With high rates of poverty in Evanston and the Chicago area, we have many neighbors to help. Coordinated by our Mission & Outreach Committee, we serve through a number of ministries starting right here at home.
Sack Lunch Ministry
Every Sunday our sack lunch ministry volunteers make brown bag lunches that are distributed to the community through Connections for the Homeless. Lunch making during the school year is after 10:30 a.m. worship; during the summer, we make lunches between Worship in the Park and 10:30 a.m. worship. We always can use additional help with shopping, lunch making, and delivery. Click here to help.
First Friday Lunch Program
Our First Friday program feeds lunch to hungry persons in Evanston once a month. On the First Friday of each month volunteers gather at 10:30 a.m. in the First Church kitchen to make lunches and then head over to the First Congregational Church Parish House and serve them. If you can help from 10:30-1:30 p.m. one Friday a month, please email Jane Cheema.
Each Thursday we host the Interfaith Action Soup Kitchen for persons who need a hot meal and shelter from the elements. Our congregation cooks the meal once a month and hosts other groups that provide the meal the other Thursdays. We also cook and host Thanksgiving dinner for our soup kitchen patrons. Interested in volunteering with the soup kitchen? Please contact coordinator Ethelyn Bond.
Click here to go to the Bundled Blessings page.
Pennies for Poverty
All loose change in the offering plate each week goes toward Pennies for Poverty to alleviate poverty locally and around the world. Our first million pennies ($10,000) went toward the Mo Dega Agricultural Development Project in Ghana, West Africa. Since then we have given $1,000 each to these local poverty initiatives: Connections for the Homeless, Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association (ESCCA), the Youth Job Center of Evanston, Y.O.U., The Night Ministry, Ridgeville Park District’s Summer Hoops for Youth, and Bundled Blessings.
Star Tree and Y.O.U.
Each Advent we set up the Star Tree and work with Y.O.U. to purchase and donate Christmas gifts to over 150 Evanston children and their families.
ESCCA (Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association)
Five or six times a year we volunteer with ESCCA, an organization that provides Evanston/Skokie District 65 school children in need with a complete wardrobe for the year.
Community Partners for Affordable Housing
Working with CPAH, First Church volunteers help with house repair and renovation projects enabling this nonprofit organization to offer rehabbed homes at affordable prices to families in the community.
Oakton School Tutoring Program
Through our tutoring program, volunteers are matched with a child in a predominantly low-income area to help that child become a proficient reader and build a positive adult-child relationship.