Humanitarian Ideas


Humanitarian Project Ideas

 

The following projects have been undertaken by Eastern Region parishes

 

Making Things:

  1. Making Quilts for seriously or terminally ill children through national organization Project Linus.  See www.Projectlinus.org for local area contacts-- all types & sizes of new blankets/quilts are accepted.   One parish only “ties” the quilts at their meetings. Volunteers sew crib/lab size fabrics (they watch for fabric sales all year and especially “boy” type prints which are apparently less donated than feminine styles) they buy king size batting when on sale and cut 4 quilts from it.  A person with a sewing machine places wrong sides of fabric together with batting on top and sews up as a pillow case shape, then turns right side out and presses, turning under open edge and sewing down.  Both ends of Quilts are taped to two tables. Women sit in space between on both sides of quilt and hand tie at regular intervals 4-6” apart using embroidery floss or yarn. Ends are knotted and clipped to 1/4” – They get many touching letters from parents of sick kids even teens who hug and carry their quilt around the hospital.

  2. Making  baby blankets (to date,180 by one parish) for the neo natal unit of a local hospital, as well as a blanket for each baby that is Churched in the parish. They use baby flannel, washed, and then hand cut using a round dinner plate as a template for rounding corners. Then edges are surged all the way around the entire blanket, eliminating hemming. A personalized computer-made card is given to the babies that are churched. A deacon's wife makes the deliveries to the hospital.

  3. Making audio tapes for the blind –volunteer readers are needed for Library for the Blind, Books on Tape and every state has a closed circuit radio broadcast for the Blind of taped reading (books, articles etc.)  Perhaps this could be done on a local or parish level with Orthodox books.

  4. Making video & audio tapes of the liturgy to send out to shut-ins (can recycle previous week’s)

  5. Making Ethnic cookies from various Orthodox Countries for Ethnic Cookie Booth at local fair to support area food bank and introduce Orthodoxy to neighborhood

  6. Making food baskets every year at Thanksgiving and or Christmas time for parish elderly and shut-ins, or for names received through local social service agency

  7. Making shoe boxes filled with toiletries, etc. for needy children, women and men. One parish makes about 50 boxes labeled with the appropriate age to give a charitable organization to distribute.

  8. Making Care packages to send to parish military deployed overseas.

  9. Making sandwiches for local Salvation Army Feeding Program (one parish does 150/wk!)

  10. Making lunch sacks with none perishable foods for parishioners to keep in their car to hand out to the beggars at the stoplights. Message/greeting/blessing on outside of bag. AW can even provide supplies and Sunday School kids make the bags.

Collecting Things:

  1. Continuous or special collection of food for area food banks in basket/box placed in Narthex or fellowship hall.

  2. Continuous collection of baby supplies,(diapers, formula, clothes, etc) for
    Crisis 
    Pregnancy 
    Center
    in basket in Narthex

  3. An “Easter Tree” where needed items for the local women's shelter are listed. Parishioners take a card off the tree to donate an item.

  4. Collection of clothing for needy various times of year

  5. Collection of old cell phones and computer ink cartridges sold to recycler as long term fund raising for any project

Giving:

 

  1.  Providing food vouchers from a local grocery store as well as some canned and dried foods for    anyone who stops in to the church for help. 

  2.  Contribute financially to a soup kitchen

  3.  Give to meals on wheels

  4.  Give to a pregnancy help center

  5.  Financially support the local fire department that is raising money for a defibrillator. 

  6.  Financially support the Hogar Orphanage in
    Guatemala

  7.  Give to our seminarians—even develop relationship with for personal contact & encouragement

  8.  Support the local prison ministry

  9.  Support the children's relief fund

  10.  Sponsor a child or two overseas

  11. Support a local women’s shelter

  12.  Sponsor several handicapped children

  13.  Give icons to parish graduates, the sick, icon of Dormition for families of deceased ladies

  14. Paper goods & cleaning supplies to group homes for mentally retarded adults—caution, some homes cannot receive gifts of this kind without losing some of the funding they receive equal to the value of the goods received. Check first.

Caring-Inside Parish:

  1.  Sending cards on Name day, Valentines Day, Mother’s Day etc. to parishioners, especially shut-ins (also involve cards made by children in Sunday School, AW organize and mail)

  2.  Calling on shut ins: visits and telephoning, bringing flowers, sending cards

  3.  Take holiday altar flowers to shut-ins

  4.  Organize the part of choir to go to shut-ins or to nursing home, to sing

  5.  Home visitation of new mothers and newlyweds

  6.  Hold bridal and 1st baby showers

  7. Mail out weekly bulletins when parishioners absent. This takes an eagle-eyed volunteer or group specifically making note of absentees.  Really makes people know their presence is noticed and important

  8. Lenten or Pascha Baskets for parish college students including highlighters, phone cards, snacks

Caring- Outside Parish

  1.  Maintain food pantry for local community

  2.  Receive the homeless to sleep over in hall for one week per year/qtr/or month. Each organization in parish  “sponsor” one night of that week to staff the sleep over and cook dinner & breakfast—patrons must traditionally vacate during day at a set time (normal procedure for shelters)

  3. Provide volunteers at local homeless shelter to serve food or cook etc. on regular rotation

  4. Offer community service day of free blood pressure check and flu shot—parish nurse volunteers

  5. Offer workshop with local Dr. addressing specific health issues important to women: breast cancer, etc.

  6. Sponsor
    Blood Drive-
    work with Red Cross(www.redcross.org) supply staff, beds, etc. details vary with local Red Cross Chapter

  7. Angel Tree Prison Ministry (www.angeltree.org) Give specific gifts to kids of prisoners at the request of imprisoned parent who cannot provide for own children. One parish delivers the gifts to actual family and also sponsor trips for kids (to see parent or field trip)

  8. Volunteer at local crisis pregnancy centers

  9.  Christmas Tree where names (from social services) are printed on paper or other type ornament and people purchase gift items for that person.  Most churches have variations of this, but a new privacy law as of April 2003 may require changing old methods, as names are likely to be confidential with the gov’t social services now. Checking early with your agency may prevent problems with your usual system.