As you prepare for your holiday gift giving, we humbly ask that you consider one or more of these four Plymouth initiatives that we are supporting this season.
The Christmas Special Offering supports local groups making a difference in our community. Plymouth’s Christmas 2021 Special Offering, with matching Marlon Laverman Memorial funds, gifted Johnston-Parents for Equity and Anti-Racism (J-PEAR), backed by fiscal agent EMBARC, $18,385. J-PEAR started with three women, concerned about racial equity, lack of inclusion and negative experience for children of color in the Johnston School District. Their objectives included collaboration and training for parent groups; an equity audit; an equity committee; a diversity, equity, inclusion director at the school; and helping to leverage other parent groups across school districts.
With these funds, this is what J-PEAR accomplished:
- Partnering with CORE students, created a middle school mentoring program and Student Bill of Rights.
- Acquired software for online meetings and presentations.
- Convened Coalition of Parents for Equity and Anti-Racism with district wide meeting held in downtown Des Moines and developed advocacy for 2023.
- Two Exchange Learning Experiences: Race: The Power of Illusion and Understanding Implicit Racial Bias, for all district staff, and specific outreach was given to school board members, administration, the Johnston Mayor, City Council Members, the Johnston Police Department and other people with power and privilege in our community.
- J-Rock the Block, back to school event and provided 200 participants with school supplies.
- Accompanied parents and children to teacher/principal meetings; met with parents whose children experienced issues; and participated in school board meetings; including upon request Waukee’s school board. Also, advocated against book banning.
- Paid school lunch debt for 13 Seniors so they could receive diplomas.
This is just the short list. To read J-PEAR’s very extensive Impact Report, click here.
Your Special Offering gift definitely makes a difference in the Des Moines metro area. Your online gifts may be made in the Christmas Eve offering plate; at plymouthchurch.com/give; or mailing check to Plymouth Church Attn: Nancy Bassett, 4126 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312. Please mark your gift for the Christmas Special Offering.
Without justice, there can be no peace.
Plymouth Special Offering Committee
Plymouth, through Food Buddies, continues to work with Hubbell Elementary to fight hunger. Many families struggle to have enough food to feed their children. Children often come to school hungry and too distracted by their empty stomachs to do well in school. Plymouth is providing nonperishable, easy to prepare foods for children to take home for weekends when they do not have access to school meals.
This fall, Hubbell staff asked if Plymouth Food Buddies could provide snacks for teachers to have in their classrooms for students who are hungry and not concentrating on their school work. We are now providing them to Hubbell along with the weekend meals.
How can you help?
- Donate food items listed below. These items can be brought to church and left at the Food Buddies Donation bin across from the Welcome Desk.
- Monetary donations can be made through the donation page on Church Center, designating it is for Food Buddies or sending a check or putting a check in the offering with Food Buddies designated in the memo line. Each bag costs approximately $6.17 or $271 per week for 44 students. Food for one student for the school year costs approximately $235. Our food costs have gone up just like everyone else’s this year.
- Join us for meal packing is done twice a month on Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. before the Saturday night worship service. Check the church calendar for the packing dates. You can help with delivery and pick up at Hubbell and grocery pick up at Sam’s Club, Fareway and DMARC on an as needed basis.
Food Buddies Items to Donate:
- Peanut butter – 16 oz. jars
- Fruit cups – 4 oz. juice pack
- Easy Mac Cups
- Chef Boyardee Ravioli, Beefaroni, Lasagna 7.5 oz. Cups
- Raisins or Craisins – 1 oz. boxes
- Squeezable fruit pouches – 3.2 oz.
- Granola bars individually wrapped
- Gold Fish Crackers Snack Packs
- Belvita Bites Snack Packs
- Scooby Doo! Baked Graham Cracker Snack Bags
- Peanut Butter of Cheese Snack Cracker Packages
- Pirates Booty Puffs Snack Bags
- Boom Chicka Pop Snack Bags
- Sun Chips Whole Grain Snack Bags
This donation offering has passed. Thank you so much for all who supported this cause!
Give the gift of radical hospitality this Christmas season by donating blankets for homeless individuals in our community. The Board of Christian Social Action is collecting blankets for Urban Bicycle Food Ministry Des Moines, a non-denominational, nonprofit organization who delivers food and personal items each week to people who are homeless and food insecure. Each Thursday night, UBFM volunteers travel by bike and car along seven routes, bringing supplies and support to individuals living in the woods, under viaducts, and on the street. As the temperature falls, blankets are in high demand—UBFM has been handing out nearly 50 blankets per week. Our goal is to collect enough blankets to supply one month of deliveries.
What we need: Clean, gently-used blankets—the warmer the better! Tarps are also welcome.
When: Bring blankets to church the weekend of December 3-4 and December 10-11, or drop them off during the week.
Where: Place blankets in the festive donation boxes by the Christmas tree near the East Sanctuary Door; near the west side door by the Circle Drive; or at the Lower Level Entry inside the lower parking deck doors. The Circle Drive door and Lower Level parking door will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, for those dropping off during the week.
Note: If you are unable to deliver your blanket in person, you may call Jim Ferguson at 515.314.8195 to arrange a pick-up.
The need to support DMARC has never been greater. With growing inflation, rising prices in food, and the reduction of federal food benefits, more and more people are relying on food banks to help with their grocery needs. DMARC has seen the greatest number of customers in their 46 year history; they continue to serve our community, but not without help from its neighbors.
- Kindly consider supporting DMARC, during this holiday season, by one (or both) of the following:
- Monetary donations of any amount, DMARC has a greater buying power to buy food at a discounted rate from local vendors.
- Food donations, such as non-expired canned vegetables and fruits, cereal, peanut butter, rice, and beans. These shelf stable items are easy way to add nutritional value to any diet.
Thank you Plymouth Church for your continued support