Benevolence Committee

Benevolence Committee

Overview

Following Jesus’ example, the Benevolence Committee engages the congregation in the sharing of our blessings with those near and far through giving, service and education.

The Benevolence committee would like to thank the Congregation for their generosity this past year. We have been able to give to the following local charities and global projects through the portion of your pledges that are designated to Benevolence.

The caring nature and generosity of all that have contributed helps to spread God's love and grace to all those who are in need - thank you!

Benevolence Activities in 2013

Benevolence Committee Minutes


  • Usually meets on the fourth Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m.

  • The Benevolence Committee is responsible for allocating the yearly Benevolence budget and special offerings to social service agencies and UCC initiatives.

  • Responds, on behalf of the congregation, to such emergencies as natural disasters and the “Hope Shall Bloom” appeal to support Hurricane Katrina survivors.

  • Provides periodic “Moment for Mission” talks on Sundays educate the congregation on both needs and results, locally and internationally.

  • Sponsors “Blanket Sunday” and “Tools of Hope” on behalf of Church World Service.

  • Reviews agencies and applicants for support to assess their work, goals and accomplishments, and verify the use of our church gifts.

  • Each member of the Committee is serves as the liaison with at least two of the agencies we support and help with at least one of our fund-raising activities (Columbus House gift certificates, Tools of Hope/Blanket Sunday), in addition to attending monthly meetings and responding to e-mail or telephone messages from the chairperson.

     

Local Agencies

AIDS Project New Haven
Your benevolence dollars help this organization carry out a unique service in Greater New Haven delivering meals to AIDS patients at home, funding an AIDS hotline, providing community education, and pairing patients with volunteer companions.

www.apnh.org/


Bright Beginnings Motheread  
"Bright Beginnings Motheread" is a parent support program offered by Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, integrating adult literacy and parenting skills and based on young parents' life experiences.  Mothers are motivated to improve their reading comprehension, critical thinking and oral and written expression and to develop verbal relationships with their babies, including speaking, listening, story-sharing and positive discipline.

St. Ann Soup Kitchen      
The St. Ann Soup Kitchen is a cheerful eatery that serves more than 4,000 meals a month to the elderly and needy in the Hamden area.  This includes pantry bags and sandwiches that are delivered to seven off-site locations.  The kitchen is located on Dixwell Avenue in the basement of the St. Ann Church.
 
Christian Community Action  
CCA is an ecumenical, non-sectarian, inner-city organization and since 1967 has served families by providing emergency and transitional housing to the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless.  Its Hillside Family Shelter in the Hill neighborhood operates three buildings with a total of 17 apartments for those needing short-term (60-90 day) help, and its Stepping Stone Transitional Housing in Newhallville has 18 apartments accommodating families for up to two years. Another part of CCA is its LifeWorks Center for Advocacy and Education. It also operates a food pantry and coordinates the state’s second largest collection and distribution of food for Thanksgiving Day. CCA headquarters is at 168 Davenport Avenue, New Haven.
 
Columbus House  
Columbus House is an emergency shelter on 586 Ella Grasso Boulevard in New Haven. On an annual basis it provides food, shelter, clothing, substance-abuse counseling, and other support services for thousands of men and women.  Our donation is supplemented by gift certificates that are sold at Christmas and by our volunteers who prepare and serve dinner at Columbus House every 4th Thursday.
 
Domestic Violence Services  
In addition to a 15-bed safe haven emergency shelter for women and children, this agency provides a 24-hour hotline for crisis counseling, community education, a children’s program transitional housing, support groups, individual counseling, and court-based advocacy services. Additional information is available at www.dvsgnh.org.
 
Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen    
Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen’s mission is to provide free nutritious meals on a regular basis to the poor of New Haven.  Founded in 1987, DESK operates seven days a week at six locations serving 75 to 100 meals each day.
 
Fellowship Place   
Fellowship Place works with persons with severe psychiatric disabilities helping them work toward stability and independence.  Services include computer classes, GED/SAT preparation and recreational therapy, along with job training and placement.  Fellowship Place encourages socialization and community interaction and has classroom space for clinical, peer support, and advocacy programs.  Its Homeless Engagement Center – or Fellowship Inn – is a hub where people can connect with other agencies that deal with such issues as housing and medical concerns. Members also run a cafe and the "Arts & Eats Catering" service and can be reached at jdmyterko@fellowshipplace.org.  Fellowship Place is at 441 Elm St., New Haven.

FISH
This volunteer crisis organization provides food and emergency assistance to those in need in Greater New Haven.  FISH home-delivers groceries to the disabled and elderly and families with small children.
 
Habitat for Humanity/Habitat Sleeping Giant Build 3  
Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven is part of a worldwide movement dedicated to eliminating poverty housing.  Through cooperation between volunteer work crews and low-income families, who provide "sweat equity," houses are restored or completely built and sold at cost. The Habitat office is at 37 Union St., New Haven.

Click here for photos of Spring Glen Church members working at a recent Habitat build.

Hamden Food Bank
The Hamden Food Bank is run by the town of Hamden department of community services.  The Hamden food bank is open to Hamden residents who qualify. Call (203) 562-5129 for eligibility. You will be required to provide proof of residency and family size. Those eligible to get food for their family can also receive food for their cat or dog.  The food bank is in the basement of the M.L. Keefe Community Center, 11 Pine St.  Municipal food pantries receive a limited amount of food from the Connecticut Food Bank.

Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers
The mission of IVC is to guide and enable congregations of all faiths to care for the frail elderly in their midst.  Volunteers make phone calls and visits, give rides to medical appointments, and provide respite care to families of Alzheimer’s patients. Additional volunteers are needed.

IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services)
IRIS
began welcoming refugees to Connecticut in 1982.  The mission of IRIS is to help refugees and other displaced people establish new lives, regain hope, and contribute to the vitality of Connecticut's communities. Each year, IRIS resettles approximately 200 refugees and provides the basic needs and services to help them begin their new lives.

Life Haven
Life Haven is a temporary shelter that provides a safe and nurturing environment for homeless pregnant women and women with young children.  Life Haven serves 20 families at a time.  More than 150 families are sheltered annually, including more than 250 children.  Most families come to the shelter after being evicted by family members or landlords.  Evictions result from such things as family breakups, financial problems and  domestic violence.  At Life Haven, staff members are committed to assisting these women and families develop skills that will enable them to live independently. It is located at 447 Ferry St., New Haven.

New Haven Life Resource Center  
The New Haven Life Resource Center has a mission – it strives to empower people who are economically disadvantaged become self-sufficient.  The Center, open seven days a week, provides referrals for shelters, apartments, health care, and jobs.  Staff members also lead Bible studies, teach computer skills, organize substance-abuse support groups, and explain legal aid issues.  The Center is at 156 Ferry Street, New Haven.
 
New Haven Home Recovery
New Haven Home Recovery provides emergency shelter and supportive housing for women and children facing homelessness, HIV/AIDS and behavior health issues, including food and clothing, case management, clinical services, and after school and summer programs.

www.nhhr.org/

New Haven Life Resource Center

City Seed   
City Seed encourages the development and utilization of farmers’ markets throughout the New Have area, making locally grown fresh produce available to city-dwellers, including those dependent on WIC and food stamps,  and aims to connect area restaurants with local producers of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat , dairy products, seafood,  and baked goods.

Gift Cards for the Homeless
A program started by the Spring Glen Church to aid the homeless by giving them cards to Dunkin Donuts and Subway.

Global Projects

Our Church's Wider Mission
Our Church's Wider Mission provides support for the ministries of the United Church of Christ, locally and around the world.  Emergency aid to victims of disaster, health and welfare services, agricultural and economic development are some of the ministries. OCWM pays the administrative costs necessary to ensure these mission programs are carried out.  Of our pledged dollars, 65% is designated for the Church's national and worldwide work, while 35% supports the work of the Connecticut Conference.

Gaziantep American Hospital Scholarship  
The Gaziantep American Hospital   in Gaziantep, Turkey is the oldest American Board hospital in the Middle East.  The hospital, which was started by medical missionaries, provides high-quality care to low- and moderate-income residents in southeastern Turkey.
 
Tarsus American School, Turkey   
Founded by American missionaries more than 100 years ago, this school enjoys international recognition for educational excellence.  Its graduates routinely emerge as leaders in government, education, and the sciences.  The Alan Bartholomew Memorial Scholarship, named in memory of a former Spring Glen Church member, helps ensure this opportunity for a bright but financially limited young man or woman.  Several members of our congregation have worked at or visited the school.

The following content is accessible by Benevolence Committee members only


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