by Larry Marchino
You might not be aware of all the wonderful things your mission dollars support through St. John's UCC, so the Benevolence/ Outreach Committee has written highlights of some of our Outreach programs. If you have any questions about any of the other causes supported with our benevolent funds, please contact a Church Board member or any of the Benevolent Committee members.
There has been some discussion at our Outreach/Benevolent meetings regarding the possible need to explain how we determined the amount available for benevolent giving. Here is some information regarding our general benevolent funding structure.
Our local giving at St. John's UCC is a little unique. We have the ability to designate our giving into three funds: the General Fund, the Benevolent Fund, and the Sinking Fund.
Funds designated to the General Fund can be used in any fashion approved by congregation. General Fund moneys are normally used for all the many general, everyday expenses of operating and maintaining the church.
Benevolent Funds are restricted and cannot be used for any expenses other than benevolent causes. So, the answer to the implied question above regarding "how we determined the amount available for benevolent giving" is that you make that decision when you pledge and allocate your giving. All money designated to the Benevolent Fund goes for benevolent giving.
The Sinking Fund is sort of a "rainy day" fund designed to accumulate funds for major expenses for building and repair projects.
Funds not designated, such as cash placed into the offering plate, go into the General Fund.
Christmas Food Boxes (KIDS HOPE/Backpacks of Love) (November 2017): It's that time of year to start thinking about giving to others who could use our help. Again this year, I am putting together boxes for our KIDS HOPE USA kids and their families as well as the children at Riley who are on the Backpacks of Love for VCSC program. After talking to Jessica and Jerri, it looks like we need to build 30 food boxes. Each box will have enough food for a family of 4-5 for 3-4 days. On top will be a Christmas message to the family from our church. Hopefully this will help each family during the Christmas Break. If there is anyone who would like to donate to this project you can do so, by giving a check to the church office marked "Christmas Boxes." These families do appreciate all we do to help them out as they struggle to make ends meet. Thank you so much for considering this project.
Phoebe's Mission (November 2017): I would like to say a thank you to all the individuals who contribute and help at Phoebe's Mission. Your support is greatly appreciated by all the individuals that receive help each month. On October 6, we served 226 individuals (76 households). Also on October 6, we saw 19 new households getting assistance from Phoebe's. Phoebe's Mission is a disbursement of necessary household items to low-income Vincennes residents the 1st Friday of each month from 4:30-6 PM. Examples of items given out are: Toilet paper, laundry soap, shampoo, bar soap, dishwashing detergent, and deodorant. Again, thank you for all your support. ~~Will Meyer
Sandy's Pantry (November 2017): September was a quiet month with only 13 students served. More flyers and posters were taken to VU. October turnout was 32. Many new students came as well as returning ones from last year. We always greet the students and ask if it is their first time. One asked how much he was allowed, and we told him 20-25 items. Later I saw him standing quietly by the shelves. I asked if I could help him. His reply was, "I have my 5 items." I smiled and said, "You may take 25 items." He was shocked! His friend came to stand by us and said, "Yes, this is America...not like home!" They both are from Zimbabwe. We not only serve God's sheep here at home, state or country - Sandy's Pantry is also an international mission. Thanks to St. John's UCC for your continued support of food & cash donations.
Socktober (October 2017): This year, we are going to participate in a nationwide program called "Socktober". This is a program started out of the idea that even a small act of love, such as donating a pair of socks, can make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors who may be struggling to make ends meet. Socktober is an easy and fun movement to help our community. We will collect kids socks during the month of October and will donate them just in time for winter. Don’t Forget To Buy Socks!
KIDS HOPE USA (October 2017): The KHUSA 2017-2018 School Year is off to a great start. We are presently serving 10 students at Riley School and two students at Clark Middle School. Mentors, children and families have been invited to attend the “Mr. Puppet” entertainment show at the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center on October 7, 2017 at 7:30 for a Fall celebration event. Thank you mentors and families for helping to make this a happening. A Special Thank you to Jeannie Linneweber for providing treats to the Riley staff for the month of September. Welcome on board the KIDS HOPE USA train to Jana Vieck and Eric Meyer We are still seeking at least two mentors, presently, with additional students pending referrals into the program. Please contact Jerri Johanningmeier for information, or call the Church Office and leave a message with Victoria. Looking ahead: A commissioning ceremony with mentors and prayer partners in the highlights at St. John’s UCC.
Outreach and Benevolence Ministry (September 2017)
Our St. John’s UCC Outreach Programs continue to fill a need in the community as is evident by the rising numbers of families being served. Below is information showing some of our Outreach numbers:
~~~B.A.B.E. Store: In July, the B.A.B.E. Store, housed here at St. John’s, served 62 clients, who redeemed 319 B.A.B.E. Vouchers for various infant and childcare supplies. Vouchers are earned by following through with well-baby doctor visits and other activities that promote healthy babies and young children. This is a new high for the B.A.B.E. Program.
~~~Phoebe’s Mission: Phoebe’s Mission set a new high, serving 261 individuals in 83 households during August. Phoebe’s provides essential household items that cannot be purchased with food stamps, such as bathroom tissue and soap. Phoebe’s Mission is a program of St. John’s UCC and believed to be the only one like it in the area.
~~~KIDS HOPE USA: As the new school year begins, there are 5 returning mentors with students at Riley Elementary. Three mentors will continue with their 6th grade students continuing from Riley to CMS. Mentors and prayer partners will begin the week of August 28. Referrals for new students are now being made, followed by a call for new mentors and prayer partners beginning Sept. 1. Please contact the Church Office for additional information concerning the KIDS Hope USA mentorship and involvement in the program.
~~~Sandy‘s Pantry: We are preparing for the opening of Sandy’s Pantry for the 2017-2018 school year in partnership with VU to provide non-perishable food items for VU students. The 2016-2017 school year brought 376 students from VU to Sandy’s Pantry for assistance. That is 3 TIMES the number from the previous year. Your support is needed to continue this vital mission. We are grateful for St. John’s UCC in starting this outreach to VU students. Sandy’s Pantry was chosen by VU for their opening week Food Drive recipients this year! We are so appreciative of that honor. About 350 food items have been donated, and more is still being collected, along with $108 in cash. Lower Indiana Presbyterian Church also collected for Sandy’s Pantry this summer with a donation of 120 items for Sandy’s and 68 items for Phoebe’s. We are so very blessed. With deepest THANKS to St. John’s for your prayers and donations. We will be opening Sept. 12 and 14, 11:00am to 12:30pm.
B.A.B.E. Store (September 2017): Thanks to all of you that have supported the BABE Store by your monetary donations, product donations, and supporting the Fundraisers that the BABE Store has had. We are so excited to report that we raised over $700.00 from our Otis Spunkmeyer Fundraiser. Even with the great fundraising effort, we still are in need. As of July 30, 2017, the customers that have visited the BABE Store have spent $7,620.00 already! In an effort to help raise money, we are continuing our fundraising events. We will be having a Pampered Chef Fundraiser starting September 1, and running to September 15, 2017. There will be an online link that you can use to order from. This link will go into effect September 1. It is 222.pamperedchef.com/go/babestore. We are also planning a Paint on Canvas fundraiser October 12, and will be selling tickets for this during the month of September. We are so grateful for everything that St. John’s, and our members, do to help keep our store open. Thank you all so very much! The BABE Board
Phoebe's Mission (September 2017): I would like to say a thank you to all the individuals who contribute and help at Phoebe’s Mission. Your support is greatly appreciated by all the individuals that help each month. On August 4, we served 261 individuals (83 households). Also on August 4, we saw 21 new households getting assistance from Phoebe’s. Phoebe’s Mission is a disbursement of necessary items to low-income Vincennes residents the 1st Friday of each month from 4:30 to 6 pm. Examples of items given out are: Toilet paper, laundry soap, shampoo, bar soap, dishwashing detergent, and deodorant. Again, thank you for ALL your support ~~~Will Meyer
Socktober Is Coming (August 2017):
Did you know that socks are the most needed and least donated clothing items? This year we are going to participate in a nationwide program called "Socktober." This is a program started out of the idea that even a small act of love, such as donating a pair of socks, can make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors who may be struggling to make ends meet. Socktober is an easy and fun movement to help our community. We will collect kids’ socks during the month of October and will donate them just in time for winter. Think of it this way: every time you are able to purchase back-to-school clothing for a family member, you could pick up an extra pair of socks to donate. Every sock will help someone in need for the winter. Let's do a great thing and help as many children as we can. Socks will be donated to KIDS HOPE participants, Knox County elementary schools.
Phoebe's Mission (August 2017): I would like to extend a BIG thank you to all the individuals who contribute and help Phoebe’s Mission. Your support is greatly appreciated each month. Examples of items given out are: toilet paper, laundry soap, shampoo, bar soap, dishwashing soap, detergent and deodorant. These household items are necessary for everyone, but they cannot be purchased with food stamps. Items listed above and plastic shopping bags are needed each month. Please place the donations in shopping cart in the Fellowship Hall. Monetary donations are welcome also. If anyone would like to see what Phoebe's Mission is, you are welcome to come and/or help. The next Phoebe's Mission is on Friday, August 4. Again, thank you for ALL your support. ~~~Will Meyer
Sandy's Pantry 2017/18 Dates Finalized (July 2017):
Fall 2017: Sept. 12 and 14, Oct. 10 and 12, Nov. 7 and 9, Dec. 5 and 7
Spring 2018: Jan. 23 and 25, Feb. 20 and 22, Mar. 20 and 22, Apr. 17 and 19.
Sandy's Pantry (May 2017)
We are so Excited!! Our second year for Sandy's Pantry, our partnership with Vincennes University to provide a food pantry for VU students, is completed. Our first school year in operation, 2015-2016, we helped 120 students during the 8 months we were open. Thursday, April 20th ended our 2016-2017 school year with a total of 376 students who came through Sandy's Pantry. MORE THAN TRIPLED the number from the year before! We are so very Thankful for all the support from our St. John's UCC family! The students continue to express their gratitude for this ministry. As we did last year, we will not be open during summer school, but are looking forward starting up again in September. Remember SANDY'S PANTRY in your prayers and donations as we endeavor to care for VU students: an investment in their future and our country. MANY THANKS to all who have faithfully volunteered this year placing food orders, picking up orders, stocking shelves, registration, supervision, coordinating student volunteers, assembling new shelves, etc.: Special "Thanks" goes to R.D. Kitchell, Marge Beamon, Ed & Ruth Witsman, Lynne Simmons, Carol Culp, Carolyn Hill, Laura Holscher, Eric Meyer, Will Meyer, Kent, Shawna, Dylan & Daniel Butler, Patrick Schutz, C.I.A., VU Housing Director Forrest Fairchild, VU Family Coordinator Brandi Porter, VU student Megan Hatfield, and Brian & Brenda Fillingim. And, deepest THANKS to St. John's for your prayers & donations.
Sandy’s Pantry (April 2017):
44 Students were served the month of March through Sandy's Pantry bringing the 2016- 2017 school year total to 246....over twice the number of student we served all of last year, and we still have the month of April to go! We are very excited and pleased; every month so impressed with the students and their appreciative smiles and compliments. On March 21st Brenda Fillingim was interviewed by a VU Broadcasting student to help spread the word of our work with VU students. We had a VU student volunteer help us out this month, too! If you would be interested in volunteering with Sandy's Pantry, to see our outreach in action and meet the students, please, contact Marge Beamon, Ruth Witsman, Lynne Simmons, or Brian & Brenda Fillingim. Next month we will be open April 18th & 20th (Tues. & Thurs.) 11:00 to 12:30. Thank you for your support through donations and prayers.
Outreach and Benevolence (April 2017)
At our Outreach and Benevolence Meeting on March 6th we were surprised and saddened to receive Sara Schutz’s resignation as Kids Hope Director effective May 25th. But as she tearfully explained, her family has grown since she accepted the Director’s position and her family has also grown busier. Because of the demands of home and family plus a full time job she will not have enough time to devote to the KHUSA program now that Ann Marie will be starting kindergarten this fall. Sara has done a great job as Kids Hope Director and we hate to see her leave the position. The Outreach and Benevolence Committee would like to thank Sara for her four years of service to Kids Hope USA! Unfortunately this leaves us in the unenviable position of needing to find a new Kids Hope Director. Anyone interested in this position should contact the Personnel Committee or Church Board through the Church Office.
Phoebe’s Mission (April 2017)
I would like to extend a BIG thank you to all the individuals who contribute and help Phoebe’s Mission. Your support is greatly appreciated each month. Examples of items given out are: toilet paper, laundry soap, shampoo, bar soap, dishwashing soap, detergent and deodorant. These household items are necessary for everyone, but they cannot be purchased with food stamps. Items listed above and plastic shopping bags are needed each month. Please place the donations in shopping cart in the Fellowship Hall. Monetary donations are welcome also. Again thank you for ALL your support. -Will Meyer
Phoebe's Mission (January 2017)
I would like to extend a BIG thank you to all the individuals who contribute and help Phoebe's Mission. Your support is greatly appreciated by me and by all the individuals t. John's helps each month. On January 6, we served 156 individuals (58 households). Also on January 6, we saw 17 new households getting assistance from Phoebe's. Phoebe's Mission is a disbursement of necessary household items to low income Knox County residents the 1st Friday of each month from 4:30-6 PM. Phoebe's was started in December 2013 by St. John's youth. Phoebe's monthly average is around 150-200 individuals (50-90 households). Examples of items given out are: Toilet paper, laundry soap, shampoo, bar soap, dishwashing soap, detergent, and deodorant. These household items are necessary for everyone, but they cannot be purchased with food stamps. Items listed above and plastic shopping bags are needed each month. Please place the donations in the shopping cart in the Fellowship Hall. Monetary donations are welcome also. Again thank you for ALL your support. ~~~Will Meyer
Sandy’s Pantry (January 2017)
Early in January we were pleasantly surprised by a donation of food items, enough to overflow a large grocery cart, from the Coordinator of Off Campus Living at VU. A food drive had been held for us at the end of the Fall Semester. We were so touched that the students we help every month had a drive to help us! THANK YOU so much, Mr. Forrest Fairchild and VU! On Jan. 18th three of us met to stock the shelves for our upcoming dates of Jan. 24th & 26th for the Pantry. Again, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the students. As we were getting to the bottom of the cart, were reminded of the WIDOW'S MITE story Jesus told. There were two items that touched our hearts: one prepackaged cookie, and one pre-packaged pudding cup. Was this from a child of a student who wanted to share? Or was this the only items a student had to contribute? I am so thankful for this mission, and our Church for supporting this effort. We are making a real difference in their lives and the future of our world. Even the smallest donation is never too small. ~~~Brenda Fillingim