UUCOV offers all of our congregants the opportunity to help with the homeless and hungry in our community.
BACKPACK KIDS. This program supplies food for school children on weekends. These students qualify through the free and reduced lunch programs at their individual schools. Currently we supply backpacks to more than 480 students in 6 schools. We also financially supplement the high school food pantry. We pack at the United Church of Christ on Shamrock Blvd in Venice Gardens on alternate Wednesdays at 10am. We work with other congregations and this takes about 35 minutes.
SANDWICH PROJECT. This project supplies 100 sandwiches, nutritional bars, applesauce and a salty snack for homeless persons in the area. We make sandwiches on the second Tuesday of each month in Gray Hall at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on the island of Venice. We meet at 8:30am. We then take our sandwiches to the Center of Hope for distribution. They distribute 25 sandwiches daily, Monday-Friday. This project takes about 40 minutes.
COMMUNITY DINNERS. There are 4 dinners offered each month at The United Church of Christ in Venice Gardens and at Grace United Methodist Church, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, and St. Mark's Episcopal Church on the island of Venice. One can visit the Interfaith Outreach, Inc. website to contact the captains for each of these dinners. We feed on average 50-60 people at each dinner.
COFFEE TALK. This volunteer opportunity takes place at the Church of The Brethren on the island of Venice. It operates from 9:30-11:45 Monday-Friday and offers the homeless a place to gather and have coffee and share concerns and help each other in a safe environment out of the elements.
COLD WEATHER SHELTER. This opportunity is an on-call service offered during the colder months from December to March. Grace United Methodist Church supplies the space and kitchen for this activity. We need volunteers to help with serving dinner and breakfast, socializing with the homeless for a few hours during the evening, and overnight supervision. This would be a last minute opportunity and we would need contact information to help with a database for notifying you.
All of the above opportunities are supported by Interfaith Outreach Inc. Steve and Phil both serve on its Operations Board. We have members from the Jewish Congregation of Venice, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church, the Lift Church and Grace United Methodist Church.