Monday, November 18, 2013

Holiday Food Drive Blogfest: The OUR Center

Our town came together to help each other after the devastating floods, but long before that, we came together to create a place called the OUR Center. Those initials stand for OUTREACH UNITED RESOURCES Center.





Here are the words from their website explaining how they got started.

The OUR Center, founded in 1986, grew out of the Longmont Ministerial Association. Church leaders realized that those in need were turning to the churches for help that they were not always able to provide. The churches agreed that uniting community resources would give better help to those who needed it, and also give the churches a consistent place to refer folks. Out of this realization grew the OUTREACH UNITED RESOURCE CENTER, INC. or OUR Center.
The OUR Center is truly a community-based agency. While most of the churches in the St. Vrain Valley support the OUR Center, it is not affiliated with any one church, or any other agency. The OUR Center works closely with many other agencies in the community to assist those in need, especially those in emergency situations.


Some of the services they provide are a clothing bank, a food bank, a Center for Childhood Development, a day shelter, and daily hot meals. They are very efficient, with the collection center (for donations), the intake center (to help new clients), and where they provide the actual services all within a ½ mile.

My church participates in providing some of those hot meals, with our small groups (weekly Bible studies that meet in homes, with about 10-12 participants) taking turns serving lunch on Sundays. The group purchases, cooks, serves, and cleans up using the OUR Center facilities. Anyone is welcome at these lunches, and lots of blessings have happened for those providing the meals, not just those receiving them. 

It was easy to contribute to the clothing bank this year. With the rate at which my boys are growing, we always have coats, hats, and gloves that are ready for someone else to enjoy, so  I cleaned out our closets, and the hideously overflowing basket-o-winter gear (that would be the gloves, hats, scarves, neck-warmers, etc. and um, baseball mitts that no one has used since 2007, so yeah, a long overdue overhaul) and found a whole contractor bag of stuff that will keep others warm this winter. 

I much prefer to do "good deeds" in secret (as in not brag about them on a blog...) but the purpose of this blogfest is to encourage others to get involved. MJ Joachim and I are hoping that by reading what others have done, you might be encouraged to give of your time and extra stuff to someone in need. (Which does NOT mean you need to join this fest and tell everyone about it...we just want to encourage the spirit of giving.)

So if you feel like sharing, let us know what you're doing. It just may be the spark someone needs to get involved.  We are open until the close of blogging Wednesday, and the linky list is below.


~Tina

17 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Our church is involved in a lot of programs and organizations such as that and we participate in as many as possible.

Brian Miller said...

nice....being part of a fledgling church...a few months in, we are all about developing these partnerships and relationships to reach the community where they need it....very cool...this is being love...

Jo said...

I think this is a wonderful blogfest. Locally we have places where elderly people can get a lunch every day and there are many collection places around the area for non perishable food donations.

JoJo said...

What a great cause! I'd have to go through our clothes and see what I can donate somewhere, but it won't be to the Salvation Army. I'm sure there is another charity that would be happy to take my stuff.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. you've had your fair share of disasters recently - and it's great to know that you and the family are out there helping wherever possible.

The churches are pulling together, while there are other supportive organisations around. I've been taking my extra things to the local hospice that is moving to larger premises and they need support to get the rooms set up etc ..

I will be getting extra food into my trolley (not that I usually use one - a basket does me) .. and making sure the food bank gets what they want ...

So interesting to read about your (OUR) Outreach United Resources Centre ... sounds like they are doing a great job ...

Cheers - now I'm off to see the other participants ... Hilary

M. J. Joachim said...

Uniting community resources is a great way to help those in need. Getting actively involved by serving the people in your community is wonderful. This is an inspiring post, Tina. Thank you for your work to feed the hungry and help those in need.

J Q Rose said...

Tina, thanks for co-hosting this blogfest to bring awareness to hunger, but especially to offer information to readers on how to help fight hunger. Our small community came together in a big way at the Harvest Fall Festival. Organizations and businesses created "hay art"-structures made of hay. Visitors voted for their favorite by donating food. As I recall, over 1400 pounds of food was given to the local food pantry. It grows every year!

Crystal Collier said...

That's so awesome! I love it when people come together to make a difference. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormons. With a world-wide network, we provide emergency response in man-power and necessities for crisis situations and well as local needs, social services for financially needy persons, support for those seeking to quit smoking or dealing with other substance abuse issues, finding jobs, managing finances, and so much more. The amazing part is that all of the hours of service are 100% donated. I adore people who give of their time and means to benefit others.

LD Masterson said...

One of the things I love most about our church is we're a "get out and to it" congregation. We refurbished an old hotel and created a homeless shelter, we're the lead church for our area disaster recovery team, we feed the homeless and also support a program that sends food home with needy schoolkids, we do the traditional Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas gifts for area families, and then there are the more traditional mission trips here and the US and abroad.

shelly said...

We definitely need more out reaches. Especially after the last night twisters.

Hugs and chocolate!

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,

United in a caring cause, before, during and after devastating adversity. Humanity at it's finest.

I'm working directly with charities over here such as "Shelter". Due to an incredibly evil British government, the vulnerable are being targeted. 80,000 children are now homeless and hungry.

We unite with you in a worldwide cause to bring hope to those who have been helpless.

Bless you and all involved, Tina.

Gary

Kittie Howard said...

Awesome post, Tina! It was really, really nice to read how your good people came together for the common good and are doing so much to help others. I thank you for this morning's warm fuzzies . . . and for co-hosting this fest.

I'll post shortly . . . a bit of a mishap ate up yesterday.

Mark Koopmans said...

Thanks, Tina, for such a pay-it-forward-style BlogFest.

It was a pleasure to participate and I even learned a lot :)

Stephen Tremp said...

I have my post ready to go for Thursday. I love this as I have worked for food pantries and even benefited from them.

I really love this cause! Looking back, I wish I would have promoted this more but I've had such a crazy nutzoid week, month, and year I just didn't get to it.

But if you're doing this again net year, I'd be glad to co-host and help do promotions and stuff a month in advance.

Just let me know and I'm in!

M.L. Swift said...

The best gifts are those done anonymously...that's when you really feel good, knowing that you've helped somebody for their sake, and not your own glory. So I'm totally with you there.

My church also has a food bank and jacket drive.

M.L. Swift, Writer

Isis Rushdan said...

Thanks for hosting this important blogfest. I put my post up today.

Julie Flanders said...

This sounds like such an awesome place and it's always encouraging to read about people doing such good work. Thanks again for hosting this hop!