Tag Archives: Service Projects

Lane Construction donates food for the holidays

Lane ConstructionLane Construction employees donated 90 Blue Bags filled with holiday meal provisions and 15 gift cards that can be used to purchase meats or dairy products.  Our Family & Emergency Services case workers will distribute them to neighbors in need as part of our holiday season ministry!  This is especially important for families whose children would regularly receive free school lunches, but would do without during the holidays. Shown here are Lane Construction employees Leticia Ortiz and Carol Felix unloading the truck load full of food.  Our food pantries are always in need of non-perishable food items for distribution to the needy, but there is a great need during the holidays. Thank you, Lane Construction, for your support!

FAIRWINDS Credit Union Goes Barefoot to Work

When a group of FAIRWINDS Credit Union employees volunteered to serve at Daily Bread through our Downtown Orlando location last month, they learned of the Center’s critical need for shoes in the on-site Thrift Store. In an effort to collect shoes for fellow citizens in Central Florida, FAIRWINDS President/CEO Larry Tobin declared that Tuesday, October 8 would be “Barefoot Tuesday” at the credit union and all employees would be encouraged to come barefoot to work if they brought in shoe donations. With help from the 38 Central Florida locations, FAIRWINDS collected 568 shoes! It is even more of a blessing that out of over 500 shoes, only two shoes were not part of a matching pair. The Christian Service Center is extremely grateful for the efforts brought forth by FAIRWINDS Credit Union.

fairwinds shoes

Point In Time Survey to count homeless. The homeless count!

Click on the picture of Robert Stuart and Robert Synder, Department of Veterans Affairs, for a short YouTube video.

Click on the picture of Robert Stuart and Robert Synder, Department of Veterans Affairs, for a short YouTube video.

The homeless count!

Today all across Central Florida, volunteers counted and surveyed the region’s homeless population as part of the annual Point In Time census. This census creates a snapshot of homelessness in the community. The data collected is used to help determine government funding and offers a look at how well, or poorly, the homeless people are doing.

More than 115 local agencies are cooperating with the census of 75 emergency shelters and transitional housing facilities, 20 soup kitchens and food pantries and 70 homeless camps in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Volunteers were at the Christian Service Center’s Daily Bread Downtown Orlando and in West Orange Ocoee locations.

Local volunteers were joined by members of the local Veteran Affairs office and national Department of Veterans Affairs including Robert Synder, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning. Synder said, “the leadership of the VA considers improving the plight of homeless veterans to be one of our top priorities. We are here looking at the local partnerships making that happen.”

The census helps identify individuals with life-threatening medical problems and what types of services are needed.

Participation in the survey is voluntary and data collected on individuals is kept confidential. A report analyzing the data should be ready in April.

Christmas Hotel Ministry at Disney

Christmas Hotel Ministry at Disney. Click on the picture for a short YouTube video

Christmas Hotel Ministry at Disney. Click on the picture for a short YouTube video

On Christmas Day, the Center hosted the traditional non-denominational worship service at Walt Disney’s Contemporary Hotel for guests and cast members. Reverend Sammy Pawlak officiated the service, along with Reverend John McCullough. Special music was provided by Singers, Hannah Pawlak and Erik Winger accompanied by pianist Shannon Pawlak. Reverend Pawlak opened the special service by asking, “where is everyone from?” While the answers did indicate they were locals from Florida, many indicated they were visiting from other states such as Illinois, New York and Virginia, while a few indicated also they were from Europe and Asia. The special service shows how God’s love knows no borders and it is a small world after all. All enjoyed carols and the time of worship together on this most Holy Day. The Center has sponsored the hotel ministry at Walt Disney World since 1974.

7th grader collects clothes for the poor

Elizabeth Steidley organizes National Honor Society clothing drive service project

Since May, Trinity Lutheran High School Student Elizabeth Steidley has collected over 460 T-shirts, slacks, shoes, socks and underwear that she recently donated to the Christian Service Center’s thrift store as part of a National Junior Honor Society service project. The shy teen said, “My biggest challenge was standing up in front of my church, Prince of Peace Lutheran, and asking for donations.”  Elizabeth also wrote announcements for her church’s Sunday service bulletin, and asked the congregation of her grandmother’s church in Kissimmee to donate clothing items.

 Elizabeth only be in the 7th grade, but clearly demonstrates how God can use all of us to His Glory.  Thank you, Elizabeth!

Engage Orlando! College Park Baptist serves!

Volunteers from College Park Baptist were at the Center today as part of the church wide day of service known as Engage Orlando. These faithful volunteers inspected and sorted over 4,000 canned items that will be distributed through our Family & Emergency Services and the Love Pantry project. Also, hot off the press, volunteers labeled the quarterly Servants Heart newsletter for mailing. Thank you College Park Baptist’s Engage Orlando for your service here at the Christian Service Center and elsewhere in our community. You are making a difference.

To view a short video, click on the picture above.

St. Michael’s Bags of Joy

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church dropped off four truck loads of Bags of Joy today at the Christian Service Center! Each bag is filled with Christmas gifts and goodies for children. The Reverend Roger J. Hamilton, St. Michael’s Rector, is shown in this photo surrounded by bags. These bags will be distributed to the children in the Rosemont Community Center’s youth program and to families that come to us seeking help through our Family & Emergency Services program. Thank you to the congregation of St. Michael’s Church for your faithful support.

40 ways to serve at the Christian Service Center

1. Pray for the Center.

2. Write a check made out to the Christian Service Center for Central Florida.

3. Commit to serving on the Board of Directors.

4. Give to the Center through payroll deduction. Commit to donate $10 to the Christian Service Center from every paycheck in 2012.

5. Fill up a Blue Bag with food to give to a hungry family.

6. BOGO! Buy an item and give an item.

7. Organize a clothing drive in your community to collect professional clothes for men and women who are looking for work.

8. Donate an item for our silent auction at FEED THE NEED event.

9. Get a group together to assemble hygiene packs.

10. Buy a ticket to FEED THE NEED annual fundraiser.

11. Clean out your closets and donate items to the Center’s Thrift Shop.

12. Set aside time to pray for those struggling in the Central Florida community.

13. Volunteer at Daily Bread serving food to the homeless.

14. Sort clothes at our thrift store.

15. Hold a Bible Study at Fresh Start.

16. Ask your choir to perform a concert for Daily Bread clients.

17. Pray for the people who will receive hygiene packs.

18. Collect books for the KidsFOCUS program.

19. Help a child learn, contribute school supplies for KidsFOCUS.

20. Have a jacket drive and give the gift of warmth to a homeless person.

21. Donate blankets for a homeless person.

22. Tutor a young student at KidsFOCUS program.

23. Mentor a man from Fresh Start who wants to turn his life around.

24. Tell your friends and families about the Center.

25. Fill up a bag of groceries for a needy family.

26. Get a group together to make snack packs.

27. Help a needy family by providing a gift certificate to a local grocery store.

28. Donate a bus pass.

29. Write a note of thanks to a case manager.

30. Invite a Fresh Start client to your house for Christmas Day.

31. Buy new shower curtains for the Fresh Start.

32. Provide balloons for our Annual Street Celebration.

33. Have a painting party at the Center.

34. Deliver food to a Love Pantry School.

35. Pick weeds in front of our buildings or perform other lawn maintenance.

36. Sort canned goods in our food pantry.

37. Collect gently worn shoes.

38. Donate new socks and underwear.

39. Answer the phone for our Family & Emergency Services.

40. Ask your company to sponsor a Love Pantry in an Orange County Public School.

Do you know how much food teenagers can eat?

We need your help!
I just got a phone call from one of our local high schools asking if the Christian Service Center could help provide a Christmas Meal and food for 45 families! For the past few years, the Christian Service Center, along with the school’s PTSA, collects food and toys for selected families who are homeless or living “way beyond the edge” of poverty.
Each year, we have had the ability to help provide food so that the PTSA could concentrate on gathering toys (and some clothes) for these families.
This year, we are honored to be called upon again. But, we have a small issue that needs your help. Because of the increased demand, we don’t have 45 boxes of food to help these families! That’s why I’m writing you…we need your help.

“Do you know how much food teenagers can eat? My son is outgrowing his clothes. I’m struggling just to pay basic bills. I don’t’ know what kind of Christmas we are going to have this year.” Christina is a mother who came to us for help and hope. Help us help mothers like Christina.

A few weeks ago, we launched our annual BLUE BAG promotion. Each year, we ask our generous supporters to go to their local supermarket, or even their own pantry, and provide items for families in need. (A list of items is available on our website, and included within each BLUE BAG.) It’s simple, just fill the bag, deliver it to us, and we’ll deliver it directly to the families.
(Don’t worry, if you don’t have a BLUE BAG! Just get the list of items needed from our website and we’ll put it into a BLUE BAG when you deliver it to our offices.
There are at least 45 families than need our help today! And, there are hundreds more who will call on us in the next few days. Please help us…help them…have a Merry Christmas!

Robert F. Stuart
Executive Director

Orange County Public Schools honors Love Pantry project

Robert Stuart is shown here with OCPS Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Barbara Jenkins and OCPS Board Representative, Nancy Robinson.

The Center’s Executive Director, Robert Stuart, was recently awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Orange County Public Schools in recognition of the Love Pantry project. Robert is shown here with Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Barbara Jenkins and School Board Representative, Nancy Robinson.

 57% of Orange County Public School students are on free or reduced lunch program. For some children this is their only meal of the day. The Love Pantry is a new innovative project helping struggling families by putting an emergency food closet directly into Orange County Public Schools. Each of the 13 elementary schools chosen for this pilot project have been provided with a lockable cabinet stocked with food/hygiene items identified as “commonly in demand”. When a student/family is in need, the school’s staff members can go to the cabinet to provide enough food for one or several family meals, along with valuable community resource information to direct them to a longer-term solution.

Love Pantry by the numbers:
13 pilot project elementary schools
20 of the most common food items
1100 meals in each cabinet
1642 family members blessed the first 7 weeks
6052 food items distributed in the first 7 weeks
$0 cost to the schools or families

The Love Pantry: Feeding families, one school pantry at a time.