Last week, all of our lives suddenly changed. Public health officials asked us to practice "social distancing" and to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people. One of the questions we have been grappling with is how to be the church in a time like this. How can we be the hands and feet of Christ and support our most vulnerable neighbors in a way that will not pose a health risk to our volunteers? Below is a growing list of ideas we have generated:
FEATURED VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
Looking for ways to serve in this era of shelter in place? Each month we will feature an opportunity for you to help our neighbors during this crisis. This month we'll be focusing on Foundation Communities:
Helping neighbors who can't leave the house
Need a little assistance during these days? Could you use a friend right now?
If you or someone you know belong to the risk group (60+, weakened immune system) and cannot leave the house, or are afraid to leave the house during this coronavirus crisis, let us know how our volunteers can help you!
There are friends at OHUMC eager and ready to help.
Please fill out this form to let us know what help you need and we will connect you with one of our church volunteers who have offered to help their neighbors during this difficult time.
I NEED HELP
If you belong to the risk group (60+, weakened immune system) and cannot leave the house, or are afraid to leave the house during this coronavirus crisis, let us know how our volunteers can help you!
SEWING FACEMASKS - PATTERN & INSTRUCTIONS IN THE LINK
Please leave the masks you made in the coffee bar area of the Fellowship Hall and send Vicki, our Director of Service and Connection, an email when you drop them off. We’ve also put a bin outside the fellowship hall entrance in case you don’t have a key. Also, If you happen to have some quarter inch flat elastic but are unable to sew, please drop the elastic off in the bin.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
Looking for other ways to help?
- Check on your neighbors, especially those living alone, who are in the “at highest risk” category – age 60 and older and/or those with underlying health concerns.Let them know that you are there and that you will be checking on them to make sure they are all right. Ask them to let you know if they fall ill or need help, but don’t rely on that. Keep checking yourself.
- Reach out to someone on your street, in your neighborhood, or on the church help request sheet and as you plan a trip to the grocery or pharmacy, offer to pick up anything they need as well.
- Write a note to folks you know who could use a little encouragement and drop it in the mail or leave it on their door. It will make their day to be remembered.
- Making a meal for your family? How about making a little more and sharing some to your neighbor who lives alone. It’s no fun cooking for one.
Want to help someone facing additional stress of loss of wages during this time?
- If you are healthy and able, consider volunteering at the Central Texas Food Bank where they have implemented safe distancing for their warehouse volunteers by scheduling fewer volunteers per shift and spacing work stations farther apart.
- Donate to the Central Texas Food Bank where each $1 donation provides four meals. Donate here.
- Donate to Foundation Communities’ crisis account to help provided needed financial assistance to families whose income has been impacted by the virus crisis. Donate here.
- It is estimated that 67% of Austin ISD’s students qualify for meal benefits, replying on school meals during the school day. Campus closings creates food shortages for many of these students. Due to health code issues, AISD cannot permit us to make and donate food, but we can donate to the fund providing the food. Help the school district in its effort to make sure no AISD students go hungry by donating to the AISD Crisis Support Fund.
- Support local restaurants by ordering take out. Consider making adding extra to the tip to help further.
- Buy gift cards from your favorite restaurant. It puts money into the business right away and gives you an opportunity to enjoy a night out once we get through the crisis.
- Buy gift cards from other local merchants to give as gifts or use as a treat for yourself once the crisis subsides. Most can be purchased online.
- Help the homeless by helping the helpers. Donate to The other Ones Foundation here or to the Sunrise Navigation Center.
Although we can't gather together for congregational worship, we still encourage you to set aside time to worship through reflection, prayer, and engaging God’s Word. To aid you in this, we have gathered a collection of digital resources and alternatives to in-person worship. We may be physically apart, but we can remain spiritually connected.
Check out ways to worship & pray at home