By Ruth Smith and Melissa Kramer
One aspect of the Ready, Set, Grow grant was to redesign the Care Fund, our emergency assistance funded by your communion donations, to be more relationship driven. Over the past few months, Ruth has been researching programs and learning more about our community’s resources to figure out a way to better serve our neighbors in need. We found that we needed to bring together our Caring Fund and the F2F ministry, because both focus on building relationships with low-income families and individuals while supporting their financial, relational, and spiritual growth. This month, we began our new process.
The Caring Fund works to support and encourage low income people and people in recovery to improve their lives, building on their own actions, gifts and resources. Our goal is to develop transformative relationships with individuals and households, and through our daily life and work, glorify God, support ourselves and our families, and benefit our community. Our guiding verse is 1 John 3:17-18.
We offer gas/grocery cards, utility, and rent assistance to church members and individuals referred by our community partners: Home with Hope, YWCA Domestic Violence Program, and Food Finders. Other forms of assistance are determined on a case by case basis, and require approval from the head pastor.
If others stop by, and have been helped by us in the past, we will meet with them and determine if they are a fit for our program. For those who agree to participate in Family-to-Family, are already in case management, or would like individual on-going support through the Caring Fund, we will support their development as determined with the individual/family.
Volunteers with the Caring Fund work with individuals requesting help and referred to us from our partners. They connect individuals with jobs around the church with the maintenance team, coffee cart ministry, second Tuesday meals, community garden, and more and then follow up with them. If desired, volunteers work with individuals to develop an action plan for longer term support.
We need volunteers that will commit to calling families and individuals to check in with them, follow up, and help us build relationships with our neighbors. Training will be provided. We also need volunteers to attend and assist with the monthly gatherings. If you are interested, please contact Ruth or Melissa.
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