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.

CROP Walk 

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).”

How you can help us help CROP in Bloomington:
• Mark your calendar for Sunday, October 21, 2012. Read more details about this year’s walk.
• Solicit donations on behalf of church team members.
• Walk if you’re able. Write a check if you’re able. Do both if you’re feeling really able.

Community Kitchen 

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.

How you can help us help Community Kitchen:
• Sign up to work a shift on the third Thursday of each month on behalf of First United Church.

Indiana Blood Center

First United Church hosts several blood drives each year on Sunday morning. We encourage you to come before worship or even skip out of the sermon to give blood. Our blood drives are provided by the Indiana Blood Center, a statewide nonprofit whose mission is to “provide a continuous, safe, and adequate supply of blood products and biological services first to people of our own communities, then wherever our blood products and biological services are needed.” The Indiana Blood Center provides the blood that is used at both IU Health Bloomington Hospital and Monroe Hospital.

How you can help us help the Indiana Blood Center:
• If you are able, give blood at each drive. You can find our upcoming drives (or another in our area) by searching by zipcode here.
• We also need volunteers to sign people up, promote the drives, welcome people, and clean up afterward.
• Invite your friends to come give blood at First United Church.

Monroe County United Ministries

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.

 

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

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.”

How you can help us help Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard:
• Volunteer in their Community Garden.
• Get informed – sign up for their bi-monthly electronic newsletter.

 

Homeward Bound 

Participating in the annual Homeward Bound walk allows us to help many community agencies at one time. From Homeward Bound’s website: “Homeward Bound is a series of annual events that take place in communities throughout Indiana to raise funding for and awareness about affordable housing and homeless needs. Since its inception in 2003, Homeward Bound has raised more than $3 million for over 100 affordable housing and homeless service providers across the state, making it Indiana’s largest grassroots fundraiser with the ultimate goal of ending homelessness.”

How you can help us help Homeward Bound in Bloomington:
• Walk if you’re able. Write a check if you’re able. Do both if you’re feeling really able.