“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). This Bible verse is the heartbeat of our church, and is the reason we show our love for God and people in practical ways. Here are a list of organizations where you, your family, or your small group can put your faith in action by serving the poor and those in need. Note: Some organizations require an orientation or training or background checks before you can serve with them so be sure to contact them well in advance to make sure you can serve on the date you want.

Your “Neighbor”

Compassion happens best in the context of relationships. Begin with your immediate circle of relationships: co-workers, single moms, single dads, neighbors, family members, and friends. Even if they aren’t homeless, how are they in need? How can you be a blessing to them? How can you show God’s love in practical ways to them? (Some ideas: offer to babysit for a single parent who needs a night off // do yard work for an elderly person // provide meals for people who have a family member in the hospital // tutor a child in your neighborhood who is struggling in school). If there is no one in your immediate circle whom you can serve, contact a local charitable group as listed below. They will be able to put you to work!

Habitat for Humanity – Macomb County

Macomb County Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian based, housing ministry that provides low-income, working families the opportunity to purchase safe, decent, affordable housing in which to raise their families.

Habitat was founded in the belief that every man, woman, and child should have a decent, affordable place to live, where they may dwell in dignity and safety. No experience required! You don’t need to be an expert at swinging a hammer to serve with Habitat for Humanity. It’s a great organization to work if you have a group of people from work, school, or sports team looking to serve together.

Website: macombhabitat.org
E-mail: volunteer@macombhabitat.org
Phone: 586.263.1540

Central Detroit Christian (CDC)

Through education, employment and economic development, Central Detroit Christian (CDC) strives to instill hope, faith and values while inspiring individuals within the community to reach their highest potential as confident, productive and caring community leaders and citizens.

Volunteers are needed several days of the week for various programs. For example, spend a Tuesday night pouring into under-privileged, elementary-age kids — begin by eating dinner with them and then be part of the team that helps them with subjects they are struggling with in school as well as teaching them about God’s love for them.

Website: centraldetroitchristian.org
E-mail: dfoster@detcdc.org
Phone: 313.873.0064

Grace Centers of Hope

Every year volunteers give thousands of hours to help care for the homeless, abused, and addicted at Grace Centers of Hope doing everything from helping to cook and serve meals, to sorting food in the pantry, to counseling, and caring one-on-one for the men, women, and children who have come to rely on their “special friends.”

Grace Centers of Hope is always looking for willing hearts to serve, whether one-time or on a regular basis. They are a great home for donations of furniture, clothing and food as well as they continue to refurbish homes in the economically depressed region of Pontiac for people who in need.

Phone: 1.855.435.7424
Mary Beth Harvill, Volunteer Coordinator, Ext. 34 or mharvill@gracecentersofhope.org
Marilyn Macadaeg, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator, Ext. 17 or mmacadaeg@gracecentersofhope.org
Website: gracecentersofhope.org

God’s Helping Hands

God’s Helping Hands is a Christian community outreach organization. Since it began in 1998, we have been able to help meet the needs of families in Oakland, Macomb, and Lapeer counties, along with other counties in Southeast Michigan with clothing and food. With God’s guidance and the help of agencies we have been able to help thousands of families. Our prayer is that when everyone works together we can make a difference.

Location: 1866 Star-Batt, Rochester Hills, MI 48309
website: ghhmichigan.org
e-mail: godshelpinghands@comcast.net
phone: 248.852.7400

Forgotten Harvest

The mission of Forgotten Harvest is to relieve hunger in the Detroit metropolitan community by rescuing surplus, prepared and perishable food and donating it to emergency food providers. We have a variety of experiences and times that can fit almost any schedule for anyone from individuals to large groups that want to give back to our metro Detroit community. Volunteers are critical to the mission and daily work of Forgotten Harvest. Without your help, we simply could not help those in need. Thank you for considering us. We will guarantee that your Forgotten Harvest Experience will be one that you will never forget and It’s easy to sign-up!

website: forgottenharvest.org
Marci Fitch (Volunteer Manager: 248.967.1500 x125
e-mail: mfitch@forgottenharvest.org

Open Hands Food Pantry

Open Hands Food Pantry provides emergency food and toiletries to residents of Oakland County. Completely staffed by a dedicated group of volunteers, the pantry is open on Monday afternoons and Saturday mornings. In 2012 we served over 13,000 clients, a 5%increase over 2011 numbers.

Location: St. John’s Episcopal Church 26998 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak MI 48067
website: openhandspantry.org
e-mail: pantry@openhandspantry.info
phone: 248.546.1255

Elevate Detroit: Home of the “Communi-D BBQs”

The easiest way to build a community is to simply share a meal. It breaks down barriers, and helps us see the people we are sharing a meal with in a new light. We’ll be hanging out with our friends, homeless or not. Notice this is a time WITH the community, not for. This is an opportunity to meet and hang out with some people who we don’t already know. Let’s show God’s love in a practical way by having a BBQ.

Woodrow Wilson Park (Mt. Clemens)
2nd & Selden (Cass Corridor – Detroit)
Baldwin Park (Pontiac)
Riverbank Park (Flint)
Tuski Park (Hazel Park)

Website: elevatedetroit.com
E-mail: mike@elevatedetroit.com

Renaissance Vineyard Church Food Pantry

Help provide groceries to people in our community that are in need. Join us twice per month at the church (1841 Pinecrest, Ferndale, MI 48220) from 3:00pm to 6:00pm and help us set up, serve and share the love of Christ.

e-mail: marygrace@renvc.com
church office at 248.545.4664
website: renvc.org