Serve the Community
Making the world a better place is hard work. It’s more productive and rewarding when done in community. Bloomington is fortunate to have all kinds of community agencies working together to provide direct assistance and fight systemic injustice. We consider ourselves blessed to work closely with the groups highlighted below.
For more information about serving the community with us, contact our Board of Outreach.
Feeding people – Jesus thought it was important, and so do we. Community Kitchen’s mission is “to work, alone and in collaboration with others, to eliminate hunger in Monroe County and surrounding areas through direct service, education, and advocacy … Community Kitchen provides free nutritious meals, nutrition education, referrals to other agencies, and a clean, comfortable social environment for patrons, staff, and volunteers.” Our congregation provides volunteers to prepare and serve food monthly at Community Kitchen. We also were honored to provide a gift of $100,000 to fund Community Kitchen’s capital campaign in 2011.
If you grew up going to church, you may have been walked in a CROP Walk a time or two. According to the CROP website, “CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations or groups to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. With its inception in 1969, CROP Hunger Walks are ‘viewed by many as the granddaddy of charity walks,’ notes the Los Angeles Times (Oct. 26, 2009).”
Our congregation has been involved with Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) since its founding in 1939. MCUM is “an organization serving working families and those in distress by assisting with emergency needs and subsidized childcare. We provide quality education and a safe place for children, basic needs assistance for the poor and community service opportunities.” In addition to giving over $11,000 from our annual operating budget to MCUM, we gather food and household supplies each month for MCUM’s pantry. We also provide many of the volunteers who work at Opportunity House, a thrift store that provides funding to MCUM. And you’ll always find many of our members at the MCUM Spring Into Action luncheon each spring.
How you can help us help MCUM:
• Bring food or household supplies for MCUM to the shelves in Fellowship Hall.
• Volunteer to deliver pantry items to MCUM each month (contact the Board of Outreach).
• Take your gently used items to Opportunity House.
• Get informed – sign up for the monthly electronic newsletter.
• Volunteer at the Each One Feed One grocery store food drive in August.
Many people at First United Church share a vision with Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard (MHC) to create a community where “everyone has equal access to nutritious food, waste is minimized, and all members are healthy, self-sufficient, and empowered to reach their full potential.” We provide volunteers to work in the gardens at MHC and are looking forward to finding more ways to partner with them in the future. The mission of MHC is “to provide healthful, wholesome food to people in need, as well as nutrition and gardening education. We strive to provide services in ways that enhance the dignity, respect, and self-care of everyone involved.”