, housing counseling and temporary lodging assistance, transportation assistance, and prescription medication. FCC funds were used to assist families that were in danger of having their utilities disconnected or being evicted.
Overflow Ministries, Flossmoor
Contact: John Harvey, Missions Coordinator, email@example.com
Overflow is a ministry of the Korean United Methodist Church of South Suburban Chicago. The organization offers a furniture pantry, a clothing ministry, a monthly free breakfast, toy and turkey give-aways, and senior visitations. Last year FCC funds were used to remodel and upgrade their clothing pantry rooms.
Restoration Ministries, Harvey IL
Contact: Karen Vyrdolyak, Development Coordinator
Established in 1988 to serve those with addiction issues, Restoration Ministries now operates over 20 programs including an after-school program, a boxing club and arts education program, summer and spring break camps, a food pantry and several thrift stores. FCC funds were used to buy materials for the agency’s ESL classes, and to pay neighborhood residents to provide day care for parents who attend the classes during the day.
South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS), Homewood
Contact: Jennifer Gabrenya, Executive Director
SSFS is a domestic violence services provider to the south suburbs. The organization provides a range of services including prevention, emergency shelter, transitional housing, child and adult counseling and abuser intervention. FCC funds were used to help with operations during the recent state budget crisis.
We make an annual contribution to the South Suburban Diversity Dinners, in which local residents from various backgrounds share a meal, usually in a private home, with the goal of enhancing communication across different racial and ethnic groups.
We provide ongoing support to Kiva , an international micro-loan program. The 2017 Easter Offering was divided between the FCC Weekday Preschool and the Equal Justice Initiative, a Birmingham-based organization that works to end injustices in the criminal justice system. The 2017 World Communion Offering was shared by the Sheilah Doyle Foundation which runs a grief camp for children who’ve lost a significant other to homicide, and the Second Harvest Food Bank an Orlando based program that distributed food in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
In 2018 the Easter Offering was divided between the Chicago Community Bond Fund, which contributes bail money to those who can’t afford it, and Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) which grew out of the Sandy Hook shootings and works to reduce gun violence. The 2018 World Communion Offering was divided between The Center for Inclusivity, a Chicago based group that works to foster healing communities among people of all faiths, genders and sexual orientations and Mully Children’s Family the largest children’s rescue and rehabilitation organizations in Africa.
Church members are strongly encouraged to volunteer with our partner agencies. Volunteer opportunities are listed on their websites; if an individual is listed above, contact that person directly. Or, you may contact the BOM chair, Esther Jenkins, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEED YOUR IDEAS
If there is a program – local, national or international - that you would like to have considered for an outreach grant, please send that information to Esther Jenkins at email@example.com