Volunteers donate 3800 hours of service each month

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Volunteer Stories

Through the generosity of hundred of volunteers, Urban Ministries of Durham is able to offer food, shelter, and a future to poor and homeless neighbors in Durham. These are just a few exmaples of groups and individuals who are truly making a difference in the lives of their neighbors by volunteering at UMD. 

 

Group of the Month - 

New Red Mountain Missionary Baptist Church: A family affair 

For more than 10 years, New Red Mountain Missionary Baptist Church has been cooking and serving dinner for community residents in the Urban Ministries of Durham Community Café. Their leader is Sharon Farrow, who is in her third year as president of the Missionary Circle. A nurse at Duke Medical Center, Sharon says she recognizes a lot of people from the community that she serves dinner to at UMD. Sharon says doing this makes her feel good. “It makes me more appreciative of the small things in life and I realize there are always a lot of people less fortunate than us today.”

Sharon coordinates it all, but she gets lots of help, starting with her family. They assist with picking up and distributing the food that will be prepared. The Missionary Circle members, as well as church members, assist with preparing the food. The food is either prepared at home or at the church. The menu can include fried chicken, turkey and dressing, spaghetti with red sauce, potato salad, butter beans, corn, collard greens, yams, string beans, white potatoes, peas and a multitude of deserts. “Whatever anyone from church makes, we use it all.” This creates a true sense of community love and offers an unusual variety to those coming through the line.

The group arrives at the shelter 45 minutes before dinner time to set up and prepare. They have anywhere from 15 to 25 volunteers. Not only do the adult members assist, but they also have Junior Missionaries who help prepare the desserts, drinks and assist with serving the food.

Getting young people involved is an important part of this faith community’s mission, Sharon explains. “Missionary means reaching out to others in need in our community. Not only do we assist with feeding the homeless, we collect toiletries and donations for Central Children's Home and the Food Pantry. The work involves visiting the sick in their homes, hospitals and nursing facilities. Providing an act of kindness in the time of need can make a big difference in a person's life.”

Who pays for all this yummy food? Sharon explains that each year, they have a certain amount that is requested in their church budget. Some members also give donations to help support the missionary circle. “If it wasn't for the generous support of our church it would be impossible for us to support our outreach ministry.”

New Red Mountain Missionary Baptist Church serves every other month on the third Monday. In Sharon’s words, “We are very excited to be a part in giving back to our community.”

Group of the Month - March - A Powerful Collaboration betwen Judea Reform, Beth El Synagogue, and Kol Haskalah 

Group of the Month - April - Bronto's Volunteer Program 

Group of the Month - May - Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church

Group of the Month - December - Temple Baptist Church

Group of the Month - February - New Red Mountain Missionary Baptist Church

Individuals of the Month - 

Duke University Students: Connecting with their community in unique and valuable ways

Liz Brown, class of 2018 majoring cultural anthropology and global health

A local gal, when Liz was in high school, she worked with the homeless in Raleigh and wanted to get involved with the homeless and impoverished in Durham. Since September 2014, Liz enjoys being at UMD because she gets to use her Spanish and give people food, clothing and diapers. ”It’s busy and active” says the young woman who displays a ton of energy and passion for this work. What are her hobbies and interests? “I volunteer with the Community Empowerment Fund, at the student radio station and am on the student government.” What about fun? “Oh, well I play soccer, run and like music.” This summer, Liz will continue helping those in need by interning at the Wacamaw Council of Governments in SC as their volunteer coordinator for the assisted rides program. And UMD? “It’s been really cool to see a person’s story through their folder. There was a janitor at a high school and when it snowed, he didn’t get paid so he came to UMD for food. It shows how the system works against people who work and still have to come to UMD to make ends meet.” Liz may be an important catalyst in helping to change that system one day and we hope she will be back at UMD helping one life at a time until then.

Angela Chen, class of 2018, majoring in public policy and economics

Originally from Shanghai, Angela and her family now live in Vancouver, Canada. In January, Angela took a writing class and did a paper on the obesity hunger paradox—that sparked her interest in food issues. She immediately reached out to UMD, signed up to volunteer and came weekly to work in the food pantry or clothing closet. “I haven’t felt so connected and inspired as I have here at UMD.” To carry on her passion, this summer Angela will be in Detroit working with a non-profit educating teenagers on how to cook and prepare healthy food. She will be responsible for helping these young people develop their own recipes and then sell the food at local farmers markets and retail stores. Angela also enjoys playing the piano and saxophone and loves skiing.

What has UMD done for her? “I like the working dynamics at UMD. The staff and other volunteers are happy and supportive of people coming to UMD for help.” Angela plans to come back to UMD in the fall once she knows her schedule and that’s great news for everyone. We will be most lucky to have her!

Emily Du, Class of 2015, with a major in Neuroscience

Irvine, CA is home but Emily is heading to Philadelphia this fall and medical school at Temple University with a focus on psychiatry. This summer Emily will be travelling, visiting friends and RELAXING! She enjoys running, reading, and well, volunteering. Last September, Emily attended a UMD volunteer orientation, “because I wanted to meet new people and help my community.” She immediately signed up to help UMD at the Battle of the Bands fundraiser and has been coming weekly to work in the Clothing Closet, and volunteer with Empty Bowls. Coming to UMD regularly has given Emily a sense of connection. “I have never felt so inspired as I have being at UMD,” she said. When asked what she has gotten out of volunteering at UMD, “I just love meeting so many different people in Durham and helping them on their road to food, shelter and a future.” UMD will miss having Emily every week—her bright smile, twinkling eyes, energy and compassion for helping those neighbors in need we serve. She won’t be forgotten and will have as profound an impact as a doctor on those who need help and care as she did at UMD this past year!

Click the "May" link below to learn about Nicole Helmke, Sharrin Manor and Stacy Scholle

Individuals of the Month - May - Duke University Students

Individual of the Month - March - Jan Schwarze

Individuals of the Month - April - George & Betty Poehlman

Individuals of the Month - May/June - Lauren Goslin & Renee Corsi

News & Needs

Mar 17, 2017

Urban Ministries of Durham shared Vert & Vogue's photo.

Shop for a cause! Thanks V&V; in the past few years you and your customers have raised enough money to end homelessness for two people.

✨ Come shop to support your neighbors in need! ✨ On Saturday, March 18th, we are donating 20% of the days total in-store and online sales to UMD.

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Mar 17, 2017

Urban Ministries of Durham added 3 new photos.

Stop by and shop the latest spring collections at Vert & Vogue tomorrow, Saturday, March 18th and help your neighbors in need.

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Mar 07, 2017

Are you watching the Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball tournament today? Much of North Carolina is or wants to -- and that includes homeless men staying in our shelter, a very basic, barracks-style bunkroom.

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Mar 04, 2017

And the Empty Bowls Judges Choice Awards went to: Croasdaile Retirement Village, first place; Bleu Olive, second place; and Mothers & Sons Trattoria, third place.

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Mar 03, 2017

Empty Bowls was a great success.

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Mar 01, 2017

Great story by Anthony Wilson WTVD aired tonight! Check it out and get your tickets: http://umdemptybowls.eventbrite.com.

Now in its 11th year, the Empty Bowls fundraiser for Urban Ministries brings local chefs together in a friendly competition to see who can make Durham's best soup.

Chefs compete to make Durham's best soupView this post on Facebook

Mar 01, 2017

Urban Ministries of Durham shared Anthony Wilson WTVD's video.

Anthony Wilson WTVD takes you behind the scenes of his story that will air this afternoon at 4:30 and 5:30 on ABC 11 about how chefs and potters prepare for Empty Bowls, to be held Thursday, March 2, at Durham Convention Center.

Go behind the scenes of today's #abc11together story about #EmptyBowls, the annual #UrbanMinistriesOfDurham fundraiser! Durham Convention Center executive chef James Archer makes chowder as photojournalist Jim Schumacher captures the action you'll see on TV:.

Go behind the scenes of today's #abc11together story about #EmptyBowls, the annual #UrbanMinistriesOfDurham fundraiser! Durham Convention Center executive chef James Archer makes chowder as photojournalist Jim Schumacher captures the action you'll see on TV:View this post on Facebook

Feb 28, 2017

Urban Ministries of Durham added 2 new photos.

Enjoy chef-made soups, artist-made bowls and festivity to offer neighbors food, shelter and a future.

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Feb 20, 2017

Urban Ministries of Durham added 2 new photos.

Soups for March 2's RTI International Presents Empty Bowls to Benefit Urban Ministries of Durham have been announced, including selections by Littler Durham, Dashi, Luna Rotisserie & Empanadas and 12 others! See the list and buy tickets http://umdemptybowls.eventbrite.com.

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Feb 13, 2017

Urban Ministries of Durham shared A Lotta Love's post.

This transformation was remarkable.

Today was another fantastic day for A Lotta Love.

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Feb 13, 2017

Sneak peek at some of the bowls being produced for RTI International Presents Empty Bowls 2017 to benefit Urban Ministries of Durham! Be sure you buy your ticket today for the March 2 event, and select a ticket level that entitles you to one of these beauties.

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Jan 27, 2017

Tickets are now on sale for Empty Bowls, UMD's signature fundraising event March 2 featuring soup from a dozen of Durham's best restaurants and artist-made bowls.

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Dec 30, 2016

Urban Ministries of Durham added 2 new photos.

Share a financial gift through Urban Ministries of Durham to offer food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need like Kathy House and Anthony Jackson.

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Dec 13, 2016

Can't name London.

Urban Ministries of Durham is selling the naming rights to all of the items that connect our clients to food, shelter and a future.

The "Your Brother Underpants of Compassion"View this post on Facebook

Dec 05, 2016

This plunger helps end homelessness at Urban Ministries of Durham.

Urban Ministries of Durham is selling the naming rights to all of the items that connect our clients to food, shelter and a future.

It's just stuff -- until you don't have itView this post on Facebook

Dec 02, 2016

Urban Ministries of Durham added 3 new photos.

Urban Ministries of Durham is once again proud to participate in the Triangle Tree Challenge at American Tobacco Campus.

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Dec 02, 2016

Urban Ministries of Durham added 4 new photos.

Thank you Cisco Systems @ RTP, for volunteering to decorate the Community Cafe and other spaces at Urban Ministries of Durham in holiday regalia.

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Dec 01, 2016

While Urban Ministries of Durham case workers help a homeless person make a plan to gain income and affordable housing, we provide him or her a safe place to sleep in our Community Shelter.

Click to donate now and shelter a homeless neighbor this holiday season, getting him or her on the road to a sustainable way of life.

Help solve homelessnessView this post on Facebook

Nov 28, 2016

Urban Ministries of Durham doesn't just provide emergency meals and shelter -- we help solve homelessness.

With your holiday contribution, this work can continue.

Connecting the community to offer food, shelter and a futureView this post on Facebook

Nov 22, 2016

Once again www.NamesForChange.org is offering you the naming rights to dozens of items Urban Ministries of Durham uses to solve homelessness.

Urban Ministries of Durham is selling the naming rights to all of the items that connect our clients to food, shelter and a future.

Name this bear -- or underwearView this post on Facebook

Nov 22, 2016

Urban Ministries of Durham shared Indigo Envelope's photo.

Indigo Envelope, a Durham invitations and paper goods company, is donating a fifth of the price of their holiday card sales to offer food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need at Urban Ministries of Durham.

If you're going to purchase holiday cards this year, consider making a donation to help someone who is struggling right now.

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Nov 17, 2016

As you prepare to be thankful with your family, please know Lorie is thankful to everyone who made Urban Ministries of Durham available to her http://tinyurl.com/helpUMD.

The community offered Lorie food, shelter and a future.

The community offered Lorie food, shelter and a future. Donate to help: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/UMDurhamView this post on Facebook

Nov 11, 2016

Urban Ministries of Durham added 2 new photos.

Thank you, Butterball, for continuing your tradition of donating dozens of whole turkeys and hundreds of pounds of sliced turkey lunchmeat to extend the spirit of Thanksgiving to very poor and homeless neighbors.

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Nov 07, 2016

Urban Ministries of Durham added 3 new photos.

Thank you Informatica LLC for partnering with Urban Ministries of Durham to benefit from your CAN-STRUCTION competition.

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