Coronavirus and Our Communities: How We Can Help
We invite you to pray in charity for our mission partners and those they support, and please visit their websites to learn more about their mission and financial/organizational needs. As you are able, consider offering a helping hand. Our mission committees are in close contact with each of these groups and will update this list as best we can.
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, or participate in the April 15th Spring to Action, a local fundraising event that supports many of our mission partners. You may also participate in our denomination’s One Great Hour of Sharing, an annual offering we support each Easter season. OGHS supports Presbyterian disaster relief and hunger and poverty-relief programs nationally and worldwide, and funds will support coronavirus aid.
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 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). 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. For more questions, please call (703) 525-7177 x127. Bridges has also established an Amazon Smile 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 seeks to provide grocery gift cards and emergency rent assistance for local hourly wage-earners with job insecurity.
Friends of Guest House seeks volunteers to lead virtual/online classes (e.g. poetry, improv, guided meditation, yoga) for the formerly incarcerated women at their shelter, as well as volunteers who can provide non-therapeutic coaching skills to help residents cope during this stressful time. Or, simply record a video message of support to one of the residents. They also have an Amazon wish list.
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. These four organizations are primarily seeking monetary support to help those in need with obtaining proper shelter and food during this trying time.
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.
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).