Opportunities to Serve our Neighbors amidst COVID-19

By: Taylor Bell

5 minute read

 

Baptist Church of the Covenant,

As I wrote last week, Covenant is a church that takes Jesus’ call to “love your neighbor as yourself” incredibly serious. We are a church for whom ministering to our community is simply part of what it means to be “church.” And in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this pillar of our identity has only become more salient. Especially as our community becomes evermore strained. Because of this, we know many of you are asking how you can responsibly serve your community during these difficult times. To help with this, we are working to keep an up-to-date list of ministry opportunities in Birmingham.

So if you are asking, “How can I responsibly serve my neighbors?” then check out the list below. It is comprised of ways you can assist or join the work of several of our Missions and Ministry Partners 

If the list is missing something, please contact Taylor Bell (tbell@bcoc.net) so it can be added.

 

Greater Birmingham Ministries: Donate Funds for their Food Pantry

Every Friday, GBM provides up to 50 food-insecure families with groceries. However, due to how this pandemic is especially hurting low-income families, GBM decided to no longer cap their Friday food pantry. This past Friday (3/20), GBM decided to serve food until either people stopped coming or they ran out of food. After serving 90 families, they ran out of food. As a result, GBM’s food pantry shelves are bare and need to be replenished, and they are asking their partners for help. During this time, they now need our help so they can help others.

GBM is asking for financial contributions to fund their food pantry. These contributions enable GBM to buy food in bulk from the Community Food Bank. If you wish to donate for GBM’s Food Pantry, you can do so by clicking this link here: https://gbm.ourpowerbase.net/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=2, and make sure to select “Food Fund” at the bottom under the Special Contributions Section.

Please Note: this ministry opportunity is not replacing our April GBM Canned Food Drive. We will update you on the status of the April Canned Food Drive when we are closer to April 19th.

 

Community Food Bank of Central Alabama

The Community Food Bank of Central Alabama has partnered with the Grace Klein Community to help with food distribution — and they are calling for volunteers to help them get food out quickly and safely to those in need. As many of you know, the Community Food Bank is an integral partner for our Backpack Ministry, in which food is provided to children who are at risk for going hungry during the school year. Now, due to COVID-19 and its resulting school closures and job losses, the need for food assistance is rapidly increasing (i.e. GBM above). To meet this necessary demand, they need extra volunteers.

If you would like to volunteer with the Grace Klein Community / Community Food Bank see the details below. Please note, all volunteers must be between 16 and 65 years old. Also, gloves, hairnets, etc. are provided on site.

Date and Times Requested:

  • Monday thru Friday, 10am to 6pm
  • Shifts
    • 10am – 2pm
    • 2pm – 6pm
    • 1pm – 5pm

Sign up for one of several locations below:

  1. Liberty Church
    2732 Old Rocky Ridge Rd.
    Birmingham, AL 35216
    https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040849a4aa2da0fa7-drivethru1

  2. Grace Klein Community Office
    2652 Old Rocky Ridge Rd
    Birmingham, AL 35216
    https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040849a4aa2da0fa7-volunteers2

  3. Wylam Location
    4121 7th Ave
    Birmingham, AL 35224
    https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040849a4aa2da0fa7-volunteers1

 

Bread for the World COVID-19 Advocacy

Public policy is just as essential as direct service to influencing our communities’ well-being during this pandemic. Public policy determines what resources are available and the rules governing these resources distribution. During this pandemic, ministry means also advocating for certain public policies.

Therefore, Bread for the World is asking us to tell Congress (both the House and Senate) to boost the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to maximum benefits by 15 percent to ensure vulnerable populations in the U.S. have access to the resources they need. Being this is a pandemic measure, it is being referred to as P-SNAP.

This policy request is essential as it expands the number of families eligible for SNAP as food insecurity rapidly increases due to pandemic’s consequential economic recession. During this pandemic, social services such as SNAP are evermore essential to helping vulnerable peoples weather the pandemic’s storm.

Contacting your legislators is quick and easy (plus it’s their office’s job to listen to you!). It is recommended to either call or email your legislators’ offices. Personalized 

For a template letter and easy way to message your legislators, click this link from Bread: Respond to COVID-19 and Support Vulnerable Populations 

For a list of your Legislators with their contact information, click here: List of Alabama Representatives and Senators

If you are wondering who your legislators are, click this link and input your address: https://www.sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes/elected-official-map

 

Grocery Ministry — Expanding for our BCOC Members

We recognize that social distancing more greatly impacts the elderly and immunocompromised individuals’ access to basic needs, such as groceries and medicine. Therefore, we are expanding the grocery ministry’s operation to include those within the BCOC Family who are having difficulty accessing the grocery store and pharmacy due to COVID-19. Please note: this expansion is for BCOC members who cannot, or are advised from, going to the grocery store or pharmacy due to their age and immune system status.

If you need someone to grocery shop for you due to this pandemic, please contact either Taylor Bell (tbell@bcoc.net or 502.415.5808) or Josey Windham (jwindham@bcoc.net).

If you would like to volunteer to grocery shop either for our Highland Manor neighbors or BCOC Members, please contact Taylor or Josey to be added to the list. We will connect with you an individual to shop for along with further instructions.

 

That is it for now folks. If you know of any additional ministry opportunities with our missions and ministry partners, please let us know. As we become aware of more ministry opportunities during this pandemic we will be sure to update you all. So stay tuned!

Stay healthy, safe, and sane Covenant :).

Peace and Blessings,

Taylor

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