First Cares is a yearly mission project done on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  In Columbus Indiana, students have the day off and are encouraged to make good use of their time.  The church provides breakfast at 8:00 in Fellowship Hall and then multiple mission projects are offered for everyone to participate in. Mission projects provided include: making blankets and stuffed animals for Riley Hospital, volunteering at the Animal Shelter, creating Valentine Cards, working on homes around the neighborhood and volunteering at the Turning Point shelter.  With so many different missions offered people of all ages come out and help with what they are comfortable with.  The day is not only a way to participate in missions around our community, but it’s also a way to strengthen our church family. 
Blankets and Stuffed Animals for Riley 
 Around 20 people stayed at the church on MLK Day and helped tie knots on the ends of blankets and stuffed and sewed shut homemade stuffed animals.  The blankets and stuffed animals were then sent to Riley Children’s Hospital.  

Some of the stuffed animals created

Young children were able to stuff the animals.

The work offered plenty of time to talk to your church friends.

There was stuffing everywhere!

There was stuffing everywhere!

Animal Shelter
A group of about ten people, mostly youth, volunteered at the animal shelter for part of the day.  The group helped clean out cat cages and other various activities.  One of the best part of their opportunity was getting to play with the cats while also volunteering,
Valentine Cards
 Also located in the church Fellowship Hall was room dedicated to making Valentine Cards for the church’s VIPs.  The church VIPs members of the church who the care ministry team has selected as people wanting that extra kind note every once in awhile.

The collection of cards was fabulous.

A church youth working on a Valentine Card.

Many of the cards were very detailed.

Most cards included a special, uplifting note.

 

NoEL (No Empty Lunchboxes)

Youth helped pack the lunches.

Each bag also contained a drink.

The NoEL program takes place every Fall Break, Christmas Break, and Spring Break in the school system.  Donations of money are used to purchase food and one Sunday after church members pack up the lunches.  The lunches go to children who are on paid school lunches and would not have lunch on school breaks.  The names are provided by Lincoln Central Family Center.

Young children were given the task of stuffing the bags.

A wide variety of members participated in the packing of lunches.

Hot Meals 

Hot Meals is a weekly mission held in the church kitchen and Fellowship Hall. Every Monday night at 5:30 a hot meal is served to anyone in the neighborhood who shows up.  There can be anywhere from 50 to 100 people show up looking for a hot meal.  Different groups in the church sign up to make the meal each week.  These groups could include a Sunday School class, Travelers Club, the Youth Group, or any church sanctioned group.