Interested in learning about new opportunities to help others? You can volunteer for an ongoing effort or get a taste of trying something new.
- Lunches: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Housing Forward has transitioned its emergency shelter program to the Write Inn, 211 N. Oak Park Ave., where guests participate in an Interim Housing program. But they still need lunch! First United’s Faith in Action Team invites the congregation to help provide lunch for the third and fifth Mondays of the month until June 30, 2021. About $3,000 is needed to purchase the food, and volunteers are needed to shop and/or to make sandwiches. Please contact Lois Love ([email protected]) to volunteer your time or arrange a donation.
- In-person volunteers: Volunteers are needed at the Write Inn to monitor the front desk, take phone calls, and distribute food to the common rooms. Shifts are only a few hours long, and a Housing Forward staff member is always present. You can sign up to be a volunteer at this Housing Forward online volunteer page.
“Get-to-know-you” Zoom sessions with the Makuebo family. Church members and friends are invited to join Zoom sessions to meet the Makuebos, the asylum-seeking immigrant family for whom First United is serving as a supporting congregation. The family (Lelo, Gabriela, Naftali, Olivia, and Quezia) is living in Oak Park. The children are enrolled in school, and the parents are enrolled in an interactive English as a Second Language class online. You can sign up for one of the Zoom sessions at this link. (Don’t worry — a translator will facilitate!) Volunteers are still needed in the family’s orientation, and the adult Makuebos are looking to earn money by performing odd jobs. Anyone interested in getting more involved in working with the family can contact Kathy Pederson ([email protected]).
Help the Makuebos build their home library. The public library’s services are still limited by the pandemic, so please donate new or gently used board books and other books aimed at young readers for the three Makuebo children. You can drop off books in a bin on the front porch of 1001 N. Grove Ave. (porch faces Berkshire Street).
Fourth Sunday Offering for the Alsaad Family, Jan. 24. Each month, all undesignated money donated on the fourth Sunday goes to a specific beneficiary supported by First United. This month’s Fourth Sunday Offering on Jan. 24 will go toward COVID-19 relief for the Alsaad family, a refugee family that First United supported when they first came to this country. They are very dear people who have worked hard to support themselves and to foster a love of learning in their children. All was going very well for the Alsaads prior to the pandemic. However, five of the six family members contracted COVID-19 and the parents subsequently lost their jobs. At this time they are in need of financial assistance. Our Fourth Sunday Offering to help them through this difficult time will be so welcome!
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, church is being streamed at 11 a.m. Sundays instead of being held in the Sanctuary. Giving online and marking the donation for the Fourth Sunday Offering, texting FIRSTUNITED to 73256, or mailing checks to First United can take the place of the in-person Fourth Sunday Offering, at least for now.