Reaching out to the wider community has been an integral part of the programme of Woodroffe United Church since its inception. The congregation's current activities include giving emergency assistance to families and individuals who need help with food and other necessities of life. Help is given in consultation and cooperation with established social action groups such as Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre. Thanks to the generosity of contributors within the congregation, support of outreach work has been consistently strong and is indeed a significant part of Woodroffe United Church's Christian mission of sharing God's love in the community at large.
Here is how we carried out our mission in 2014:
We spent $880 on backpacks which were distributed to school children through the Pathways to Education programme. We were able to fill the backpacks with the contents of 20 large boxes of school supplies donated by you.
Britannia Woods Youth Programmes
Children registered in the “Grab ‘n Go school lunch programme are able to take nourishing lunches to school two days a week. The Britannia Woods staff and volunteers make up lunches. Our congregation [you] contributed most of the money for the food.
The after school programme looks after children in three groups, ages 6-9, 10-12, and 13-18 years. The funding they receive from United Way is only for children aged 6-12. To keep the youth program going, they rely on donations. They like to offer a youth drop-in on Monday & Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30pm and on Tuesday & Thursday, they have a youth gym drop-in program at Dr FJ McDonald Catholic School. The school allows them to use the space free of charge.
Our contribution helps to pay for healthy snacks for the children.
Camp Bitobi Camperships
The Camp Bitobi Camperships programme provides selected children and parents with a camping experience not otherwise possible. It is run by the Ottawa West End Community Chaplaincy.
Michele Heights Youth Programme
In 2013 we joined with the Anglican Diocese and St. Stephen’s Church in helping to set up a homework club in the Michele Heights area (Carling and Richmond). We will continue to support this programme.
Young Men’s Shelter
In November 2014, The Young Men’s shelter put out a request for gifts for their residents, who otherwise would probably receive nothing at Christmas. We responded with thirty $10 gift certificates for Subway and Tim Horton’s. We will probably do the same in future years.
We support two food banks - Britannia Woods and Foster Farm - with non-perishable food that you donate. They also receive contributions from other churches and from the Ottawa Food Bank
We support three food banks - Britannia Woods, Foster Farm, and Morrison Gardens - financially, to enable them to buy the extra food they need. Food bank clients are allowed to come in once a month, or twelve times a year. At each visit they receive a package containing emergency food for three days.
In parallel with our own Christmas food gift card programme we support the hamper programmes of Britannia Woods and Foster Farm..
Food Gift Cards and Christmas Gifts
Fifty-one families registered with us for Christmas food gift cards. In addition to the cards [purchased from Produce Depot], we gave a White Gift to each child, a packet of toiletry articles to each adult and knitted hats and mittens to everyone. Several families also picked up skates left-over from the Bazaar. Forty families at the Carling Family Shelter received White Gifts and toiletry packages from us.
A total of 141 adults and 157 children received some form of Christmas assistance from us. We also contributed several gifts to the “Toy Mountain”.
Centre 507 is an adult drop-in centre that is open to all who seek a safe place, with a friendly and supportive environment. The centre is at 507 Bank Street near the corner of Argyle and is housed in the former McLeod-Stewarton United Church, now Centretown United.
Club 2000 is a group of physically challenged people who meet weekly at Woodroffe. Council, at its November 2012 meeting, voted to adopt Club 2000 as a church-sponsored outreach ministry, under the oversight of the Local Outreach Committee.
Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre
We bought $10 Shoppers Drug Mart and Giant Tiger gift cards and give them to the community health centre. They handed them out to people who needed emergency non-prescription drug store items, such as diaper rash ointment.
Pinecrest-Queensway’s mandate hs been changed, and they will no longer provide emergency help to individuals. To compensate, at least to some extent, we have increased our emergency assistance budget.