Due to the growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and the new restrictions on public gatherings, it is with heavy hearts that we are cancelling Mount Olivet's Community Assistance ministry scheduled for Saturday, March 21.
We have decided to partner with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) and the Arlington Street People's Assistance Network (ASPAN) to support their efforts in our community. We have been in touch with both organizations and they are thrilled to receive our support. They have been able to put procedures in place to screen their volunteers, effectively clean their facilities and enforce proper social distancing measures to keep their guests and volunteers safe.
Mount Olivet will donate all of the Giant gift cards, toiletries, canned goods and clothing that we would have made available to our guests through CA. Please let us know if you are available to help transport canned goods to AFAC or clothing to Goodwill in the next 48 hours this week.
Thank you for all of your love and support for our ministry. We will keep you posted on the status of our operations in April as we see how everything unfolds over the next month. You are all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
What is Community Assistance?
On the third Saturday of each month, something special happens at Mount Olivet. It’s called Community Assistance, and it’s changing lives. It’s changing the lives of hundreds of women, men, and children who are struggling to make ends meet. It’s changing the lives of more than 425 volunteers who have found a place to serve others. And it’s changing our community into one that seeks to work together to give a helping hand to our neighbors by providing a safe place to enjoy a good meal, receive groceries, toiletries, clothing, a health screening, and – most importantly – experience God’s love.
Community Assistance began as a ministry of Mount Olivet United Methodist Church in 2007. Then it affiliated with GRACE Ministries, which made it part of a network of United Methodist-supported organizations. Now, it is supported by a diverse group of faith communities, individuals, local businesses, foundations and social service organizations. Generous financial contributions and hands-on help from our partners make it possible to serve a growing population of low-income residents from our community.
Offering Hospitality & Hope
Each month, volunteers welcome members of more than 250 households into the doors of Mount Olivet to receive a hot meal, groceries, clothing, and a gift card for food. There is a program for children with crafts, stories, and games. The children also receive a supplemental bag with extra food for them – granola bars, mac & cheese, and more. Health screenings are available on a monthly basis. We also offer referrals to other organizations that provide services and/or resources for our guests.
How Can I Help?
There are many ways to participate in Community Assistance at Mount Olivet.
- Volunteers assist with food prep and serving, registration, and data entry
- Translators, especially Spanish and Vietnamese language speakers
- Clothing and toiletry distribution during the event
- Set-up and clean-up helpers
- Healthcare professionals to be on site during the distribution in case of an emergency
- Donations of clothing, toiletries and household items. These can be brought to Mount Olivet the week of Community Assistance.
We accept new or slightly used clean, ready-to-wear seasonal clothing for men, women, and children. Also shoes and bags, reusable grocery bags, duffle bags, and backpacks.
Diapers and Baby Wipes
Feminine Hygiene Products
Razors and other Shaving Products
Toothpaste, Toothbrushes and Dental Floss
Target gift cards for diapers and new underwear
We encourage families to volunteer together. Childcare is provided for infants and toddlers, and elementary-age children may participate in the children’s program. Older children and teens are welcome to volunteer in selected areas.
Can I Give Financially?
Community Assistance needs financial contributions to sustain its ministry. Financial contributions are tax deductible. For example, a $25.00 donation provides groceries, clothing, and a Giant Food card for a household for one month, along with dinner and the children’s program on the day of Community Assistance. You can give online by clicking the button below and indicating on the form that your donation is for Community Assistance.