Harbor District’s “Mission Strategy Team” works with the District Superintendent (our chief mission strategist) to identify the critical missional needs within the boundaries of our district – as well as some international needs that we can address. The “DMST” also helps to connect United Methodist churches in our district with serving those needs.
There are 9 focus areas in the Harbor District which have been identified by the Mission Strategy Team over the course of the past several years (2012 to present). They were most recently assessed and refined after our District Mission Strategy Retreat in January of 2020. These needs have been identified as a result of ongoing interactions and discussions with community leaders/stakeholders, as well as input from our own clergy and laity.
The intent is not for every church in the district to try to address every one of the above needs, but rather to consider the list when making their mission/outreach plans. Churches are encouraged to address the needs on the list according to their unique strengths and resources.
MISSION OPPORTUNITIES IN HARBOR DISTRICT
There are many opportunities in Harbor District for your church to be in mission with your local community, as well as international community. Below is a menu of just some of the great service opportunities in which you and your congregation can participate. For further assistance with finding mission opportunities that would be a fit for your church, please contact your DS, ADS, Lay Leader or any member of the Harbor District Mission Strategy Team.
Congregations For Children (C4C) is a state-wide initiative of The United Methodist Church focused on reflecting the love of Christ in the community by helping children in public schools who are living in poverty.
C4C’s areas of focus include:
1. Helping to improve K-3 Literacy rates (volunteer tutors, collecting/donating books, summer reading programs etc.)
2. Helping to meet the Basic Needs of students (food, clothing, supplies etc.)
3. Helping to increase Parental Involvement and interactions with positive adult role models (i.e. Watch DOGS, lunch buddies etc.)
4. Increasing awareness of child poverty
C4C is a great option for churches looking for ways to increase their outreach to their community/mission field. The C4C model is based on best practices and is designed to set churches up for success and help to avoid common missteps. Even if your church is already involved in public school missions of some sort, C4C can help you to expand and strengthen what you are already doing. Several churches in our district are currently participating with very good results. Churches participating in the C4C initiative receive training, coaching and assistance from the district level. If your church is interested, we can come and give you a presentation to explain what it entails. For more info click on www.nccc4c.org or contact Pat Litzinger at email@example.com
WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) is an innovative father involvement, educational initiative of the National Center For Fathering. Studies have shown that children/youth who lack father involvement and interactions with positive male adult role models have an increased risk of being involved in negative/destructive behaviors , criminal activity and poverty.
The two primary goals of the WATCH D.O.G.S. program:
- To provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important.
- To provide extra sets of eyes and ears which helps to enhance school security and reduce negative behavior issues (i.e. bullying, etc.)
The Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence (BRC) (now called VOYAGE) was formed in 2008 to address growing concerns about youth violence in New Hanover County. VOYAGE is a collaborative of various elected, faith-based and other community leaders, as well as individuals with extensive knowledge of the ongoing problems associated with youth violence. One of their premiere programs is their summer jobs program. VOYAGE provides real world job experiences for at risk teens during the summer months.. Teens have an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a part of the work force. They also received job and life skills training . Many companies and organizations in the Wilmington area have served as “host work sites” or provided other types of support to the program. For more information on how you, your church and/or your company can be a part of this program going forward call Executive Director Genna Wirth on 607-873-4216 or visit www.voyagewilmington.org
StepUp Wilmington brings employment opportunities, training, and hope to men and women in need of employment throughout Wilmington and the surrounding Cape Fear area. Individuals in the program participate in training related to topics such as: conducting a job search; networking and interview preparation. Once they find employment participants also receive “life skills “ training which assists them with achieving success and stability in both their personal and professional lives. For more information on how you, your church and/or your company can support StepUp call Executive Director Will Rikard on 202-957-4298 or visit www.stepupwilmington.org
WARM, Inc. organizes volunteers and raises funds to complete safety-related urgent home repairs and accessibility upgrades for low-income homeowners in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender Counties. By preventing home accidents and illnesses, WARM helps people age in place safely – preserving their dignity and independence. Lack of affordable housing is a critical problem in Harbor District and supporting WARM is one way that you, your company and/or your church can help to address this important issue. For more information go to: www.warmnc.org Executive Director JC Lyle can be reached on 910-540-5326 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The “Mission of Hope” is a Harbor District led mission partnership between the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church and the Sierra Leone Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. MOH is focused on providing quality healthcare to the impoverished people of Sierra Leone, Africa – with a focus on those living in and around the town of Rotifunk. Efforts include the refurbishment and upgrading of the Rotifunk hospital – a key healthcare facility serving 145,000 very poor people in the Rotifunk area. MOH is a registered 501c3. For more information on how you, your church or your company can help, contact MOH Chair Sam Spicer at email@example.com or visit www.rotifunk.org
Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard Located in downtown Wilmington (New Hanover County), Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard serves those who are hungry in the Wilmington area through distribution of emergency food. This service is provided by volunteers in partnership with the community, without regard to race or religion and with care to preserve the dignity of the individuals being served. Once a month, any needy individual or family may come to Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard to receive a 3-5 day supply of groceries. People without stoves receive a smaller bag and are served weekly. Those requesting food are asked to show identification and self-declare their need. For info about volunteer opportunities call 910-762-2199 or click on link below: http://www.motherhubbardsnc.com/volunteer
Leading Into New Communities, Inc. (LINC, Inc.) – is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides transitional living and case management services to meet the immediate needs of men and women returning from prison and culturally specific youth development services for African American young men ages 16-24. LINC, Inc.’s mission is to educate and motivate youth to make positive life choices and to empower men and women returning from incarceration to be productive members of our community. For information on how you can help call Executive Director Frankie Roberts on 910-332-1132 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org LINC’s website is www.lincnc.org
Nourish NC Located in Wilmington (New Hanover County), Nourish NC is a non-profit organization committed to addressing child hunger. It’s mission is to strengthen community resources that connect children to healthy food and reduce food insecurity. Nourish NC empowers children to succeed in the classroom and community alike. Nourish NC’s Backpack Program currently serves over 200 students in New Hanover County. Although partnered with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, Nourish NC’s program is funded through private donors, grants and sponsorships. Watch Video to see how you can help: http://vimeo.com/65324368 For info about volunteer opportunities call 910-465-0995 and click on this link: http://www.nourishnc.org/
Matthew’s Ministry Located in Southport (Brunswick County), Matthew’s Ministry is a non-profit organization which provides weekend food backpacks to food insecure children in Brunswick County schools. Watch Video to see how volunteers are utilized: http://youtu.be/jlKbLe6ctPA For info about how to help email Kristi Disbrow at email@example.com or click on the following link: http://www.matthewsministry.com/make-a-donation/
Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina The Wilmington Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina serves 4 counties: Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender. Last year (2013) over 6.6 million pounds of food was distributed to over 97 agencies in those counties. Volunteers donated over 10,291 hours of their time last year, equivalent to almost 5 full-time employees. In the counties served by the Wilmington branch, over 69,000 individuals are at risk of hunger; over 20,000 are children and 7% are 65 years and over. For info about volunteer opportunities email the Volunteer Coordinator at WilmVolCoord@foodbankcenc.org or call (910) 251.1465 ext. 2202.
American Red Cross (Cape Fear Chapter) The Cape Fear Chapter currently serves Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover and Pender counties. In accordance with the organization’s mission, the Cape Fear Chapter provides vital programs and services, many of which are unduplicated, to area residents including:
- Emergency communications for military members and their families
- Support for area blood drives, donor recruitment and education efforts
- Dissemination of disaster prevention and preparedness information
- Immediate relief to local victims of disaster that is focused on meeting their emergency needs
- Lifesaving safety training courses in CPR, first aid, water and workplace safety
- International tracing services that reconnect loved ones with family members separated by conflict throughout the world
For more information about how to volunteer click on the following link: http://www.redcross.org/support/volunteer
Interfaith Refugee Ministry Volunteers Needed! Interfaith Refugee Ministry (www.helpingrefugees.org) is looking for help with new families moving into our community and getting started in building their lives here in America where they can experience freedom for the first time in many years- and maybe their entire lives. If you can help a few hours a week transporting a new refugee family to their appointments or help educate them to basic life skills, it would make a big difference in their resettlement. You don’t have to travel the globe to reach those who are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. To learn more please contact IRM- Advisory Council member Lana Winneberger on 910-616-5528 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lower Cape Fear Hospice Located in Whiteville (Columbus County), Lower Cape Fear Hospice has an extreme need for volunteer Hospice Home Care workers, and for churches and groups to provide meals at their location for the families of hospice patients. That is still the case. There are also a variety of other support jobs that volunteers can do that do not involve patient contact. For info about volunteer click on the following link: http://www.hospiceandlifecarecenter.org/Volunteer.aspx
The Centre of Redemption Located in downtown Wilmington (New Hanover County), the mission of The Centre of Redemption is to empower victims of commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking in recovering ownership of their lives by focusing on prevent, advocacy and restoration. A Safe Place, is the community outreach program of The COR where Direct Support Services and our Outreach Center are available to any victim identified by A Safe Place, partner organizations or law enforcement. Complete case management is provided in a safe and inviting environment, where young women are able to engage with others in the program, have one on one time with our staff and volunteers and attend our weekly survivor-led girls group. For info about volunteer opportunities call 855-723-7529 (ext.3) or visit their website at: centreofredemption.com.
Pender County Christian Services Located in Burgaw (Pender County), Pender County Christian Services provides emergency food assistance to qualified clients in Pender County. It also operates a thrift store, assists the Red Cross in disaster relief and is involved with the distribution of weekend food backpacks to food insecure children in Pender County schools. For more information about how to volunteer or support PCS contact Sandy Harris on 910-259-2581 or 910-259-5840