Friday, December 26, 2014

Drumroll please....

If you've been following along here on this blog on our social media channels, you know that we mounted a huge year-end giving campaign called #GivingTuesday. We shared the story of our ministry through the words of our volunteers. It was an effort to raise the resources we need to keep our organization going strong, but also to let people know what we do here at UMVIM, SEJ. It was a lot of fun for us, and you responded in a big way...

On #GivingTuesday and all throughout this month, UMVIM, SEJ has received $21,539.94 in gifts, plus $10,150 in matching funds through The Advance

Other gifts received directly to our office include:
$1,870 from local churches.
$1,083 from annual conferences.
$1,900 from individuals.

The total for #GivingTuesday was $31,419.11 (including the matching funds), and that brings the total giving in December to $36,272.11!

To all of you who have given to UMVIM SEJ, we are extremely grateful for your support. Thank you for sharing so generously to our ministry as we work to "transform the world through Christian Love in Action."

2015 has a lot of incredible things in store. Our updated and revised Team Leader Handbook will be here in January, the SEJ Disaster Academy is always a wonderful time of learning and fellowship, and Young People in Mission is sure to be the best yet. As always, we look forward to being part of your mission journey; never hesitate to reach out to let us know how we can serve you.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and blessings in the new year,

Paulette, Landon, Gray, Leslie, Mandy, and Malinda
The Staff of UMVIM, SEJ

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mission Highlight: Feeding Programs in the SEJ

Our 2014 Mission Highlights have featured incredible initiatives across the Southeastern Jurisdiction: rural, urban, disaster, and beyond. As we wrap up the year, we thought the holidays would be the perfect time to highlight a few of the feeding ministries in our jurisdiction.

CROS Food Sorting
This ecumenical ministry serves the children, the elderly and shut-in, and the impoverished in and around its Lake Worth, Florida community. Their efforts reach across multiple platforms and include a food pantry, community kitchen, food delivery, a gleaning initiative, and after-school snacks for school children. They request groups of 10-15 volunteers, and welcome families with young children to help as well! The shifts are no less than 4 hours, so you could consider making CROS one part of a mission opportunity that includes several mission types. They welcome volunteers all year, but the greatest need is during the holidays, November-January. To learn more about volunteering, please click here.

If you are searching for a hands-on mission opportunity, then look no more. Gleaning is the act of manually picking the crops that commercial machines leave behind. Believe it or not, it is a practice that has actually been utilized since ancient times to feed the hungry. To date, approximately 13 million pounds of potatoes and other produce–that would have otherwise gone to waste–has provided about 40 million servings of food for the hungry in Alabama. The Alabama Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers statewide; most gleans begin around 8:00 am and are over by noon, making this an ideal opportunity for local groups or one activity for visiting short-term teams. To learn more, please visit their website

Harvest of Hope
Harvest of Hope, along with the gleaning networks, is another ecumenical ministry of the Society of Saint Andrew. Their goal is to “educate participants concerning the domestic and global hunger problem” and to “encourage them to make lifelong commitments to being part of the solution.” HoH participants learn about the hunger epidemic through multiple hands-on experiences, including the opportunity to glean, worship God with others, classroom study, and they even commit to eating only healthy, nutritious meals during their stay. For more information on participating in a Harvest of Hope session, please click here.
For the rest of our Mission Highlights, please click here. For more mission opportunities across the Southeastern Jurisdiction, please visit our Send a Team page.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

{#GivingTuesday} Day 31: Paulette West, Executive Director of UMVIM, SEJ

#GivingTuesday is HERE! Have you met Paulette West? Her passion for short term missions and dedication to justice brought her to UMVIM, SEJ in 2009 as our Executive Director. Under her direction, thousands upon thousands of volunteers have gone throughout the world, working with viable UMC mission projects to build homes, provide healthcare, establish clean water sources, respond to disasters, and much, much more. They have been led by team leaders who were equipped by UMVIM, SEJ to make the most of their short term mission service, empowering both the team and those whom they serve.

We hope these #UNselfies have helped explain the way we support teams and team leaders as they enter into the short term mission field, and perhaps you now feel led to make a generous #GivingTuesday donation of your own.

It's so easy. Just click here to visit United Methodist Advance #901875. That's it! 100% of your kind donation through the Advance will go to the ministry of UMVIM, SEJ.

We have had so much fun sharing the #UNselfie posters of our volunteers, and we sincerely thank you for following along all month long. We hope you'll continue to stay tuned to our blog for the latest on everything that is happening here at UMVIM!

Monday, December 1, 2014

#GivingTuesday Day 30: Gracie Thull

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday, and as we start to wrap up our campaign, we wanted to share with you one more member of our Young People in Mission Design Team. We are so proud not only of this event, but of the young leaders who take on this event head-first and make it such a success; we just can't help but continue to share these stories with you!

Meet this year's Vice Chair of YPIM, Gracie Thull of Mobile, Alabama:

"Young People In Mission has impacted my life by drawing me closer to Jesus. It has given me the opportunity to share my faith with others in a safe place, and equipped me to go into the world as a representative of Christ. Through YPIM, I have been exposed to the justice issues that the church faces today, and I have engaged in discussions about how to best resolve them with people who specialize in those areas. It has connected me with ways to branch out for Jesus in my own community and around the world through the City of Opportunity event. After being empowered to speak out for Jesus at YPIM, I have returned as a leader in my Christian community, sharing the things I have learned."

Your generous #GivingTuesday donation helps UMVIM keep this event going strong, and it is so easy to donate

Beginning at midnight tonight, just visit Advance #901875, and 100% of your generous donation will go directly to the ministry of UMVIM, SEJ.

The General Board of Global Ministries will match the first $1 million donated through The Advance on #GivingTuesday, up to $2,500 per donor, with a $25,000 maximum per project.

Remember that you can begin donating at midnight TONIGHT! See you tomorrow for one final #GivingTuesday #UNselfie!