Elkhorn Hills UMC hosted its first VIM Team of the 2015 season the week of June 1st. This team of 15, including chaperones, was a girls only group! The ages of the Countryside United Methodist Church, Topeka, KS, VIM Team ranged from 5 to 39 years. This was Countryside UMC’s first intergenerational mission trip.
United Methodist Ministries
Countryside UMC coordinated with United Methodist Ministries in Omaha to help with food banks, community gardening, homeless shelters and children’s programs. In talking with the group members, they prepared soil, planted kale and tomatoes, weeded, and mulched as part of their mission work. They also filled dirt into raised garden beds. The organizations the VIM Team worked with are listed below.
Open Door Mission is a Gospel Rescue Mission founded in 1954 committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Each day, Open Door Mission’s campus offers 816 safe, shelter beds to homeless men, women and children; serves over 2,000 hot, nutritious meals; and provides preventive measures to more than 275 people living in poverty.
Click here to learn more about the Open Door Mission.
The Big Garden began in 2005. Initially funded by the USDA’s Community Food Project, the Big Garden had a goal of creating 12 community gardens in three years. Today, the Big Garden is a network of 100+ community gardens in metro-Omaha and rural and semi-rural communities in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas.
The Big Garden’s mission is to improve nutritional health and facilitate community development in the Omaha metro area by building the capacity of community organizations, congregations, and schools through the act of gardening.
The Big Garden is located at 2665 Farnam Street, Omaha. Click here to learn more about The Big Garden.
Initially started nearly thirty years ago in response to increased requests from members in the north Omaha community seeking food, clothing, shelter and financial assistance, the Heart Ministry Center has always aimed to assist people needing life’s most basic necessities.
Since 2010, the Center has expanded the services of its health clinic, developed a group mentoring program for at-risk youth, introduced a legal clinic, and experienced a dramatic increase in people being served to over 6,000 people a month. Most recently, the Center was extensively renovated to include a third medical room, a computer lab, a social work office, a pharmacy, a dental clinic, a self-sufficiency classroom, and an expanded lobby area. Despite the increase in demand for services, the Center strives to provide the same high quality, personalized care.
The Heart Ministries Center is located at 2222 Binney Street in Omaha. Click here to learn more about the Heart Ministries Center.
The VIM Team also had a fun activity each day after finishing their mission work. They did the slides at the Gene Leahy Mall, crossed the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge to Iowa and back, popped in to the Joslyn Art Museum, and visited Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo before heading home. The VIM team was invited to Paul and LuAnn Dritley’s lake home one night for a fun outing and supper. Thank you to the Dritley’s and the Fraser’s (Bryan, Julie and Conner) for providing and serving this meal.