Coronavirus and Our Communities: How We Can Help
Updated May 20, 2020
Our mission committees are in close contact with our mission partners and will update this list of financial needs, donation requests and volunteer opportunities on a weekly basis. As expected in this time of great hardship, each of these agencies is in need of financial support, so look to their web sites for instructions on how you may give.
Our neighbors at Trinity Methodist are receiving donations of non-perishable foods in their parking lot (2911 Cameron Mills Road) on Wednesdays, from 4-7pm (food truck also available!).
ALIVE! has suspended furniture and housewares programs and its Child Development Center, and will focus on food distribution and emergency assistance for rent and utilities. With City funding, ALIVE has purchased emergency bulk bags for the community and quarantine patients and others affected by the virus. In lieu of food donations, ALIVE! is asking for financial donations for its online “food drive” (you may specify that you are from Westminster if you give).
Bridges to Independence seeks donations of Anti-Boredom bundles, activity resources to keep young people engaged in a time of disengagement. They also invite runners to participate in the Arlington Bunny Hop, a virtual 5k run taking place between June 13 and 30. Funds raised in the event benefit Bridges as well as OAR, another WPC mission partner. For information on how to participate, go here.
Bridges also seeks donations of packaged/non-perishable food, laptops/tablets (used are ok), clear storage bins, Lysol spray, sanitizers, and other non-toxic cleaning supplies, mops, brooms, buckets,metro cards, small denomination gift cards (Visa/Mastercard preferred). Here are the donation instructions:
- Small denomination gift cards should be dropped off at 46 S. Glebe, Suite 201, Arlington, VA 22204 during normal business hours, sealed in an envelope with your name and email, through the mailbox slot in the door.
- The other items should be delivered to Bridges’ Shelter, Sullivan House at 3103 9th Road N, Arlington, VA 22201, 7 days a week from 7:30am – 7:30pm. There are social distance friendly bins behind the shelter in the parking lot by the back door. Upon delivery, call (703) 525-7177 and dial 0 to let the staff know you left a delivery outside.
- Bridges has also established an Amazon Smile Wish List.
Carpenter’s Shelter needs Westminster volunteers to prepare and drop off dinners for Carpenter’s Shelter residents at 5:30 on Tuesday, June 9 (Temporary Safety Shelter, 901 Wythe Street at corner of N. Patrick Street). Volunteers will leave food with a Westminster member outside the buildings. For more information or to sign up, email [email protected]. They also continue to welcome donated purchases from their ongoing Amazon wish list).
The Child and Family Network Centers has an amazon wish list, and would love for volunteers to read children’s stories on video for kids away from school. Contact Anna Shults if you want to help in this way: [email protected].
Community Lodgings is accepting non-perishable food donations that may be dropped off at Fifer Family Learning Center (607 Notabene Drive; please call ahead at 703-739-5856). They also need grocery gift cards and emergency rent assistance for local hourly wage-earners with job insecurity, as well as masks for residents, staff and families.
Friends of Guest House seeks donations of laptops for residents to use during virtual/online workforce development classes and coaching, as well as toilet paper and paper towels. They are also looking for support for weekly dinners to be delivered to the women from local restaurants. They also have an Amazon wish list.
Goodwin House Alexandria seeks homemade masks (made with pre-washed cotton) for staff and their families. To drop them off, contact 703-824-1000 for pick-up outside their main lobby at 4800 Fillmore Avenue.
OAR (formerly Offenders Aid and Restoration) invites runners to participate in the Arlington Bunny Hop, a virtual 5k run taking place between June 13 and 30. Funds raised in the event benefit Bridges to Independence, another WPC mission partner. For information on how to participate, go here.
Senior Services of Alexandria seeks volunteers to shop for groceries and deliver to vulnerable seniors in our communities (last week they provided approximately 2000 meals!). They also operate a frozen meal delivery service (twice a week between 10:30 am – noon) for seniors who do not qualify for Meals on Wheels. Volunteers must be under 65 and in good health. To sign up, contact [email protected]. Lastly, SSA’s Friendly Visitor Program is reaching isolated, lonely older adults through phone calls and notes. If you would like to volunteer to call seniors in our community, contact Tanya Edwards at [email protected].
Our primary national mission projects remain focused on our partnership with the children and families of the Bdecan Presbyterian Church on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation in North Dakota, the Appalachian Service Project, and the gleaning food assistance programs, Society of St. Andrew and Healthy Harvest Food Bank. We have been in close contact with these groups and will post any needs as we receive them.
Continue to pray for the children and staff of the United Orphanage and Academy in Moi’s Bridge Kenya, where the K-8 Academy has closed along with all schools in Kenya. We recently sent emergency funds to support corona-related needs, including a new food program for students who would otherwise be receiving meals at the Academy now closed by the pandemic.
The Local Mission Committee coordinates Westminster’s local mission work through partnerships with community service organizations and nonprofits. Our local mission work is organized around the acronym CHESS: Children, Hunger, Education, Shelter, and Self-Sufficiency. The Local Mission Committee also sponsors the Westminster Community Grant Program, an annual award to local nonprofits to help further their missions.
The National Mission Committee coordinates Westminster’s national mission work. They currently focus on three primary areas: housing rehabilitation in Appalachia with the Appalachia Service Project; regional hunger concerns through gleaning trips in connection with the Northern Neck Food Bank and the Society of St. Andrew; and support of Native American ministry and mission with the Bdecan Presbyterian Church in Spirit Lake, North Dakota.
The International Mission Committee coordinates the mission activities of Westminster around the world through direct partnerships, through the Presbyterian Church, USA, and in cooperation with mission organizations. Westminster’s international missions are primary focused on the United Orphanage & Academy in Moi’s Bridge, Kenya, supported since its founding in 2001 by Westminster, Old Presbyterian Meeting House (Alexandria), and Lewinsville Presbyterian Church (McLean).