Donate to PVUMC Christmas Missions Offering
We invite you to give generously this Christmas season. At PVUMC, we have a special missions offering at Christmas to three different missions: the Wesley Community Center, which began in 1950; UMOM, the largest homeless shelter in the state; and the PVUMC Emergency Relief Fund, which helps both individuals and local organizations.
You can donate online: Click Here and choose “Christmas Missions” from the drop-down menu. There is also an option for “Christmas-General Fund.” If you would like to designate to just one or two of the missions, please type your designations in the comments section, or leave as is so we can divide your gift evenly among all three mission organizations.
The Christmas Eve bulletins will also include special offering envelopes for your Christmas offering, should you decide NOT to donate online. Look inside the pew pockets for additional offering envelopes through the end of the year.
Here are the three missions we support, with some information about how they help others in our own community:
Wesley Community Center
The Wesley Community and Health Centers include the Wesley Center, Amigos Center and Golden Gate Community Center, located in South Central Phoenix and Maryvale. They have provided services for children, youth, adults, families and seniors since 1950. Their many programs include emergency food for low-income families, medical care in the health clinic, wellness programs, adult education, language instruction, computer training, senior activities, and a backpack and nutrition program for school children. Thousands of low-income people receive treatment, immunizations, prenatal care, and wellness education each year in the medical clinic. A few 2018 statistics:
• 12,574 uninsured low-income health center patient visits.
• 231 different children participated in after-school programming.
• 261 hours of individualized homework assistance provided.
• 144 hours of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities provided.
• 52% of children in Wesley’s service area live in poverty.
• 33% of the population in this area lives in extreme poverty.
• 84% of the children in the local elementary school districts are “minimally proficient” or “partially proficient” (not passing).
UMOM New Day Centers restores hope and rebuilds lives; it changes the lives of thousands of homeless and low-income families and individuals every year through dozens of programs that help build a bridge to self-sufficiency and provide a continuum of care, including housing, food, workforce development, lifeskill classes, computer education, and many more. It is the largest shelter and provider of services for homeless families in Arizona. In 2017, 1,850 households exited its shelter program, 1,195 youths participated in the UMOM Child Development Center and after school and teen activity programs (including the former Tumbleweed programs), 275 parents found jobs through UMOM’s employment services, and 183 veterans received services.
The PVUMC Emergency Relief Fund
The PVUMC Emergency Relief Fund provides needed assistance for individuals and organizations with urgent needs. Some of them are:
• The Sojourner Center is one of the largest domestic violence shelters in the United States, helping nearly 9,000 people, mostly women and children, each year. Its services include child development, after school, and transitional housing programs.
• The Wesley Campus Ministry supports young adults through weekly programs, monthly service activities, retreats, and Christian fellowship.
• Feed My Starving Children sends nutrition-packed meals to more than 70 countries. At the large Hope-Filled Holiday packing event at the Phoenix Convention Center in early December 2018, nearly 40 PVUMC volunteers were part of a group that packed more than 1.7 million meals, which will provide 4,700+ hungry children around the world with nutritious FMSC meals every single day for an entire year.
• Justa Center, a day center for homeless seniors, is located on the near west side of downtown Phoenix and services more than 100 seniors every day.
• Helping Hands for Single Moms, through college tuition assistance and partnerships with health care and transportation providers, enables single mothers to obtain degrees in nursing, teaching and other fields and build productive lives for themselves and their children.
• Saving Amy empowers marginalized people transitioning out of a homeless shelter through spiritual mentoring, teaching life skills, educational advancement, and employment assistance.
• Through UMCOR, PVUMC helped provide needed disaster relief.
• Our annual Change the World Day in November included hundreds of participants in multiple off-campus and on-site projects, including preparing food boxes for more than 200 families at UMOM, sewing tote bags for foster children, and gift-wrapping socks for veterans.
• The Emergency Relief Fund also provides scholarships for children to attend Mingus Mountain Camp and Retreat Center and grocery cards for youth aging out of foster care.
Give through the orange “give now” button on our website. Choose “Christmas Missions” from the drop-down menu and include which missions you want to support in the “comments” section. If you choose to use the special Christmas Offering envelope mailed to you, found in the Christmas Eve bulletin and in the pew pockets, check the appropriate boxes to reflect your wishes. If you don’t comment or check any boxes, your offering will be distributed equally among the three missions.
Thank you for your faithful support of the PVUMC Missions Ministry. You are God’s love in action! Your generosity truly makes a difference.
UMOM Holiday Tribute Cards
Holiday Tribute Cards from UMOM are another way to support the state’s homeless individuals and families who are served by UMOM New Day Centers. You may purchase holiday cards, which give the gift of shelter, at the church office during the week and on Sundays, December 2, 9 and 16. The cards come in different denominations and help pay for meals ($15); a day of shelter, food, and childcare for a child ($50); a week of shelter ($100); or a month of shelter ($360) for a homeless child or an adult at UMOM New Day Centers. Stop by the patio table after worship during the first three Sundays in December or come to the office during the week to buy a card or two to give to family and friends as we remember the birth of a child needing shelter so long ago.
May blessings be yours this Christmas season, and may you feel the joy of giving to others less fortunate at this time of year. Together, we are God’s love in action.