Twice a year, Fairhaven collects and delivers non-perishable food items to Gaithersburg HELP to assist local families with their basic needs.
Gaithersburg HELP evolved from a 1968 among Gaithersburg’s faith community. They recognized that emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice, and government assistance often takes time. To meet the immediate needs of families affected by financial challenges, local churches and synagogues joined together to form Gaithersburg HELP to provide coordinated assistance.
For over 50 years, Gaithersburg HELP has supported local residents in need. It provides food, infant needs, prescription funding, and transportation. In recent years, Fairhaven's congregation has contributed hundreds of pounds of food and diapers annually.
THE LORD'S TABLE
The Lord’s Table, a community soup kitchen in Gaithersburg, is held at Epworth United Methodist Church. It serves nutritious meals to those in need in our community. Operating six days a week, the soup kitchen requires a regular daily group of volunteers.
From September through May, on the fifth Tuesday and Friday of each month, volunteers from Fairhaven prepare and serve between 40 and 80 meals.
In the spring of 2018, Fairhaven entered into a covenant relationship with Huree University of Information and Communication Technology. Huree University is located in Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar, and was founded in 2002 by Korean Methodist missionaries.
The cost of tuition for one year at Huree is $1,000. It is estimated that two Mongolians in five live below or only just above the poverty level of about $800 per year. Clearly, even Huree’s modest tuition is unaffordable for many students. The added cost of meals is also beyond the reach of many students. An additional $200 per year will provide a student with lunch for a whole year. Recently, Fairhaven has donated $10,000 to $12,000 per year to Huree, enough for ten students or thereabouts.
To make a donation at any time to support the students at Huree University, please make a check out to Fairhaven and write “Huree University” in the memo line. Then drop it into the offertory plate at the worship service or mail it to the church office.
You can learn more about Huree University at https://new.huree.edu.mn/.
UMCOR Relief Kits
Members of Fairhaven periodically assemble relief kits for UMCOR. These kits are delivered to a distribution centers for storage, and are then sent out to areas in need.
Each year, Fairhaven members (including the Young Adult group) assemble dozens of cleaning buckets and hygiene kits. Cleaning buckets contain supplies to help people begin the overwhelming task of clean up in the aftermath of floods and hurricanes. Items in the buckets include detergent, heavy duty trash bags, work gloves, sponges, and more. Hygiene kits are sent to areas that have been affected by disasters, frequently to areas recovering from floods and hurricanes where residents have been made homeless and are without basic hygiene items. Kits include a hand towel, washcloth, soap, hair comb, nail clippers, band-aids, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless
Fairhaven supports Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) and its affiliate, Coalition Homes, in a variety of ways. These organizations aim to ensure that homelessness is a rare, brief, and nonrecurring experience.
MCCH provides a men’s emergency shelter in Montgomery County which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for men experiencing homelessness. Located in Rockville, MD, the shelter serves approximately 850 men each year. Emergency shelter has been provided there since the early 1990s. Residents have access to basic amenities such as showers, beds, laundry, and dining facilities. The shelter also offers support services to help residents exit homelessness more quickly. These services include thorough assessments, case management, vocational counseling and job training, health education classes, in-house 12-step meetings, and mobile medical services.
Each year Fairhaven supports MCCH in many ways, including
Providing hot meals and bagged breakfasts for residents
Providing a BBQ lunch for residents
Donating school supplies for children in MCCH and Coalition Housing
Providing hand-knitted hats and scarves
Donating Christmas gifts
Donating supplies for ongoing needs
THE SIERRA LEONE AGAPE VOLUNTARY EFFORT (SAVE)
SAVE came into existence in 1999 as an expression of Christ’s love and concern for the deteriorating human conditions in Sierra Leone. The horrific civil war that occurred in Sierra Leone between 1992 and 2002, caused devastation, leaving children orphaned, general impoverishment, and no means for families to sustain themselves.
SAVE’s focus is to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ, and to bring help in the form of basic resources such as clean water, school buildings, and supplies. It provides personnel to allow the communities to become self-sustaining and live healthy, productive, Christ-centered lives.
Projects undertaken include: building a seven-room school; digging a well, building a clinic and a church.
Following the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and the mudslide in 2017, many families and communities in Sierra Leone were left destitute and without vital resources. SAVE offered financial and other support to alleviate the situation.
In 2020, SAVE with the support of one of our partners - Bethel World Outreach, organized a 3-day medical mission to Magbety Village. The main conditions of focus were hypertension, diabetes, and other local health issues like de-worming. By the end of the mission, over 800 villagers were served.
In 2021, a disastrous tanker fire killed over 140 people. SAVE provided funds for food and counseling for the victims.
A mission trip to Sierra Leone is being planned for November 2023.
Fairhaven collects a special offering once a year for SAVE. Since 2015, Fairhaven has contributed over $13,000 to SAVE.
You can find out more at: SAVE – Sierra Leone Agape Voluntary Effort (savesierraleone.org)
Trick or Treat for UNICEF
For over 70 years UNICEF has worked to provide assistance and services to children worldwide.
During Halloween children are encouraged to collect small change donations. These donations go towards programs that help create a world where children are healthy, educated, protected, and respected.
Fairhaven’s Sunday School children dress up at Halloween and collect change in the familiar orange UNICEF boxes to support these programs
Fairhaven members also participate in:
The United Methodist Church designates a number of Sundays throughout the year to recognize and support particular ministries. These are referred to as Special Sundays, with an offering to fund the work of specific programs. Offerings are collected nationwide. Fairhaven observes the following six Special Sundays:
Human Relations Day supports communities in the United States and Puerto Rico to encourage social justice, working especially with at-risk youth.
UMCOR Sunday supports the worldwide ministries of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in the areas of food, shelter, health, and peace. Donations made on this day go towards covering overhead costs so UMCOR is able to spend 100% of designated donations on projects rather than overheads.
Native American Ministries Sunday nurtures mission with Native Americans and provides scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians.
Peace with Justice Sunday enables the United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through many global programs.
World Communion Sunday provides scholarships for US racial- and ethnic-minority students and international students, on both undergraduate and graduate levels.
United Methodist Student Day provides scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities.
Board of Child Care
The Board of Child Care (BCC) is a non-profit organization that shares United Methodism’s vision to be a community of hope, providing an opportunity to heal and a safe and caring environment for children, youth, and families.
In 2018, Fairhaven supported BCC by collecting and donating items for BCC’s Christmas store. Each year, BCC sets up a room filled with housewares, jewelry, other gifts, and gift baskets where children and their families can shop for loved ones at no cost.
N.M. Carroll Manor Home
N.M. Carroll Manor Home is an affordable assisted living facility for seniors in Baltimore City, MD. The N.M. Carroll community features onsite meals, activities, and services for residents. Various activities and programs help residents to maintain healthy lifestyles
Led by the United Methodist Women, Fairhaven collects an annual offering for residents in the N.M. Carroll Manor Home. For more information on the work of the United Methodist Women, go to http://fairhavenumcmaryland.com/united-methodist-women/.