Hunger Walk on April 28th!
The Connecticut Food Bank will soon be sponsoring its annual Walk Against Hunger. This year's event takes place at four locations, including Sunday April 28th at Seaside Park in Bridgeport. To learn more, including how to participate or make a donation, please call 203.469.5000 x302 or visit their website at www.ctfoodbank.org/walk.
As we approach the season of Lent, our thoughts turn to hope and love. Lori Redmer, on behalf of triple negative breast cancer patients everywhere, asks the GFC community to help deliver hope this season! Throughout February, we will be collecting Change for Cancer in the Social Hall during coffee hour. Sunday, 3.3.13 is the Inaugural Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day- a first to raise national awareness and momentum for the cause. Mark your calendars! Join us in the Social Hall following worship to enjoy homemade soups provided by GFC Covenant Group members, to craft your own breast cancer ribbon with Brooke and Claire Redmer, to greet our newest members, pick up your tickets to next Saturday's Mission Trip FUNdraiser -- Country Supper & Contra Dance, and to drop off a few more coins in the TNBC collection jars.
Following the tragic events in Newtown CT, the Outreach Department established a special relief fund called the "Care for Newtown Appeal." We are pleased to report that a total of $7919.48 was collected from contributions by the Outreach department, donations from the congregation, and offerings collected during the three Christmas eve services. These donations were sent to the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ's (UCC) Newtown Relief Fund to assist the families and community of Newtown. This assistance includes much needed counseling for those directly impacted by this terrible tragedy. A special thanks to everyone for their generosity.
Care for Newtown Appeal
Following the tragic events in Newtown, the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC) has established a special relief fund called the "Care for Newtown Appeal." Donations will be dedicated to the assistance of the families and community of Newtown, and their needs in the wake of shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Outreach Department has set up a special Care for Newtown Fund to gather contributions for this effort and has made a gift from its budget. If you wish to make a contribution, please place check in the offering plate or send it to the church office. Please indicate Care for Newtown Fund in the memo section of your check or on an envelope if cash is contributed.
Thanks for a Very Successful Giving Tree!
Thanks to all of the GFC families that contributed to this year's Giving Tree. This week we delivered more than 120 gifts of toys, clothes and books to Christian Community Action in Norwalk. We also provided Bridgeport Rescue Mission with a number of children's toys and more than 50 gift cards that will be distributed to needy families. All told, the contributions from GFC families and a special allocation from the Outreach Department amounted to more than $5,000 in gifts! If you'd like to make a last minute gift, there are still some gift card ornaments on the Giving Tree. Any contribution received before Christmas will be hand delivered to Bridgeport Rescue Mission.
Green's Farms Church supports many local Outreach organizations. We have put together a basic survey in hopes that we can find a good fit for those of you who would like to take advantage of some of the many and varied outreach opportunities. Please click on this Survey Form link to fill out what may be of interest to you and mail it to the church office or place it in the offering plate. A member of our Outreach Department is looking forward to discussing the opportunities with you.
FAMILIES IN NORWALK NEED YOU!
Christian Community Action in Norwalk has a real estate emergency. Green's Farms Church has for many years helped Christi Pope and her team at 98 South Main Street, Norwalk, provide food, clothing, furnishings, and financial assistance to families in need. Now CCA has been given 90 days notice to move. Christi is scouting for 1-2000 sq ft of space close to the current location so clients can continue to walk there. She needs warehouse space, and room for the food pantry, as well as an office. If you have any leads on space, would be able to carry out a building survey, or could help refit the new space when it's found (flooring, shelving, paint etc will be needed) contact Christi at 203-899-2487 or Mary Towers, CCA Board member, or Claire England, Outreach department co-chair.
Tax Assistance Volunteers
Another opportunity is through their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This income tax assistance program thrives off of the volunteers they have been able to secure each January-April. Volunteers can work for as little as a few hours a week and can help dozens of families by filing their tax returns. No previous experience is required. For additional information, please contact Laura Magnotta at 203-334-0293, or email her at email@example.com
There are several volunteer opportunities at the Bacharach Community (Homes for Hope's family emergency shelter for families headed by single women). These include activities with the children, such as babysitting, helping with birthday parties for the homeless children, bingo night in the shelter with the moms and children, help hosting a movie night with popcorn, arts and crafts, preparing a meal, baking cookies, hosting a pizza party, etc. Please contact Paris Looney at 203-222-9260.
Painting/Window Washing Volunteers
Painting of rooms, window washing and exterior work at the Bacharach Community. In the spring, there are numerous gardening opportunities. Please call 203-26-3426x12 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Mentoring Program for Women
Homes with Hope offers a mentoring program for families headed by single women. Please contact Wendy Epstein at 203-222-9260.
Educational and Other Volunteers
There are several opportunities at Mercy Learning Center, including assisting women as reading/math/ESL tutors, child care aides, computer aides, office helpers, workshop presenters, guest speakers, clothing boutique and food pantry workers. For additional information, please contact Kathy Flynn Parisi at 203-334-6699 or email@example.com.
Computer Training Volunteers
Council of Churches of Bridgeport (CCB) is seeking volunteer instructors to teach computer basics to its clients. Ffor GFC members that have computer/teaching skills, CCB will schedule a course(s) at their convenience. Typically, their computer courses are six hours long(two 3-hour sessions) over two days during the week, e.g. 9:30am - 12:30pm, with six students per course. Volunteers, who could commit to teaching one course three or four times during the year, would be offering an invaluable service to the people they serve. For additional information, please contact Dan Braccio at 203-334-1121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Mentor Program
Building Futures Through Mentoring is a partnership between the City of Norwalk, Serving All Vessels Equally (S.A.V.E.), the Human Services Council, Family and Children's Agency and the Norwalk YMCA. This new mentoring initiative coordinates a one-on-one relationship for young people, between the ages of 10 and 18 years old, facing challenges and needing support to succeed. The program provides youth with an adult mentor who can meet with them at least one hour a week at a supervised location, such as the YMCA, a local church or school. The mentor's job is to help the young person define individual goals and find ways to achieve these goals.
All mentors need to complete a formal training before they are allowed to work with the youth. For additional information on the program, please contact Bill Tetreault, Christian Community Liaison at the Norwalk YMCA, at 203-866-4425x339 or email@example.com.
Outreach: Jeff Booth & Claire England, Co-Chairs; Ted Aldrich, Melinda Caldwell, Vince D'Agostino, Greg Gatta, Pam Gau, Bob Makuch, Bill McCutchen, Dale Najarian and Steve West