Missions

GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH MISSION VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Grace Church in Wyckoff has a number of ways you can make a positive difference in our community, our country and our world. You do not have to be a member of our church to volunteer to help those in need. You are invited to participate in a number of different volunteer opportunities - there’s something for everyone who is motivated to help others. To inquire about any of our mission and volunteer opportunities CLICK HERE

HELP PREPARE OR SERVE DINNER AT THE FAMILY PROMISE SHELTER IN HACKENSACK

We provide dinner 4 – 5 times each year for 120-150 underprivileged/homeless people at the shelter. The dinner is cooked at the church and transported by volunteers to the shelter. Volunteers bake desserts, help in the preparation of the dinner, and serve at the shelter. The dire economic situation has had a dramatic impact on the shelter, with more hungry guests than ever. Volunteers of all ages are welcomed to bake and help prep the dinner. You must be at least 14 to serve at the shelter, but many young teens help prep the dinner and provide desserts. Please see our Calendar for upcoming dates.

 


DONATE FOOD OR PARTICIPATE IN A FOOD DRIVE TO HELP STOCK THE SHELVES AT THE CUMAC FOOD PANTRY IN PATERSON

In 1985, CUMAC was incorporated as the Center of United Methodist Aid to the Community Ecumenically Concerned Helping Others (CUMAC/ECHO) – a name meant to show that, while an urban mission of the United Methodist Church, they serve all people in need without discrimination. Currently the organization goes by CUMAC - the shortened name the community knows. A major initiative of Grace Church and the Mission Committee is support of the community food pantry in Paterson. Each year our church donates approximately 15,000 pounds of food and thousands of clothing items for people in need. The funds we provided also help purchase much-needed food for impoverished families.

 

Some of the volunteer opportunities to help CUMAC include:

* Thanks for Giving Food Drive

Each fall we hold our annual “Thanks for Giving” drive to step up our efforts to provide food for the holidays. The “Music Feeds the Soul” concert kicks off the annual food drive. During the drive we collect food and monetary donations from the congregation and from customers at local area stores, involving the entire community. Needed items include canned fruit and vegetables, pasta and pasta sauces, mac & cheese, boxed or packaged potatoes, beans and rice, cake mix and frostings, canned vegetables and fruits, muffin mixes and nuts, canned tuna fish, other canned meats and peanut butter are always needed at the shelter. No glass containers please. The 2013 October/November drive yielded 200 bags of food plus 98 turkeys! Our goal for the 2014 “Thanks for Giving” program is 300 bags of food and 150 turkeys.

* Summer “School’s Out” Food Drive

Each summer CUMAC’s shelves are emptied by the need to provide more food for Paterson families whose children are home on summer break and therefore not receiving subsidized breakfast or lunch. In the summer we receive alerts when the pantry is running dangerously low on peanut butter, tuna fish, cereal and other food items. We hold a special food drive to help provide these items. In 2014 our summer food drive yielded 38 enormous bags of groceries, equivalent to more than 200 typical grocery bags, and $200 in monetary donations. The contributions came from our congregation and customers shopping at a local grocery store.

* The Christmas Angel Gift Program

Each year we fill gift requests from children from Paterson through CUMAC. In 2013 we provided 100 gifts. The recipients of the gifts are often victims of abuse or neglect; many live in homeless or battered women’s shelters or are coping with a terminal illness. Lists of requested gift are available after church services from late October through mid-November. We hope you will open your hearts to these children. Please do not wrap the gifts, but do attach the angel card so that we know who is to receive your gift.

Other CUMAC support efforts include the Feinstein Challenge in which money donated in March and April are eligible to be a part of the Feinstein family’s offer to match donations, plus the Have-a-Heart luncheon and auction, and the annual CUMAC HELP dinner. The 2014 CUMAC Help Dinner is Tuesday, November 18th.


HAMMER FOR HABITAT

Paterson Habitat for Humanity has been serving the community for thirty years. Homes are financed by donors and built with the help of volunteers and aspiring homeowners. The organization has created 265 first-time homeowners and has impacted nearly 375 households through home repairs, disaster response, and resales of deed restricted homes. Grace Church is proud to have been recognize as one of the top five congregations contributing to Habitat’s success. We schedule work days throughout the year, always on Saturdays. You don’t have to have carpentry skills to make a difference to a family in need. If you plan to participate, email habitat@gumc.org. Include the best phone number to contact you. Please see our Calendar for upcoming dates.

 


HELP INNER CITY CHILDREN LEARN AT C.A.M.P. YDP

(A Community Association with a Ministry to People) in Paterson offers a pre-school program for children 2 ½ - 5 and after school programs for children 5 -14. C.A.M.P. YDP was formed in 1978 as an inner city outreach program to provide an affordable and safe after-school care program for children. C.A.M.P. YDP now provides a pre-school and after-school program for the children of Paterson. The students work in small groups to do homework, be tutored and play games in a safe, happy, environment. Grace Church helps fund the educational programs and assists in other ways. In 2014 we collected donations of new backpacks for every child in the afterschool program and contributed $350 to help purchase arts and crafts supplies for the littlest campers. There are also opportunities to tutor the children with their homework assignments.

In 2014 the Grace United Methodist Church Mission Committee was pleased to be recognized as one of the honorees at C.A.M.P. YDP’s second annual awards banquet on September 27th. Our church was honored for our ongoing support of YDP and the numerous ways we help other charitable efforts in our community.

 


HELP SOLDIERS SERVING IN HARM’S WAY AND OUR VETERANS HERE AT HOME

Support for US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

In June, 2013 we held our 7th annual Soldier Box Drive, sending 375 boxes plus enough extra product to fill another 75 boxes, bringing our total contribution to a whopping 2,150 boxes! At the beginning of 2014 we had $4,800 in a “liability account” that was set up to offset cost of shipping the boxes if we were unable to secure a partner able to pay for the shipping. This money was collected at community fundraisers, and from local VFW and American Legion contributions. Because of the difficulty in locating our troops during this time of transition, we decided not to send boxes this year, but instead to split the $4,800 evenly between two organizations who are very active in supporting our active service members and veterans. By unanimous vote of the Mission Committee, $2400 was provided to each of these organizations:

 

* ARMS (American Recreational Military Services) who shipped our boxes and handled all customs work. They also picked up the boxes by truck and paid for all shipping for the first 5 years, and paid 75% of the cost in years six and seven.

* Adopt-A-Soldier Platoon who supplied products for the boxes, confirmed all addresses for our troops and continues to send our helmet liners to the coldest regions of Afghanistan.

Knitted Helmet Liner Project for soldiers in Afghanistan

In 2010 our church began knitting wool helmet liners for US soldiers serving in the coldest regions in the mountains of Afghanistan. Through promoting the project we have received helmet liners from knitters from 20 different states. We have sent 700 hand-knitted helmet liners to Afghanistan; the donated cost of the yarn surpasses $5,000. All costs for this project are donated from the congregation, community and patriotic knitters from across the United States.

Girl Scout Cookies for our Veterans

For the past three years the Girl Scouts provided a box of cookies for each resident of the Paramus Veterans’ Home. Each box of cookies is sent with a picture or letter written by a child. If you would like to participate in a letter-writing effort to our soldiers or veterans, please contact us.

We continue to consider additional ways to help our soldiers and veterans and welcome all ideas.


BRIGHTEN THE DAY FOR RESIDENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN HEALTH CARE CENTER IN WYCKOFF

Founded in 1911, Christian Health Care Center is a non-profit, health-care organization offering a continuum of high-quality senior living, short-term rehabilitation (post-acute care), and mental-health services. Our church helps support CHCC through donations and other efforts. For example, Bingo games are a favorite activity of the residents; our congregation has generously donated bingo prizes for the past several years. Favorite prizes include costume jewelry (necklaces, clip-on earrings, pins, bracelets), toiletries (cologne, perfume, aftershave, tissues, shower caps), pens, scarves, handkerchiefs, picture frames, seasonal decorations, note pads, wall calendars, socks, ties, picture frames, puzzle books, puzzles, word search and crossword books, or room decor items. There is a box in the library for this purpose. CHCC is also a hub for the local Meals on Wheels effort. Many members of our congregation deliver the meals to area residents.


HELP BRING HEALING CARE TO REMOTE REGIONS OF THE CONGO THROUGH THE “WINGS OF THE MORNING” FLIGHT MINISTRY“

Wings of the Morning is an aviation ministry of the North Katanga Annual Conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that provides transportation for those in need of hospital care, who would otherwise travel many miles and days to reach the nearest clinic. The small planes also fly doctors and medical supplies to remote regions of the Congo. Grace Church supports this ministry through monetary donations and welcomes your support.


DONATE $10 FOR A MOSQUITO NET TO SAVE A LIFE

A child in Africa dies every minute from malaria due to the lack of a $10 mosquito net. Grace Church has joined the world-wide effort to help families combat malaria by purchasing life-saving mosquito nets. Contact us if you would like to join this vital effort by donating funds to purchase mosquito nets.

 


CONTRIBUTE NEW AND GENTLY USED ITEMS TO CHILDREN SUFFERING AROUND THE WORLD

Grace Church has an on-going effort to provide clothing and shoes for infants through teens in Lac’ajue, Haiti and other areas round the world ravaged by natural disasters, famine, war and poverty. Your gently used items can make a tremendous difference to a child living in the worst possible conditions.

 


WHY SHOULD YOU VOLUNTEER? HERE ARE JUST 3 REASONS

1. The uplifting experience you’ll feel from helping those in need is one of life’s greatest rewards

2. You can show your children the joy that comes from helping those less fortunate

3. Volunteering is a perfect way to connect with others who care about their community and their world

AND... VOLUNTEERS ARE IN GREAT COMPANY!

Winston Churchill “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give“

Mahatma Ghandi “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”

Anne Frank “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”

Martin Luther King, Jr. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “what are you doing for others?”

Mother Teresa “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing”

Muhamad Ali “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth”

Oscar Wilde “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention”

Danny Thomas “Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”

Margaret Mead “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”

There are many opportunities available to make a positive difference in our community and literally around the world. You do not need to be a member of our church to help those in need. If you would like to find out how you can become involved in changing someone’s life CLICK HERE to contact us.