In the past several months, our lives have been significantly changed by the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). To slow the spread of the outbreak and halt widespread illness in the community, schools, churches and gathering places of all sorts have been encouraged to practice social distancing. We have been monitoring ongoing reports from federal, county and city authorities. Remaining committed to the safety of our congregation, and believing we must all take precautionary measures to ensure our collective health and safety in Dallas and beyond, we will extend the closure of our campus and continue with online ministry activities through the remainder of 2020. Based on federal guidelines for a phased re-entry to communal activity, we are currently devising a plan on how we might come back together when Dallas County is eligible.
Our COVID-19 Committee recently devised two new policies (links below) to help guide our operations and ministry work at this stage of the pandemic. For questions on these policies, email Wendy Westberg.
Offsite Events Protocol
Stay connected with us during this time!
Click here to sign up to receive our emails, which include First Thing with FirstChurch – a Monday-Thursday guide including Connection Point videos and Daily Rituals to help you stay connected to God and neighbor.
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To see all of our Connection Point series, click below for the YouTube playlist.
Other ways to connect:
There are many service opportunities available during this time.
FOOD PREP, PACKING & DISTRIBUTION
*Dallas Bethlehem Center
Every Thursday the Dallas Bethlehem Center is in need of volunteers to help to pack and distribute food. Sign up here.
*Crossroads Community Services
Volunteers Needed for Crossroads Community Services Call Program
The CCS Client Check-In Call program is a volunteer driven telephone call service for senior and single-person household food pantry clients during the COVID-19 health crisis. This an opportunity to check-in on clients that are homebound, elderly, live alone, and have limited social interactions or transportation options. Volunteers are needed to check-in on clients and offer a supportive ear to those individuals who may be facing increased challenges in the current environment. Training provided. Please contact Liane Proctor, at email@example.com or 214.560.2511 ext. 401 or Maureen Shumay at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to volunteer.
*Austin Street Meals
Donations toward meals may be made online at https://www.firstchurchdallas.org/yourpay/?dtype=ministry. Please select Mission and Outreach in the drop down menu and in the comments put “Austin Street meals”. If you would like to send a check made out to FUMC Dallas with “Austin Street meals” in the memo, that would work as well. Questions? Contact Heather Brestle here.
AIDS Services Meal
Food providing and drop off, contact Grace McFerrin here.
The Well community provides hope and healing to adults recovering from mental illness through healthy relationships, essential services and meaningful work.
During this COVID-19 time they are preparing and safely giving out healthy “to go” lunches from the door of The Well. Along with the meals, The Well is giving out needed personal care items like toilet paper, body wash, bottled water, toothpaste and other items as they collect them. Ways to help:
- Lunches for 55 people daily Monday-Thursday. Lunches can be dropped off at The Well anytime between 10:30am-11:15am. We will safely pick them up from the car. Or, meals can be ordered from a nearby restaurant in North Oak Cliff, we will pick them up.
- Personal care items. They can be personally delivered Mon. – Fri. 2-4 p.m. or sent by UPS or FedEx to The Well Community, 125 Sunset Ave, Dallas TX 75208.
- Plastic grocery store bags
- To-go containers
- Bottled Water
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- Disposable gloves
- Disposable masks
- Individual size hand sanitizer
- Rubbing alcohol
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Lip Balm
- Hand or body lotion
- Body wash
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Facial Tissue – single travel pack
- Band aids
- Socks – unisex
- Adult Diapers XL – men and women
- Feminine products (pads are preferable)
- Bug spray
- Pudding cups
- Crackers and cheese or Crackers and peanut butter
- Notes of encouragement
For questions please check out their website here.
According to the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, West Dallas is one of the most at risk communities for COVID-19. The study is based on those over age 60 and individuals with underlying medical conditions.
Our families aren’t more likely to contract COVID-19. But if infected, the case is more likely to be severe. To read more, click here for the Dallas Morning News article and here to read the research. There are many ways to help at Wesley-Rankin:
- Donate to general or emergency relief funding here: WRCC Online
- Donate to North Texas Giving Day on September 17
- Donate toiletries or hygiene products for senior citizens. Receive more information here: email@example.com
Please connect with Severina Ware here or Natalie Breen here with drop off dates and times. They can better prepare their staff for the arrival of donations that way.
Christ’s Foundry serves a community where the average household income is 60 percent below the national average income. With Dallas County’s current COVID-19 measures, the economic hardship is even greater. Very few workers are salaried or able to work from home, most get paid by the hour or by the job, and the majority of their families have either had hours reduced or completely lost their jobs. Many of these same families are not eligible for government assistance. The loss of income is devastating to families who had very little margin in their budgets to start with.
How YOU can help:
1. Keep Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Mission in your PRAYERS. Please add them and their community to your prayer lists, and let them know you’re praying for them by leaving a message on their Facebook page.
to their outreach efforts to help secure food.
to pick up donated bread and transport it to Christ’s Foundry on Saturday mornings. For more details and to sign up to volunteer, click here.
in-kind items for immediate distribution. Click here
for a suggested list.
personal safety supplies for their volunteers, including face masks, gloves, hair nets, and disinfectant wipes.
**These items are included on their Amazon wish list
, though many items are not currently in stock or have long shipping times. They will continue to update the wish list with needed items.
7. SHARE! Help them fulfill their mission by sharing our needs with others who are looking for a way to help.
Dallas ISD Food Distribution
Volunteers are needed on Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The schools below are the ones in need of the most help to pack and distribute food. If you have not already done so, register as a volunteer at https://dallasisd.voly.org.
1) Complete the General volunteer application
2) Select the desired school(s) for which you want to volunteer. Schools needing the most assistance are:
• W.H. Atwell Middle School
• David W. Carter High School
• E.B Comstock Middle School
• Justin F. Kimball High School
• Franklin D. Roosevelt High School
• W.W. Samuell High School
• Seagoville Middle School
• Boude Storey Middle School
• Sunset High School
• Sarah Zumwalt Middle School
3) Complete the on-line orientation (including e-signature to confirm completion)
4) An email will be sent confirming your volunteer clearance.
5) You will be able to sign-up for volunteer opportunities at the selected schools once you have completed your on-line orientation and have been cleared.
6) To ensure the safety of families, staff and volunteers, we require that all prospective volunteers answer a series of health questions: Health Questions to Answer Prior to Volunteering.
SCHOOL RESPONSES FOR CHILDREN
*One + One Dallas: Dallas ISD
Food Distribution Volunteers
*JJ Rhoads Learning Center
Teacher appreciation and encouragement.
Contact Corinne Bryan here.
Texas-Impact Response Team
Join and advocate for COVID-19 responses that affect the most vulnerable in our communities. Info here.
Immigration Task Force
Contact: Richard Spies here. Contact: Allyn Carrell here.
New York Times article.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
North Texas Behavior Health Authority (NTBHA)
COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line
Tele-Support Group for Alzheimer”s Caregivers
Or call 800-272-3900
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Mental Health America Dallas
The Center (telehealth available)
OTHER RESPONSES IN OUR COMMUNITY
Carter Blood Care
Sign up for 52 Weeks of Neighboring Newsletter that has ideas of how to be a good neighbor during this time of pandemic crisis here.
Podcasts: There are specific episodes related to COVID-19 and how to neighbor here.
Food Donations: All food donations inquiries to Parkland Health & Hospital System can be sent to Vishal Bhalla here. Food donations for breakfast, lunch, dinner for nurses and doctors or departments. They have specific requirements. Please contact Vishal Bhalla to learn more.
Supply Donations: All supply donations inquiries (such as scrubs and masks) to Parkland Health & Hospital System can be sent to Pamela Bryant here
Community Outreach: Angela Morris, Parkland Health & Hospital System Senior Director of Community Engagement, is spearheading our efforts to educate and inform our community about health matters. She may be reached here.
* indicates a Rise Fund agency or ministry