Every child has a story. For 2.7 million American children, that story is filled with the abandonment, loneliness and shame that come from having a mom or dad in prison. For many, it may also include following their parents down the same destructive road to incarceration. Angel Tree, a program of Prison Fellowship, reaches out to the children of inmates and their families with the love of Christ. This unique program gives us an opportunity to share Christ’s love by helping to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the families of prisoners.
Contact Don Roets at email@example.com for more information.
Austin Resource Center for the Homeless
The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) serves as the first point of entry into the homeless service system for many of Austin’s adults experiencing homelessness for the first time, as well as those who have been living on the streets for years. The ARCH is designed to assess client needs, provide information on how and where to access services, and meet the basic emergency needs of homeless adults, as well as provide a place for homeless people to rest and get out of the elements during the day. Approximately 10,000 homeless men and women use the ARCH, including an average of approximately 600 individuals each day. Oak Hill UMC serves ARCH through blanket and towel drives throughout the year and by serving evening meals.
For more information, email Bob Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blood Center of Central Texas
You can give blood several times a year when the Blood Mobile visits the Oak Hill UMC campus. Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment will help us know how many people to expect.
Contact Anita Barton at email@example.com for more information and to set an appointment.
The Burke Center for Youth
The mission of the agency is to stop the cycle of abuse and neglect of children in Texas by providing residential care services to infants, children, and adolescents in a facility and in licensed therapeutic and basic foster homes in central and south Texas. The Burke Center for Youth provides treatment in the areas of familial, educational, physical, social, recreational, and behavioral growth of clients.
Please contact Alison Talbert at alison.I.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We believe that in God’s world there is enough for all people, and extend that abundance by freely giving clothing and household goods to all who come through the FreeStore doors. Through this tangible grace, we affirm the self-worth of every person by creating opportunities for all people to live in community with one another. FreeStore donation hours are every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or items/food can be dropped off at OHUMC in a marked bin inside the Missions Building.
Approximately once a quarter Community Ministries sponsors GO! Days, opportunities for members of the congregation to participate in a day of “the church has left the building.” Most activities require little or no preparation, and most are easy steps into ministry-type events. For more information about GO! Days, contact Vicki Matustik at email@example.com.
Habitat for Humanity
Every two years, congregations from Methodist churches throughout Austin join with Austin Habitat to make the dream of home ownership a reality for some of our communities’ most deserving families. By raising money, Methodist congregations provide the materials needed to build a home. By providing volunteer labor, they provide the sweat, love, and examples of the values needed to change the world. Come build with us!
For more information about Oak Hill UMC and Habitat for Humanity, email Ernie Rebuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might think slavery is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it is not. There are still close to 30 million people living in slavery worldwide, some right here in our own communities. We know that cases of trafficking involving sweatshops, domestic servitude, and brothels have been found inside the Austin city limits. As Christians we also know that God has called us “to seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, and plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:17), rather than look the other way. Contact Cathy Herzog or Corinne Weisgerber if you want to become involved in the fight to stop trafficking. We have developed an Online Safety Education for Families (OSEF) program designed to teach parents how to keep their kids safe online. For more info on that program, check out the OSEF page.
Montopolis Friendship Center
Montopolis Friendship Community Center is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation formed as a United Methodist Women’s response to help meet some of the needs in the Montopolis community of Austin.
Contact Lydia Polomski at email@example.com.
Under the direction of Wally Vog, Phil Parker, and others, we work to be the hands and feet of our neighbors via regional and local mission outreach. Work includes, but is not limited to, painting and minor repairs for homeowners who are elderly, ill, handicapped, or otherwise unable to make the repairs themselves. In Austin, we often partner with Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT) for home repairs and painting.
In 2005 the Gulf Coast was slammed with the double threat of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. While the force of Katrina focused on New Orleans and the Louisiana border, Rita slipped a little farther west, causing damage throughout the East Texas border. Oak Hill UMC made its first forage into hurricane recovery shortly after Rita and has continued working with groups dedicated to repairs and recovery along the Texas coast. In 2008, Hurricane Ike brought widespread damage and death to the Galveston area. Since Ike, the coastal mission of Oak Hill UMC has focused on Galveston, first in hurricane recovery working with several agencies, and most recently working with the “Moody Menders” under the direction of Cye Green with Moody UMC of Galveston. Green has an acute ability to seek out those with the greatest need, directing volunteers to serve the elderly and handicapped, the least and lost of this coastal community. Oak Hill UMC has made a trip to Galveston yearly—sometimes more than once per year—to partner with our friends at Moody in serving these individuals. Contact Wally Vog at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
When disaster strikes our area, whether by fire, flood, or some other life-altering weather situation, Oak Hill UMC responds with supplies, money, and manpower. Want to join our list of responders? Contact Chris Jackson at email@example.com or Vicki Matustik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Church World Service
Each spring we gather money to help fight hunger throughout the world. Oak Hill UMC also sends a delegation of “walkers” to participate in the annual CWS Crop Walk. While the money is directed to alleviate hunger, the walkers serve as a physical representation that those who face hunger daily are not forgotten. Contact Metha Kester at email@example.com to learn more about how to get involved with CROP.
Oak Hill UMC’s emphasis on world missions has focused recently on Haiti (earthquake recovery) and Sierra Leone (rebuilding the United Methodist Church there). In addition, small groups have taken up causes including the (adult Sunday School) Seven Class’s water well project in Africa.
Please contact JoAnn McGill at firstname.lastname@example.org for general information, Mike Trujillo at email@example.com for our trips to Africa, or Jon Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org for Haiti relief projects.
Oak Hill UMC has been involved in mission and outreach to Haiti since a devastating earthquake in January 2010 that caused much death and destruction. Mission teams from Oak Hill UMC visited the country in 2011, 2012, and 2013 as a part of a three-year Haiti Response Plan formulated by the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, in collaboration with Eglise Methodiste d’Haiti (EMH). Those teams assisted with reconstruction of EMH schools and churches.
More recently, Oak Hill UMC is seeking to participate in a clean water initiative in concert with the Texas Annual Conference and through the EMH Volunteers in Mission. This initiative involves the distribution of small water filters and five-gallon buckets that makes clean water accessible to communities in need. For more information, contact Jon Nelson at email@example.com.
Water is a basic necessity that we take for granted, but many people still don’t have clean, accessible drinking water. Please help us change that one well at a time. Can you imagine trudging more than five miles every day just to get water? How about carrying that water the five-plus miles back? Or worse yet, having to give that murky brown water to your child. The Seven Class began collecting funds for a well in Africa when two classmates made a trip to Africa. The class decided to ask for funds for an Africa well instead of gifts. Other people in the church have joined the effort over the years. Nearly 500 people in Ethiopia now have clean water because Oak Hill UMC cared enough to sponsor wells in Africa. Two wells have been built, and a third will be built this year. Funds have been raised for a fourth well. If the class raises $15,000, a well and wastewater system for a school will be provided. To support the effort, please write a check to Oak Hill UMC and note “African Well Project,” or donate at the Water To Thrive website.