Children in need, hunger, homelessness, literacy and social justice are key areas of focus for FUMC’s Outreach Ministries – both locally and globally. In 2017, 11.4% percent of children under 18 in Ann Arbor lived below the poverty level (according to Michigan League for Public Policy). Nearly 50 of these children live about half a mile from our Green Wood Church, at Green Baxter Court, a public housing site for low-income families.
The Community Action Network (CAN), a non-profit community organization, serves under resourced families living in Washtenaw County. CAN advocates for low income families with schools, community service providers, and government agencies. They provide educational and life skills programs for children and teens, and supportive housing services for families living in the complex, as well as working to build community within the areas they serve. A full description of the programs offered can be found on the CAN website (http://www.canannarbor.org).
However, like many small nonprofits, CAN could not exist without collaborating with other community organizations and the support of its volunteers. Additional help is needed, especially in the program serving children and youth.
Food, education and life skills training programs for children and youth are a primary focus. CAN offers pre-school, after school and summer camp programs that include:
Academic support and enrichment, including homework help, personalized tutoring and a hot evening meal M-Th throughout the school year.
- Personal growth and life skills classes, including: cooking/nutrition classes, teen talk groups, Kids Council, substance abuse prevention. and a teen employment preparation program
- Making certain that every child eligible for Head Start is registered and enrolled.
- Developing toy libraries for children 0 – 5 years old.
Outreach Project Purpose:
FUMC CAN make a difference in serving the needs of the extremely poor, especially children and youth, in our local community. The ministry focus of this project is to join with the Community Action Network (CAN) in service to local families with children, by providing educational assistance, food, clothing, household goods and other necessities.
Drawing on the passion, energy and generosity of the FUMC congregation, various projects and initiatives are addressed throughout the year.