Friday, December 9, 2011

Where to serve?

Volunteering is certainly a good deed fueled by passions that God has stirred up in your heart... find your passion for impacting your community and go volunteer!

One of the many excellent charitable organizations we have in Orlando is the Christian Service Center... I have a particular fondness for this Center as it is led by a long-time friend and fellow Orlando native, Robert Stuart. He has been the director for many years...we grew up together at FBC in the choir... he and his twin sister Georgia and I had entirely too much fun in choir practice!

The Christian Service Center in downtown Orlando is celebrating 40 years of service to the Central Florida community. Here's the Center's mission statement as posted on their website:

Mission Statement
To prevent homelessness, combat poverty, cultivate self-sufficiency, restore hope and glorify God through the faithful provision of services that directly address physical, emotional and spiritual needs for families and individuals who are struggling in Central Florida.
Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.” -- Matthew 25:40
Each of the Christian Service Center’s programs has availability for volunteer service. If you are interested in volunteering your time and/or resources to any of our programs or would like more information on how you can get involved, please contact us directly anytime at 407-425-2523 or via email: You can also view more information here.

New LOVE PANTRY Program for Hungry Students

58% of OCPS students are on free or reduced lunch! Many of these students are going to their school cafeterias to eat the only nutritious meal they will have for the entire day. Way too many children and their families have limited financial resources, are homeless and living in shelters, hotels or out of their family cars. The Love Pantry puts emergency food right at the school to help feed hungry families.

The In-School Pantry Pilot Project, now known as the “Love Pantry,” is a new initiative of the Christian Service Center for Central Florida, in cooperation with Orange County Public Schools with initial fundng through the Love Orlando fund established by First Baptist Church of Orlando, to provide struggling families with emergency food distributed through a group of 13 elementary schools for the Fall Semester of 2011 School Year. Each pilot project school will be provided with a lockable cabinet stocked with food items identified as commonly in demand. When a student/family is in need, the school’s staff member can go to the cabinet to provide enough food for several family meals, plus give them valuable community resource information. The Center's monthly newsletter, Servant's Heart, has a more in-depth writeup on the Love Panry on the first page of the November issue.  To watch a video on the Love Pantry project, click here.

Other programs include:

Family & Emergency Services: Compassion
The Family & Emergency Services (FES) program was established to provide immediate emergency assistance and relief to families and individuals who are faced with an unexpected financial crisis. The primary goal of FES is to help families maintain their residence and prevent them from being forced into homelessness.

Daily Bread: Comfort
The Daily Bread program was established with a goal that no person in Central Florida struggle with hunger. Through Daily Bread, anyone who is hungry can eat for free, no questions asked. Daily Bread provides a nourishing noontime meal for families and individuals who are hungry six days every week at no cost to the consumer. In 2008 Daily Bread served its three millionth meal to the Central Florida community.

Fresh Start: Counsel
Fresh Start is a short-term residential program designed for rebuilding and restoration in the lives of men who are seeking a new beginning. Fresh Start seeks to enable men, regardless of their circumstances or previous life choices, to move from a state of helplessness to a place of confidence, capability and hope. By restoring dignity and equipping men to acknowledge and overcome their weaknesses, Fresh Start provides a safe environment that fosters personal growth and helps men back onto their feet for a second chance.

KidsFOCUS: Care
The KidsFOCUS program provides a safe and healthy learning environment for children in economically challenged families who might not have an after-school alternative. KidsFOCUS provides after school care for children and includes tutoring, academic monitoring and family assistance.

I'm sure one of their many programs would be suited to your interests, talents, and passions... just contact them and get involved!

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