Nine local agencies will receive Christmas gifts from our congregation. Many of our agencies now prefer to receive gift cards only, while a few are accepting actual presents. Below, you will find information about the agencies, their work, and their wish lists. You are invited to choose one or more of the agencies, shop joyfully (gifts should be new), and help brighten the holiday season for someone in need! Sunday, December 10, please bring your present(s) or gift card(s) into the worship service with you. During the time of offering, you will be invited to bring your gifts to the communion table. If you are not currently attending in-person services, you can mail gift cards to UCUCC, attention Vicki Farmer and/or contact Susan Ovens (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need to drop off a gift on or before Dec. 10. Please help us remove any barriers to your participation!
Please be sure that your present or gift card is clearly labeled with the agency name, and note that most of our agencies prefer unwrapped gifts. Clear labeling helps things to flow smoothly when gifts are being sorted following the service and will ensure that your gift gets where you want it to go. Also include applicable details such as age or clothing size if the gift is wrapped. Please see each agency’s description for specific labeling instructions.
ARION COURT, a property of LIHI, is a single-room-occupancy apartment building in South Lake Union for homeless men, most of whom are U.S. veterans. Arion Court would appreciate gift cards for Safeway, Walmart, Visa, Amazon, or major restaurant chains.
BETHANY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST sponsors and supports three Tiny House Village (60 residents each) as well as BIPOC neighbors in Beacon Hill and the south end every week, every month and especially during the holiday season for families and children. We are grateful for UCUCC’s partnership with us. Gifts cards from Fred Meyer/QFC, Safeway, Amazon, and Macy’s are the most helpful for our ministry.
COMPASS HOUSING ALLIANCE has provided essential services for those who are experiencing homelessness and housing instability in the Puget Sound area for over 100 years. Today they provide services at 20+ locations with 24-hour enhanced shelters, day centers & hygiene services, and permanent affordable housing. Their holiday giving this year is focused on collecting $25 gift cards for Amazon, Fred Meyer or Walmart. 1,200 total are needed. Visit their website to view specific items they are seeking as well. Donated items should be unwrapped.
INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE helps people in 40+ countries whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Since 1976, the IRC in Seattle has helped thousands of refugees, immigrants, and survivors of human trafficking in Washington. In 2016, the IRC New Roots program began providing safe, healing spaces for clients to find community, regain their roots, and grow culturally familiar foods in 5 community garden sites across South King County. These gardens have served to promote mental and physical wellbeing, have become a second home to many, and help almost 200 client households feel food secure during the growing season. Gift cards to Safeway, Saar’s Super Saver, Fred Meyer, WinCo, Home Depot and Lowes are the most popular with clients.
MARY’S PLACE believes that no one’s child should sleep outside. They provide safe, inclusive shelter and services for women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness, and help to keep families in their hard-won homes. $25 or $50 gift cards to Walmart, Target, Fred Meyer, or Amazon would be much appreciated for families this holiday season! You can visit www.marysplaceseattle.org/holiday for more information!
SOLID GROUND FAMILY SHELTER PROGRAM is a small program that supports homeless families with children while working together to find solutions to permanent housing. Our program has 10 apartments scattered throughout North Seattle. Thanks you for thinking of our families’ this Holiday Season. Your help means a lot. Our families are in need of groceries, diapers and gas. We find that Safeway grocery store gift cards work best.
TEEN FEED is an agency that serves homeless youth and young adults ages 13-25. The Teen Feed program provides warm meals to youth every night of the week and strives to create a safe and nurturing environment for youth to speak with volunteers trained in advocacy and referrals. Teen Feed nourishes youth three days a week in our own Ostrander Hall. Case management and outreach services are also available to help youth complete goals such as housing, ID and employment. Teen Feed especially welcomes Amazon gift cards. Other ideas include new men’s t-shirts and boxers, blankets, warm coats, sleeping bags, tents, rainproof gear, all-weather flannel/Carhartt brand. Please label gift with agency and contents.
TIERRA NUEVA is a multi-faceted ministry in Skagit County which is collecting gifts for children who have a parent who will be in jail over the holidays. Tierra Nueva will not only provide much needed presents that help relieve the financial burden on these families, but will also personally drop off the gifts so they can support and pray with the families. For children in primary and intermediate grades, soccer balls, basketballs, school supplies, and art supplies tend to be the biggest “hits.” Other gift suggestions include: warm coats; mittens; gloves; hats and scarves; toys (none that suggest a violent theme, please); barrettes and hair ribbons; books (Spanish-English if possible); games; and jewelry; and wrapping paper to wrap the gifts. Tierra Nueva prefers that gifts not be wrapped. Please label clearly with the agency name.
UCUCC CHILD CARE PROGRAMS include a full-day, year-round child care and early learning program. We offer flexible full-time and drop-in care for children 12 months through 5 years old. The program strives to provide quality care to families of all backgrounds and offer scholarships to those experiencing financial hardship. The program aims to use learning materials and books that are inclusive of all of our families. We would greatly appreciate gift cards or items from our Amazon wishlist: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3OLGB0T1U3X7C?ref_=wl_share