FUMCOG’s members celebrate each Christmas and Easter by making a special offering for community needs. The Community Needs Committee accepts grant proposals from the local community for projects that promote social justice or community empowerment, especially (but not exclusively) in Northwest Philadelphia. They are reviewed by a committee of church members, which makes decisions based on the size of the population to be served, the nature of the services provided, and expected benefits to the community.
CHRISTMAS OFFERING 2019
Money collected during the Christmas offering will be shared by the following recipients in grants ranging between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars.
will use a share of the Offering for renovations of their Bridge House Transitional Housing, which provides accommodation for 32 single homeless women on the campus in West Philadelphia. Many Bridge House residents have suffered trauma of various sorts, including domestic violence, family estrangement, debilitating mental illness and significant financial problems. They receive services in Bridge House to help address such problems during their time in the residence.
Assist the Reyes and Thompson Families
Our guests in Sanctuary, seeking refuge from the efforts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deport them to the life-threatening dangers they fled. A portion of the Offering will be paid to the New Sanctuary Movement to meet the families’ necessities and the balance will be placed in the church’s Sanctuary Hold Account to meet the extensive incidental expenses which FUMCOG incurs.
The Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN)
A long-standing partner of FUMCOG, seeking support for their homeless prevention work. There has been a gradual shift in priorities in the homeless support movement to focus more resources on preventing homelessness, rather than always ‘picking up the pieces’ for families after the event. It is far less costly, both financially and emotionally to prevent an eviction, as compared to dealing with the consequences of such an event. PIHN is seeking funds to match money from ‘Help Us Move In’, a national program that offers ‘seed money’, but then requires a local match. Funds received will help towards PIHN’s goal of significantly increasing the number of families receiving effective prevention services.
The following recipients are sharing the $7,450 collected during Easter. These grant recipients receive monies ranging between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars.
Urban Reources Development Corp
The mission of the Urban Resources Development Corporation (URDC) is to help stabilize neighborhoods by assisting residents with home repairs and rehabilitation. The funds from this offering with specifically assist 2-3 families who live near FUMCOG. Volunteer crews from our congregation also assist with these efforts.
Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry
The Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry assists local residents during financial crisis by facilitating access to local resources. They assist with food, utilities and housing issues to move families toward financial independence. The grant money will help purchase a large freezer necessary after partnering with two local grocery stores.
The Philadelphia Unemployment Project
The Philadelphia Unemployment Project serves to organize low-income and unemployed residents to empower them to overcome barriers that keep them from progressing financially. One such project is 'reverse commuting' whereby car and van-pools are organized to support residents traveling to the suburbs for employment opportunities. They hope to increase their service from 40 people to 300!
Sunday Suppers helps low-income families improve overall health and wellness through family meals. The 5-month program includes learning together about good nutrition, provision of recipes and hands-on cooking skills. The grant will assist in the purchase of an industrial size refrigerator to store the large amount of food needed for the program.
St. Vincent de Paul New Sanctuary Committee
As part of their sanctuary mission, St. Vincent de Paul New Sanctuary Committee hosted a lecture on April 13, 2018 called "The Country We Want to Be: A Faith-Based Reflection on Immigrants and Refugees." In collaboration with Chestnut Hill College, this program featured the director of the Center for Migration Studies. Grant monies supported the costs of this program.