For God so loved the world…
Give to those among us helping around the world
All God’s Children Camp
Children with an incarcerated mother or father, ages 7 to 12, spend a week at camp, participating in activities such as boating, swimming, hiking, archery, music, crafts, Bible study, and conflict resolution. Partnering with Virginia United Methodist camps, the All God’s Children Camp provides a week of sanctuary for children who face so many challenges in their lives: economic poverty; temporary living conditions; loneliness; low self-esteem; violence; and drugs. The only cost to campers is a $10 registration fee per family. In Northern Virginia this ministry of the Virginia Conference of the UMC is held at Camp Highroad in Middleburg, VA.
Virginia United Methodist Home (VUMH)
The Samaritan Program of Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc. (VUMH) is a benevolent fund providing financial assistance to elderly residents who have outlived their monetary resources and, through no fault of their own, can no longer afford the full cost of their care. Benevolent assistance has been given in VUMH communities since 1948. One of the facilities where residents receive such assistance is the Hermitage home in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Hermitage offers residents all the benefits of living in dynamic Alexandria, close to shopping, restaurants and recreation, just minutes away from metropolitan Washington, D.C. There are a range of apartment styles to choose from, all freshly renovated and maintenance free. On-site health care services at this continuing care retirement community are available to help meet resident needs today and in the future; so that residents have the peace of mind to enjoy retirement without concern for changing needs.
Society of St. Andrew (SOSA)
SOSA operates three basic programs to attack hunger in the United States:
- Gleaning Network Each year, 35,000-40,000 people glean over 20 million pounds of fresh nutritious produce from farmers’ fields and orchards after the harvest. Gleaning is the traditional biblical practice of gathering crops that would otherwise be left in the fields to rot, or be plowed under after harvest. The Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers, growers, and distribution agencies to salvage this food, which is given to the poor at no cost to them or to a food pantry or kitchen that feeds them.
- Potato & Produce Project Salvages tractor-trailer loads of unmarketable potatoes and other perfectly edible produce that are rejected by commercial markets or potato chip factories due to slight imperfections in size, shape, sugar content, or surface blemishes. Usually, these rejected loads end up at local landfills. Through the Potato and Produce Project, the Society of St. Andrew redirects these 43,000-pound loads of fresh, nutritious produce to food banks, soup kitchens, food pantries, low-income housing areas, local churches, and other hunger agencies for free distribution to the poor.… more than 10 million pounds.
- Harvest of Hope Is the ecumenical study, worship, and service mission retreat program of the Society of St. Andrew. Every year, people of all ages take part in these work / study mission retreat programs, learning about hunger and poverty, gleaning in fields, and working in food pantries and soup kitchens. The goal is to educate participants concerning the domestic and global hunger problem; encouraging them to make lifelong commitments to being part of the solution.
Rise Against Hunger (RAH) (formerly Stop Hunger Now)
RHA’s vision is to end world hunger in our lifetime by coordinating the distribution of food and other life-saving aid and helping to mobilize the necessary resources to feed the world’s most vulnerable people, including a core focus on responding to crises–both natural and man-made. It also bolsters agricultural production and incomes through programs promoting improved agricultural methods, business skills, and market access.
The meal-packaging program provides volunteers the opportunity to package dehydrated, high protein, and highly nutritious meals that are used primarily to support education programs and to save lives in developing countries around the world. More than 250,000 volunteers — including those at Walker Chapel’s annual packaging event — have participated in this fun, exciting and rewarding activity, thus having an exponential and sustainable international impact right from their own community. RAH operates meal packaging locations in 18 cities throughout the U.S. and at international locations in South Africa, Malaysia, Italy, and India.
United Methodist Family Services (UMFS)
For 112 years UMFS has been helping children and families in Virginia find hope. Through its treatment foster care program, foster parents and children find one another and often go on to become adoptive families. Through its residential treatment programs at the Child & Family Healing Center and Leland House (in Centreville), girls and boys overcome trauma and heal from abuse and neglect. Through Charterhouse School, students with special needs and autism find help and success. And, through Project LIFE, teens aging out of foster care in Virginia find new skills and a voice. These programs serve children at various sites throughout Virginia, including Northern Virginia.
Most of the children placed in UMFS foster homes by the Virginia Department of Social Services are late elementary, middle and high school age. Some have siblings. Others have special medical needs. Many would otherwise be placed in more restrictive residential settings. UMFS’ treatment foster families make all the difference in giving these children a chance for stability, growth, and permanency.
El Hogar – Honduran Missions
The El Hogar schools in Tegucigalpa, Honduras find the most desperate children – those on the streets, without enough to eat, and most at-risk — and show them what a better future looks like. El Hogar gives them the love, the support and the tools to help make this vision their new reality. There are three campuses.
- Grades 1-6. What started out as a small rented house in Tegucigalpa, has grown into a safe oasis for 104 boys and girls in grades 1-6. The four-acre campus in the middle of the capital city provides both a home and an education to the poorest of the poor children from rural and urban areas of Honduras. The campus includes a dormitory, classrooms, a dental clinic, a kitchen and cafeteria, a volunteer house, a medical clinic, an art room, a bodega (storage), a computer lab, administrative offices and an auditorium.
- Grades 7-9. The Technical Institute, located on eight acres of land in the Amarateca Valley, is home to 66 boys grades 7-9. The boys study a full academic curriculum and attend workshops specializing in one of three areas: carpentry, welding and electrical work, including appliance repair.
- Grades 7-9. The Agricultural School, located one hour outside of Tegucigalpa in Talanga, is home to 60 boys in grades 7-9. The 240-acre farm is a very quiet and pastoral setting, with views of rolling mountains, where boys learn the skills needed to become successful farmers.
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
Serves as the relief and humanitarian arm of the United Methodist Church assisting the most vulnerable persons affected by crisis or chronic need. UMCOR’s work reaches people in the United States and more than 80 countries abroad targeting places where natural disasters, war, or conflict have done so much damage that communities are unable to recover on their own. While not a first-response organization, it stands ready to accompany communities in need over the long haul of their recovery, until they are well on their way to establishing a “new normal” after a crisis. Walker Chapel supports the following five UMCOR programs:
- UMCOR One Great Hour of Sharing underwrites UMCOR’s “costs of doing business”, which means that every penny donated to a specific UMCOR project — addressing issues such as health, sanitation, poverty, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, food security and especially disaster assistance — will be spent directly on that project assistance, not on administrative or overhead costs. Funds are also used to help communities prepare for emergencies and to reduce the risk of disasters through a roster of training programs.
- UMCOR Global AIDS Fund (UMGAF) was established in 2004 to help stem the tide of HIV and AIDS around the world, and to strengthen the church’s compassionate response to this deadly pandemic, which has infected 34 million people world-wide, 22.9 million of whom live in Africa. UMGAF supports programs that focus on prevention, advocacy, testing, and counseling for people living with HIV and AIDS. Support is provided through more than 200 HIV/AIDS church-oriented and Christ-centered programs in over 35 countries. For United Methodists living in the United States, 25 percent of all contributions given to UMGAF through a local United Methodist church remain in the annual conference for its own dynamic AIDS ministries.
- UMCOR Heifer Project empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but its approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Its animals provide low income partners with both food and reliable income, since agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market.
Families gaining this new sustainable income often are also able to participate in building schools, creating agricultural cooperatives, forming community savings and funding small businesses. The core of the Heifer Project model is “Passing on the Gift”, which means that each family receiving an animal shares the training they receive and passes on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. Doing so extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities. The goal of every Heifer project is to help families achieve self-reliance. Heifer does this by providing them the tools they need to sustain themselves.
- UMCOR World Hunger project‘s main goal is to be part of the movement to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, eradicate hunger, and cut poverty in half. The World Humger project provides funding to partners and programs in developing countries that demonstrate sustainable ways to improve livelihoods, food security, and food sovereignty, as well as to enhance access to clean water, sanitation, shelter, health care, education, skills training and employment. The program also develops resources and educational materials to educate and raise awareness of the issues of people who are poor and hungry and to mobilize action to end the systemic injustices of hunger and poverty in the world.
- UMCOR Imagine No Malaria program is a United Methodist ministry aimed at raising $75 million toward the elimination of malaria deaths in Africa, where it is the leading cause of death, especially among children. A comprehensive system of education, communication, and treatment has been developed in partnership with the African Conferences to establish a multilevel means of targeting the disease. The key pillars of the Initiative will continue to focus on the distribution of treated mosquito nets, improved education about malaria, establishment of community-based malaria control programs, conducting outreach through local means and the media, plus the revitalization of hospitals and clinics across the continent.
For God so loved the world…
A giving heart is God’s gift to us. When we have much, we give to those less fortunate…when we are in need, the Chapel family reaches out and cares for us. Like the footsteps in the sand there are times when we are able to step out boldly with Him by our side, but there are also times when we are weak and need Him to carry us. We are not alone as we walk together through this life.