Community Care Ministry Summary

1. BOWIE FOOD PANTRY – Volunteers of St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church (SMUMC) deliver food to the Panty donated weekly by church families.  Also provides cash to the pantry’s emergency aid fund to help those in need.  Provides up to 10 volunteers weekly to help sort and organize incoming food, and help those who shop at the pantry.  Our church truck delivers turkeys and boxes of food to the Pantry that are donated by the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Department in December.  In September, school supplies and backpacks are provided back-to-school children of parents using the Pantry, and toys, sweaters, gloves, hats, scarves, pajamas, and socks are provided to the Pantry’s needy children at Christmas.  

2. PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COMMUNITY CRISIS SERVICES & BOWIE WARM NIGHTS SHELTER PROGRAM – Provide warm space overnight in the church, and food and clothing for 25-35 homeless persons and families for one week during the cold months beginning in December.

3. CHRISTMAS IN APRIL – Provides repairs to the homes of the low-income elderly and disabled throughout Prince George’s County, including Bowie.  Church volunteers serve on the Board, as house inspectors, area coordinators, house captains, and workers at houses on the last Saturday of April every year.

4. BOWIE SUPPORTIVE HOUSING CORPORATION – Church volunteers serve as the Director and Home Maintenance Coordinator.  In addition, church and other volunteers assist in maintaining and furnishing two houses in Bowie – Alpha and Beta Houses – for battered women.   Cash is also provided to help assist the women, and furniture and other needed items are provided when they move to independent living.

5. CHAMP HOUSE RECOVERY – Provides cash, toiletries, and cleaning supplies for persons being housed and treated for addiction at their local Bowie facility.

6. DISASTER RESPONSE PROGRAM – Trained church volunteers put in place a program to help the congregation prepare for and provide neighborhood help in a disaster emergency.  This includes emergency food supplies, cots, electric generators, and transportation.  The church purchased a stair slide to evacuate injured/disabled members on the second floor if elevator is disabled, first aid kits, AED machines, and much more.  The program is coordinated with the American Red Cross, City of Bowie, and Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management to provide shelter, food, and other needs in the church for individuals who have to evacuate their homes and seek temporary shelter during a natural disaster or electricity outage.

7. GUIDING EYES FOR THE BLIND PROGRAM – Provides leadership and weekly training at the church for dogs that will be given to those who are blind.

8. FISH PROGRAM (Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help) – Volunteer telephone coordinators identify drivers who can take the elderly and disabled to doctors, drug stores and other places they need to visit.

9. MISSION CENTRAL, MECHANICSBURG PA. – Serves as a HUB for 62 Methodist churches in the Washington East District for delivering disaster supplies, furniture, computers, as well as health equipment donated by Project Cure.  These are disbursed from this central facility as needed to disaster areas in the country and world-wide.  Periodically, church volunteers sort and pack donated supplies and equipment, and perform other tasks at the Mission.  

10. BOY SCOUT TROOP AND GIRL SCOUT TROOP – The church supports Boy Scout Troop 1249 by providing leaders and sponsorship.  Church facilities are used for monthly meetings; the troop keeps a trailer on the church lot for storing camping supplies and uses the church storage building for most of the troop’s equipment.  In addition, church facilities are used annually for a special fund raising yard sale to help support the troop’s needs. The Troop contributes canned food during the Pantry’s annual spring food drive.  The church provides church facilities for Girl Scout troops to use for weekly meetings.  They, in turn, provide important services to the church and community.  

11. TRANSITIONAL HOUSING – Provides a shelter apartment at the church for individuals and families who need temporary and safe housing.  Food, furniture and kitchen supplies are provided residents when they are able to live on their own.

12. CHURCH ON THE MOVE (ANNUAL COMMUNITY WORK DAY) – Volunteers provide meals to the fire and police departments and bottled water to passers-by, clean up trash and other debris at Bowie High School, and conduct yard and other work at homes, including work for the poor.

13.  BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY – Provides cash to the university’s Dorothy Hammond Fund to help students with emergency needs.  Also provides coats and other clothing, refrigerators, cleaning kits, linens, hygiene kits, and other supplies for students, some of whom are homeless.

14. MEALS FOR SHUT-INS – Provides meals to church members and friends who cannot leave their homes or prepare food for themselves.

15. HOME REPAIR AND SERVICES – Provides home repairs and other services for the elderly and other members of the church.  This could include hanging damaged gutters, cutting down trees, cleaning up overgrown yards, repairing a car, running an errand, etc.

16. PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY MEN’S SHELTER – Provides once monthly meals for men in the shelter who are working toward achieving financial independence, independent housing, and further education.

17. INCARCERATED PARENTS WITH CHILDREN – Toys and other items are donated in December for children whose parents are incarcerated.

18. BOWIE HIGH SCHOOL – Scholarships are provided once each year to two or more graduating seniors to assist them as they begin college.

19. KNIT WITS – A group at church knit and crochet lap throws, infant sets, limb warmers for amputees, scarves, and hats.  These are donated to nursing homes, Army Medical Center, Ft. Campbell, Andrews Air Force Base, Veterans Administration Hospital, Prince George’s Hospital, and others.

20. JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL MISSION TRIP – Partners with The Pilgrimage located in the District of Columbia where young people participate in outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness. They also serve meals at such places as SOME, So Others Might Eat, to learn about gentrification and other challenges in the city, and volunteer with agencies on the ground all year long.

21. PROJECT TRANSFORMATION – This summer reading program is located in Washington, D.C.  As a partner church, financial assistance is provided.  St. Matthew’s also provides meals for its summer interns and leaders.  Church volunteers supply books and give assistance to young readers needing one-on-one help.  They also provide arts and crafts supplies, and help program leaders with games, arts and crafts.

22. CHURCH MUSIC PROGRAM – Invites talented singers and instrumentalists, particularly youth, to participate in church services and annual theater performances.

23. EARLY EDUCATION CENTER – Uses church facilities for education and child care services for ages 2 through kindergarten for about 220 students. Provides opportunities for the children and their parents to volunteer and take part in church missions and activities.  Church volunteers serve on the Board of Directors and support  teacher appreciation activities throughout the year.

24.  MEN’S WEEKLY BREAKFAST GROUP – This fellowship group meets weekly at Rip’s Restaurant.  It sends get well and sympathy cards, and makes phone calls and home visits to individuals identified on the church’s weekly Prayer Request list and by others at the breakfast.  A group of ladies of the church hand make most of the cards.