National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is November 16-24, 2019, sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless. During the month of November, FUMC is working to raise awareness about the pressing problem of hunger and homelessness with educational and service opportunities. Learn how you can get involved.
Ways to Give
November 3-November 24
Food Drive for Caritas of Austin
Help fight hunger by bringing canned goods to church! All contributions will be donated to Caritas of Austin, a local nonprofit working toward preventing and ending homelessness in Austin.
With your help, the Caritas Pantry provides take-home groceries to families as people are transitioning out of homelessness. Together with their other services, food assistance builds a strong foundation as people work toward their life goals. When you are struggling to make ends meet and must choose between putting food on the table and paying the electric bill, weekly groceries bring great relief to families.
We are collecting some of their most needed items throughout November:
- Body wash
- 5.oz sardines cans
- 5 oz. salmon cans
- 10. Oz cooking oil
- Any kind of pasta in a bag
- Hamburger helper
- Mac and cheese in box
- Toilet paper
Thank you for taking action in the fight against hunger. Together we can ensure people have healthy food as they rebuild their lives. Donations may be left in the collection bins located in the foyers of the Murchison Chapel, Sanctuary, and Family Life Center.
Ways to Serve
Sunday, November 17
Mobile Loaves & Fishes Third Sunday
Teams prepare sandwiches in our kitchen and take them to hungry people in Austin. Each third Sunday, we have a team open to first-timers of all ages to give this ministry a try. Volunteers may serve on the Make-Ready Team (4:00 to 5:00 p.m.), the Truck Team (5:00 to 6:30 p.m.), or both! Sign up at fumcaustin.org/fumc-mlf.
Manna Bag Sale
Our fourth and fifth graders show the love of Christ to those in need through the making and selling of Manna Bags. These bags are filled with a nutritious meal, a new pair of socks, and a note asking for God’s blessing on the recipient. You may purchase a bag for $5, with proceeds going to purchase more supplies.
Tuesday, November 26
Feed My People Breakfast
Come experience this ministry that serves breakfast to 300 of our homeless guests. To volunteer, preparing, cooking, and setting up begins at 4:45 a.m.; serving begins at 6:00 a.m.; and clean-up begins at 7:00 a.m. You may arrive and leave to meet your schedule. On-the-job training is available. Walk-ins welcome. No sign up required.
Cold Weather Shelter for Women
During the winter months, FUMC provides shelter for up to 25 women on Tuesday nights when the predicted overnight low is expected to be 35 degrees and wet or 32 degrees and dry. We have shifts to welcome and greet our guests, provide/serve dinner, and act as overnight hosts. Learn more and sign up here.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness at FUMC
Sunday, November 10, 12:15 p.m., SAN Wesley Hall
Lunch & Learn: Homelessness and Front Steps
Natalie Freeburg is the Community Relations and Volunteer Coordinator for Front Steps. Front Steps is one of the largest providers of services for those experiencing homelessness in the Austin area and manages the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) in downtown Austin. Natalie’s presentation will focus on how to interact with compassion, with those in our community who are experiencing homelessness, while keeping boundaries and learning the best ways to help someone on a longer-term basis instead of offering a quick fix. She will educate about services that are available in the Austin area and how to connect someone with them. Learn more at fumcaustin.org/lunchandlearn.
Sunday, November 17, 10:00 a.m., EDU Murchison Chapel
At the Well Ministry
Inspired by God’s Spirit, At the Well welcomes Austin-area women experiencing homelessness by providing hospitality, supportive services, and some of life’s basic necessities in a caring, safe, and accepting environment that affirms self-worth and dignity. This new ministry launched in May and is blessing everyone involved. It’s growing and our greatest need is for additional volunteers! Come hear stories of love, acceptance, and transformation from our dedicated volunteers. Please contact Pastor Cathy Stone to learn more about volunteering at email@example.com.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Around Austin
#WeDoExist: Youth Homelessness
The #WeDoExist campaign is a joint effort of LifeWorks and Texas Appleseed to raise awareness about youth experiencing homelessness in the state of Texas and offer ways to get involved. An estimated 60,000 unaccompanied 13- to 17-year-olds and nearly 300,000 unaccompanied 18- to 25-year-olds experience homelessness in Texas over the course of a year. Youth experiencing homelessness tend to hide and “fly under the radar” because of the stigma or fear of being placed in foster care or returned to abusive home environments. They often hide by staying with friends or relatives, moving often from place to place (known as couch surfing), and working to avoid being identified as “homeless.” Visit wedoexist.org to learn more about youth homelessness and ways to get involved.
Wednesday, November 13
The Hidden Homeless in Austin: Children & Families
Join the LBJ Future Forum as we learn about the solutions for families and children who are homeless in our community, what’s still needed, and what we can do as a community to help. Doors open at 6 p.m., the conversation is from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and a reception will follow. Free parking will be available in the LBJ Library visitors’ lot located at 2313 Red River Street. This program is sponsored by the Downtown Austin Alliance.
Sunday, November 17
26th Annual Homeless Memorial Sunrise Service
Caritas of Austin will be hosting the Annual Homeless Memorial Service to recognize the women, men and children whom have lived and died in Austin while homeless and living in poverty. Service will start at sunrise (around 6:58 a.m.), naming of all whom have passed this year (2019). Service will be at the following address: Homeless Memorial, 9307 Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.
Thursday, November 28
ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot
Join ThunderCloud Subs and thousands of participants for Austin’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition. The Thunder Cloud Subs Turkey Trot features a five-mile run, one-mile walk, and a Kids K. One hundred percent of the proceeds are donated to Caritas of Austin. Sign up to volunteer or participate here.
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Point in Time Count
Each year, the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) plans and leads the Point in Time Count, an annual census of people experiencing homelessness. Early in the morning of January 25, 2020, hundreds of volunteers will head out across Austin/Travis County to count every person experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Volunteers will count people sleeping in cars, tents, parks, under bridges, and on the streets. The information from this count is used to guide public policy and is vital for securing resources to help end homelessness in our community.
ECHO is a coalition of stakeholders that plans, develops, prioritizes, and implements systemic, community-wide strategies to end homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Let’s join ECHO in this critical activity for understanding and planning homeless services in Austin and Travis County. Together, we can end homelessness in our community! Learn more and register here. Please contact Pastor Cathy Stone with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-478-5684.