JUMP (the Joint Urban Ministry Project) is a core ministry of our congregation. JUMP is an interfaith outreach ministry that has been housed in donated space at First Church since 1989. JUMP assists thousands of low-income Vermont children and adults annually. Each year we donate a significant portion of our Mission Budget to JUMP – $8,000 in 2013-2014. We also provide financial support for JUMP by inviting gifts to JUMP through special offerings and fundraising events (2014 Christmas Mission offering, First Church “Run (or walk) for JUMP” Team; Alternative Giving for JUMP at Christmas; etc.). Our “Women of the Church” donated $3,000 to JUMP in 2014. One of the most significant ways that we support JUMP is through donated vouchers for JUMP participants to buy needed clothing and household items in our Possibility Shop. The “Poss Shop” donated $10,000 in used clothing and useful and decorative household items through JUMP in 2013-2014.
JUMP provides practical and needed assistance to more than 44 households weekly from donated space in our facilities and with support from more than 25 area faith communities, several foundations, businesses and many individuals. The JUMP Drop-In Center is a reliable and consistent resource for people facing the challenges of poverty and personal crisis. JUMP provides hospitality, informed referrals, respectful spiritual care, material goods such as toiletries, nutritious food, cleaning supplies, and diapers; and access to practical assistance to support households and individuals in acquiring needed food, utility payments, transportation assistance, laundromat services, and more. JUMP works collaboratively with many area programs and services to help families and individuals stay housed. JUMP’s material and financial support, referrals and encouragement can be vital in helping to stabilize at-risk Vermont households. JUMP is open Tuesday through Friday mornings, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Director of Outreach Ministries, Lucy Samara, is interested in hearing from those who are interested in serving as weekday volunteers. We are grateful for long time volunteers: Judy Doerner, Rebecca MacDonald, Susan Jenkins, Bernice Wesseling, Alice Barlow, Suzie Crews and Brenda Black. Additional volunteers are needed to serve as weekday volunteers and substitutes, and on JUMP Board committees. To learn more, please contact Lucy.