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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. Nearly 10,000 homeless men and women utilized the ARCH in 2010-2011 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 Keith Momii at email@example.com.
Blood Center of Central Texas
Give blood 4 times a year at the Blood Mobile on the Oak Hill UMC campus. The “Blood Bus” will be on campus February 8, May 17, August 23 and November 15, 2015. Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment will help us know how many people to expect.
Contact Anita Barton at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Agency does treatment in the areas of familial, educational, physical, social, recreational and behavioral growth of clients.
Please contact Chuck Moore at email@example.com for more information.
Come garden with others who love the great outdoors. These are above ground garden boxes that can be “adopted”, that you maintain and benefit from. Gather with neighbors, exercise, educate children, grow fresh produce and beautiful flowers.
Please contact our coordinator David Sheets at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, an opportunity for members of the congregation to participate in a day of “the church has left the building.” Most activities require little or no preparation: most are easy step 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 the Methodist ministry throughout Austin join together with Austin Habitat to make the dream of homeownership 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.
Interfaith Hospitality Network
Family Promise/Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) is a shelter program based on a national model that provides transitional shelter for families experiencing homelessness. Host churches, synagogues and support congregations work in collaboration to provide year round shelter, meals, and support to families as they work toward achieving goals of permanent housing and self-sufficiency. We serve IHN by providing shelter for homeless families for several weeks throughout the year. Volunteers are needed to provide meals, and serve as evening and overnight hosts.
Mission Possible Kids
If you’re in Grades 1-5, if you want to make a difference in the world, if you want to show the grown-up agents how it’s done, YOU can become a Special Agent with MISSION POSSIBLE KIDS. In the last few years, MPK agents have helped over ONE MILLION people worldwide – WOW! Should you accept this challenge, you’ll: Learn how YOU can change the world; Complete one mission at every meeting and periodically be sent on TOP SECRET off-site missions; Work toward Special Agent promotions; and Track the number of lives you touch on each and every mission.
Contact Agent Handler Becca Hemenway at email@example.com.
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, Texas.
Under the direction of Wally Vog and Phil Parker we work to be the hands and feet of our neighbors via regional and/or 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 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 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 United Methodist Church 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 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 on how to get involved.
When disaster strikes our area, whether it be by fire, flood or some other life altering weather situation, Oak Hill 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 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 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). Join us on our next mission to Sierra Leone in fall 2016! In addition, other small groups have taken up causes including the (adult Sunday School) Seven Class’s water well project in Africa.
Please contact JoAnn McGill at email@example.com for general information, Mike Trujillo at firstname.lastname@example.org for our trips to Africa, or Jon Nelson at email@example.com 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 OHUMC visited the country in 2011, 2012, and 2013 as a part of a 3-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, OHUMC 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 5-gallon buckets that makes clean water accessible to communities in need. If you want more information, contact Jon Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water is such a basic necessity that we take for granted, but to many people still don’t have clean accessible drinking water. Please help us change that one well at a time. Can you imagine trudging 5+ miles every day just to get water? How about carrying that water the 5+ 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 of our classmates made a trip to Africa. We decided that we would ask for funds for an Africa well instead of gifts. Other people in the church have joined us 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 one will be built this year. We have funds for a fourth well and awaiting a location. If we raise $15,000 we would have enough money to provide a well and waste water system for a school. We work through water to Thrive. You can write a check to Oak Hill UMC and write “African Well Project” or go to the website and donate there.