The year 2020 was filled with ministry challenges.  Through the OLYN program we were busy serving our community while honoring pandemic health safety guidelines.  During this difficult time we clearly saw how important it is for us to minister outside the walls of our church building, to meet the needs of our neighbors.  Through OLYN service teams we were able to be in mission to our community.  In 2021, we look forward continuing our outreach and will update this page to include all the mission activities we have going on.  Click here to see the archive of OLYN 2020 events. 




VBE MINISTRY TEAM

 

During the school year, food sacks are delivered - 2500 food sacks/year

 

Volunteers greeted and mentored VBE Students.

 

Provided meals during Teacher Appreciation Week for teachers, staff and bus drivers.

 

Sponsored and distributed year books to the 5th grade.  

 

 

 

SHINING LIGHT GARDEN

 

We deliver fresh produce to Samaritan Center and US Veterans each week

 

Multiple trips throughout the year are made by service teams to harvest vegetables.   

 

SALVATION ARMY

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We prepare and serve meals each Wednesday and Thursday for homeless and low-income community members.   We have 10 cooking teams that rotate each week to cook meals on Wednesday with enough left over to serve on Thursday.  We also have  29  people on our list to serve as floaters. 

 

Bakers continuely supply homemade cookies for our weekly feeding programs. 

 

In 2021, the number of meals served at the Salvation Army have decreased.  So we have added delivery of our meals to the speical needs residents at The ARC,  and our low-income neighbors at Gardenia Gardens and St. Francis Manor.  

 

Here are a few quotes from the Salvation Army and those served.

 

"Caring for us is already a true gift we don't often feel from people"

 

"But your love for us is awesome!"

 

"Thank you so much for providing meals on a continuous basis & the great buckets you hand out to the homeless - and the gifts & donations you give us all. We can see and feel your love for us." 

 

"God glows from all of you every time I see you all!  You can truly feel Him in your hearts. And by feeling Him in your hearts & serving Him so freely, it spreads on to us and makes us seek the same love." 

 

February 13, 2021, 305 church members participated in our 6th Annual OLYN Day event. Twenty-four ministry teams served 20 ministries in the community.  Additionally, our youth group helped facilitate our Salvation Army Food Drive.  And just when you think we can't possibly top our previous food drive donations, we do with 4500 pounds of food donated!  

 

OLYN Thank You

It is a blessing to serve our community on OLYN Day and throughout the year.  Several of our ministry partners sent wonderful thank you notes including Hibiscus Children's Center, Women's Refuge, CareNet Pregnancy Center, The ARC and the City of Fellsmere Police Department. 

Shining Light Garden – Sweet Potato Picking Time

Shining Light Garden is an amazing ministry and OLYN consistently serves this ministry with teams willing to weed, pick and plant vegetables.  Additionally, Tim Calahan leads a team each week to pick up vegetables and deliver to the Samaritan Center and US Veterans.  On May 29, 2021, a team of 15 FUMC members picked sweet potatoes and spread vines for the next crop.  We have become quite the expert in sweet potato picking.

VBE - Homeless Education Program Thank You

OLYN does not do what we do for accolades, but it is always special to receive a thank you.  George Pellington received this note from Natasha, Title I Social Worker and Homeless Education Program coordinator for Vero Beach Elementary.  This note is a thank you to our church family for all the selfless acts of kindness and support given to the children and the staff at VBE. This is a wonderful word of encouragement to our church family, and a tribute to the work that Jesus is doing through His people to bring joy and blessings to the children and staff at VBE.


VBE – 3rd Grade Food Drive

VBE students believe in giving back.  The 3rd grade held a food drive in May for the Salvation Army Food Bank and collected a lot of food.  On May 28th (last day of school), Jeremy and Ashley Rebman, Bonnie Swanson and Lynn Kiefer loaded the food in the church’s trailer and Jeremy and Ashley delivered the food to Salvation Army.  When we asked one of the students to tell us about the project, she mentioned several beautiful things: “We wanted to end hunger.  We don’t want people to be embarrassed to ask for help.  Some people need food.  We wanted to bring our food to the local food bank.”  Way to go 3rd graders at VBE who recognize a need and want to help!


VBE – 5th Grade Yearbook Distribution and Awards

School is almost out for summer and the OLYN - VBE greeters have had a great year meeting each Tuesday to wave at the kids and parents and wish them a great day. On Monday, May 24th, our greeters meet at the school cafeteria to cheer on the students as they received academic and attendance awards.  Because parents were not in attendance, the teachers and students so appreciated our cheers for their accomplishments.  We then handed out the yearbooks that OLYN purchased for the 5th graders.  As they were busy getting autographs and looking through the yearbook, we handed out cupcakes and juice (graciously donated by Publix).  What a fun way to celebrate these 5th graders who will be heading off to middle school next year.

Safe Families for Children

In May, a special offering was collected for Safe Families for Children.  George met with Jackie and Jessie to present a check for $4,356!  Thank you to our generous church.

Salvation Army Food Drive - May 2021

Once again, our faithful church family came through for the Salvation Army, donating approximately 4500 pounds of non-perishable food items.  This brings our total to 36,000 pounds donated to the Salvation Army food bank and making OLYN – FUMC the number one donor of non-perishable items. Pastor Jeremy even had to pump up the tires with our latest load.  It was also exciting to see our Early Education Center kids walking across the parking lot with wagon loads of food. 



VBE - Teacher Appreciation

On Tuesday, May 4th for Teacher Appreciation, our regular greeters returned to VBE to hand out Wild Thyme catered meals to teachers, staff, and bus drivers. 

Safe Families for Children

Carter Ullman and Randy Hunt delivered beds to a parent who recently transitioned from homelessness to a permanent home.

 

The ARC

Our food ministry at Salvation Army is expanding to include The ARC.  Extra meals are delivered each week to The ARC.  This gives a chance for additional fellowship and provides the staff a little break.  During the first meal delivery, these wonderful clients sang and signed the song “I Will Always Love You”.  It brought us to tears as the love and appreciation was evident!

 

Vero Beach Elementary

VBE has a wonderful garden program and FUMC has helped in several ways with the greenhouses, planting, etc.  Most recently Tim Calahan and Don Seither built a horizontal wire trellis for the Gogi Bush at the VBE garden area! 

Vero Beach Elementary

Each Tuesday morning, we have a dedicated team of volunteers who greet students as they arrive at school.  Additionally, throughout last year we celebrated the children, teachers, and staff in various ways.  Through their Project-Based Learning (PBL) programs, the 4th grade class decided to honor a group based on their contribution to VBE and chose First Methodist – Operation Love Your Neighbor.  They planned, collected money, and prepared lunch for our Tuesday group and church staff.  The planning included learning about budgets, safe food preparation, fundraising and more.  They gave an excellent presentation showing their appreciation for all our church does.  But the most exciting part, as we left the students were lined up outside holding signs, waving, and shouting thank you!  What a wonderful expression of love!


Little Birthday Angels

Little Birthday Angels packs Birthday Bags of Hope each week for all Indian River County Schools, twenty St. Lucie County Schools and four shelters.   Linda Gust and Lynn Kiefer are regulars on Friday at the Birthday Workshop picking, wrapping, and packing the bags.  These birthday bags which include necessities and specially chosen wish list gift items are delivered to the children to help make their birthday extra special.   A special thank you to Christine Pitcher and Lynn Kiefer for helping to deliver March and April birthday bags to Jensen Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River County Schools. 

Salvation Army

Congratulations to Liz Terry who received the Bob McGowan award for outstanding service to the Salvation Army.  Liz serves on two of our teams that cook and serve meals each Wednesday and Thursday at the Salvation Army.