Epworth Reaches Out to Our Community

It is with an abundance of gratitude that the Outreach Committee shares with you the recipients of the funds made available from the NCDOT settlement for land used for the roundabout and a few remaining funds from a 2017 account. The Church Council voted unanimously at their meeting, January 25, to designate a tithe or 10% of the funds received to help our neighbors during this time of great need primarily caused by the pandemic and tasked the Outreach Committee with identifying recipients for these funds.
        The committee decided to focus on two areas for these funds: food and housing. One additional recipient that did not fall into either of these two categories was identified due to the important auxiliary service they provide. After reviewing multiple sources, hearing directly from some of the directors of these ministries, examining services and numbers of people served, praying, and discussing various options, the committee selected the following recipients:

  • The Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC (There is a matching funds campaign in progress also.)
  • Iglesia Presbiteriana Emanuel – weekly food distribution to hundreds of people
  • Families Moving Forward – helps homeless families establish stable housing
  • Open Table Ministries – provides food and support services to homeless individuals
  • Urban Ministries of Durham – provides food and shelter to homeless individuals
  • Housing for New Hope – identifies housing options and funds for marginalized individuals and families
  • Community Empowerment Fund – mentors individuals to secure housing, gain employment, provide financial education and workforce development
  • Diaper Bank of NC – provides diapers, adult incontinence products, and feminine hygiene products

Many of these organizations work together to provide a network of services to help meet the needs of their clients. Their work is powerful.
        The Outreach Committee plans to provide additional information and invite speakers from these organizations to expand on their work and opportunities for volunteering. Thank you, Epworth, for caring about your neighbors.
In Christ,
Beth Armbruster and Susan Sinclair, Outreach Committee Co-chairs

Follows is a little more information about each organization (listed in alphabetical order) along with links to learn more and to volunteer.

The Community Empowerment Fund
The Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) is working to end the racial wealth gap by supporting over 1,000 Members, annually, in reaching their employment, housing, and finance goals. Their approach combines person-centered support with advocacy and financial services that pursue equity. CEF’s work is grounded in recognition of the detrimental impacts of systemic racism on Black and Brown members of our communities and they value the leadership of people with lived experiences with homelessness and poverty.

Volunteer info: https://communityempowermentfund.org/be-an-advocate/

Diaper Bank of North Carolina
One in three families face the daily crisis of diaper need, pulling funds away from food needs. The Diaper Bank believes that every family in North Carolina should have access to basic necessities to support their dignity, health, and quality of life — these include child and adult diapers and personal hygiene products distributed through the diaper bank. Volunteer info: https://ncdiaperbank.org/volunteer

Families Moving Forward
Families Moving Forward (FMF) provides temporary housing, case management, skills education, and connection to community resources to help families in the crisis of homelessness thrive in stable homes. FMF serves up to 75-85 families annually and approximately 160-200 children each year. FMF was created in 2016 after the merger of Genesis Home and Durham Interfaith Hospitality Network.

Volunteer info: https://fmfnc.org/volunteers, Epworth UMC’s volunteer coordinator is Beth Armbruster, beth-armbruster@nc.rr.com

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina
The Food Bank works across the food system to provide access to nutritious food that nourishes families, children, seniors, and individuals. Through partnerships, education, and programs, the Food Bank empowers communities to overcome hunger, creating an environment where all North Carolinians thrive. Volunteer info: https://foodbankcenc.org/get-involved/volunteer/

Housing for New Hope
Housing for New Hope believes there are multiple channels to end homelessness and remove the barriers to permanent housing. Using a client-centered approach to provide services, they assess the needs of a family or individual and use that information to expedite their move to a solid permanent home—a front door to call their own.

Volunteer info: https://www.housingfornewhope.org/volunteer

Iglesia Presbiteriana Emanuel Food Pantry
During the Covid-19 pandemic the Free Pantry Program has expanded to meet the great need, especially in the Latino community. The program serves more than 500 people per week. Each person can provide for 4 to 8 family members, feeding approximately 2,000 to 4,000 people each week. About half of these are children under 10 years of age and the elderly. Volunteer info: call 919-451-662 or SignUpGenius at: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f48aaad23a6fa7-iglesia

Open Table Ministries
Open Table Ministry walks alongside people experiencing homelessness in Durham, NC. Their goal is to end homelessness by building relationships within our community, allowing for a holistic approach in caring for our unsheltered neighbors. We meet people where they are: on the streets, in shelter, or at our front door to offer long-term, individualized support. Their weekly programming addresses immediate needs and offers long-term support by providing a free community lunch, Free Store, move-in support, transportation, case management, and much more! Volunteer info: https://www.opentableministry.org/get-involved

Urban Ministries of Durham
Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) works holistically to end homelessness and meet the emergency needs of very poor and hungry neighbors through its programs and in partnership with other nonprofits. Using donations from the community and with the help of some 4,000 volunteers, UMD connects more than 6,000 people each year to food, shelter and a future.

Volunteer info: https://umdurham.org/get-involved/httpumdurham.orgservice.html