Service and Community in a time of COVID-19

Wow, it has been a little over a month now since most of us started being more proactive about social distancing, replacing church services with online versions of worship, and servicing our community by providing free meals during this unprecedented time.

It seems like it was ages ago, that life was “normal”, we did not know what an N-95 mask was, and the term “separate-together” was not even in our vocabulary. Nevertheless, here we are, and the “new normal” seems to be here to stay for a little longer.

During this unprecedented time, it is imperative to remember a few things about East-Orlando, the community we serve and love. East-Orlando, particularly the area around Union Park, is a low-income area, 47% of people do not own a home, and there are hundreds of families that experience food insecurity.

To make matters worse the exponential increase of unemployment rates and business temporary and permanent closures has been hard felt on our community the past few weeks.

What is so significant about these few statistics? Well, to begin, it is important to note that people that were experiencing food shortages/insecurities before a month ago are still food-deprived today. But we also need to add the millions of people that have recently been affected for one reason or another, due to this world pandemic.

Also, it is important to note, that the need is here to stay for a while. The “new normal” will be of food insecurity for a lot of people that were already prior to the pandemic at-risk communities.

Nevertheless, not all is doomed and gloomed. Churches of all faiths around our area have stepped up food collections, food banks are experiencing more donations, and neighbors are helping neighbors daily.

Volunteers sorting out and packaging food

In that same spirit, our food pantry has ramped up operations, serving 5,682 kid’s meals to date. We also upgraded our “take a bag home” ministry that allows families to take a full week of groceries from our stockpile. During the several weeks, we have been experiencing the need, we have donated over 446 bags of groceries to families in our zip code (32825).

Typical kids meal provided to our community

There is still time for people to help since we know this is not going away anytime soon. Volunteer. It is understandable that during this pandemic, people do not want to physically volunteer and expose themselves and vulnerable family members.

That is especially true for families with elderly people or young kids living at home. Nevertheless, there are other ways to volunteer during this time.

Here are 3 ways in which you and your family can get involved in what our pantry is doing in East-Orlando:

  • Spread the word around! The more people know, the more donations we can get. Donations can be in physical nonperishable food items or money. You can donate through our secure website via PayPal (Donate button below). If you want to take a step further, do a social media campaing to get family and friends connected to this great cause.
  • You can do a food drive in your neighborhood. If you do not live in East-Orlando and still want to help, you can start a food drive wherever you live and donate the food to people that are experiencing food insecurities now. For a complete list of non-perishable items click Here.
  • Get involved in other non-physical ways: A- Pray for more donations and for our volunteers that are risking their own exposure to serve our community in this time of need. B- Send an encouraging word to volunteers and donors! Thank people on a one on one basis showing your appreciation to what they do. Your encouraging words will not go unnoticed! Texts, mail, or video is encouraged these days!

Thank you to all our volunteers, donors, and everyone making this effort possible!! We could not do it without you!!!

There is not a more crucial time for people to work together and pull together as a community. Only together we will mitigate the harsh effects of this global pandemic and the impact in our communities.

If you need more information about what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.

Stay safe and strong during this unprecedented time.

East Orlando Food Pantry Needs!!

Ok, everyone… Here we go! 3.5 million people filed for unemployment last week. This reality showed at our food pantry this week.

Because of the growing need, we served 115 families at our food pantry and 150 kids came to get breakfast and lunch. The need for food is growing as the word is getting out.

We need your support today!!!

We need food donations and we need financial donations to see this happen. Please give and encourage others to give. Faith UMC in East Orlando has become a center for food relief for families across east Orlando.

TO DONATE CLICK ON THE DONATE BUTTON BELOW

Remember, all donations dedicated to our food pantry will go directly to the purchase, handling, and distribution of the food in East Orlando.

As more and more schools, businesses and government facilities are closing due to COVID-19, more and more families are looking for food solutions.

We had secured a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank that has helped facilitate food distribution in East Orlando. However, as the need grows, we need your support more than ever.

Visit our services page for more information about free services provided to East Orlando.

Thanks to all the families that are helping out, and to all our incredible volunteers that are making a difference in the lives of so many.

Please, pray that God continues to provide, that more and more food donations come in, and that we continue to supply the needs of our community as we keep everyone safe, healthy and happy.

Blessings!

Matt Findley,

MT25 Board of Directors.

Kindle Kids Summer Camp 2018!!

Faith UMC – 2018 summer camp is now enrolling!

If you are a family in Union Park, and you are looking for affordable, fun, and safe environment for your kids, look no further.

The camp will run from June 4th till August 10th. Price for the camp is $55 a week, with 2 meals included.

Call to register your kids now at 407-275-1771 or email us at kindlecamp16@gmail.com

 

 

Random acts of kindness in East Orlando

The Matthew 25 project, in conjunction with several partners, donated over $2,000.00 worth of toys to random kids at multiple neighborhoods in east Orlando.

All Christmas donations, from several churches and individuals, were gathered at Faith UMC Orlando, in Dean Rd during the month of December and were distributed by staff and volunteers on Saturday Dec. 23rd, 2017.

Bikes at Faith UMC Orlando waiting to be distributed

Neighbors passed the word around, as several pick up trucks filled with toys and volunteers gave away hundreds of toys to kids of all ages.

Trucks filled with toys and bikes on Saturday.

Among the neighborhoods that were impacted by the donations were: Lake Downey mobile home community (an area that was hit hard by hurricane Irma this past summer) and Dean woods.

Kids receiving toys!

Families celebrated the gifts as they gathered to welcome staff and volunteers into their communities.

The Matthew 25 Project is committed to continue to help neighbors and communities in east Orlando, and our presence, reputation and history continues to grow as we expand our reach to those that are in need.

Our thanks to all the volunteers that made this event a reality!! Special thanks to the folks at Faith UMC for hosting us, and helping us all the way!!