As a church, we believe in being part of our communities. Our church does this in many ways. Explore below to see ways that you can join in the work that Seabold UMC is doing!
Greater Seattle Area
Coffee Oasis is an organization that works with homeless youth and young adults (ages 13-25) in Kitsap County. Much of their funding comes from the proceed from their excellent coffeeshops. With this funding, they are able to provide a variety of services to the homeless in our area. One major resource is their after-school center, which provides a safe, warm place to come after school to relax, socialize, and eat. Here, they can also work with their case worker to gain access to various governmental social services. There are several locations throughout Kitsap County, including Poulsbo. Coffee Oasis is a Christian organization, but religious belief is not a requirement to utilize their services.
For over 40 years, we have taken sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, and fruit to Seattle on a monthly basis. In 2016, however, we transitioned to working within our own communities, partnering with Coffee Oasis in Poulsbo. We collect sandwiches and other healthy foods weekly for the homeless teens that drop into their after-school center.
Participants sign up for one Sunday per month. On that week, they bring sandwiches and other healthy food that will hold up through the week. These foods help feed the homeless youth throughout the coming week.
Time commitment: Once a month, as long as you want
Monetary commitment: Cost of food supplies
To sign up, contact the church office.
Teaching a Class
The youth and young adults attending the center are sometimes offered classes. on a variety of topics. These can range from how to do a budget or how to make a resume to how to deal with anxiety or trauma. Teachers are simply people who know something about the topic and want to share it. You don't need lots of experience teaching. You just need to be able to share about something that you know about to help others grow.
Time commitment: Once, 15-30 minute class, plus preparation time
Monetary commitment: None
Help with the Center
The way to work with the homeless youth and young adults directly is to become a volunteer at the Center. Being a volunteer is very straightforward. You are spending time with those who drop in at the Center. This might be playing pool, chatting, or just hanging out. Besides that, the only responsibilities are light set-up and clean-up tasks. If interested, you could likely help lead the short discussion time once in a while.
This is a ministry of presence. By being there and spending time with them, you are conveying that they are of worth just as they are. To help convey this, this is a longer-term commitment. Consistency is key, so that they can get to know and trust you. As such, you should plan on volunteering at least every other week for an extended period of time. A half-day volunteer orientation is required before you can begin volunteering.
The Center is open from 2–5 pm Monday–Friday, as well as Late Nights (dinner and programming) starting at 6 pm Friday nights.
Time commitment: 3.5 hours, every other week, long-term; plus half-day orientation.
Monetary commitment: None
Chief Kitsap Academy
Lushootseed Language Classes
Lushootseed is the traditional language of, among others, the Suquamish Tribe. It was brought to the brink of extinction during the Boarding School Era, when White teachers forcibly made Native children abandon their native languages. However, in recent years, there has been a revival of Native languages. Now, students at Chief Kitsap Academy learn the language and many children know much of the language.
These family-friendly classes introduce community members, both Native and non-Native, to this language. There is a children's class and an adult's class. The pace is relaxed, encouraging even those who are not adept with foreign languages. There is no formal attendance policy, so if you need to miss a week, it is not a problem.
Language is culture, and culture is language—meaning that these classes also teach us about Suquamish history, traditions, and culture. They are a great way to interact with our community in a significant way.
Time commitment: Weekly classes, Tuesday nights, 2 1/2 hours
Monetary commitment: None, free dinner
Ages: all, family-friendly
Greater Seattle Area
Black & Pink
Black & Pink is an organization working with LGBTQ prisoners. While everybody is vulnerable in prison, incarcerated LGBTQ people are at a much greater risk of harm. Black & Pink is a national organization with its roots in the prison abolition movement. The Seattle chapter specifically engages with our region.
Black & Pink connects those outside of prison with those inside prison through a pen-pal relationship. Often, prisoners have virtually no contact with the outside. Writing to someone helps to show them that people do care for them. Additionally, when an inmate receives mail at mail call, it decreases their vulnerability to prison violence since both guards and inmates know that others care about how they are treated.
This pen-pal relationship can take whatever form you want it to: regular, monthly, only writing, allowing phone calls, giving additional assistance. Black & Pink can give you information to match you with a pen-pal who might be a good match.
Time commitment: Long-term, writing regularly
Monetary commitment: Cost of stamps; financial support (optional)
Ages: All (adults may want to participate with children to assure the letters have acceptable content)
To sign up, or for more info, go to http://www.blackandpink.org/pen-pals/