Through the Vacation Bible School of 2011, Julie Fowler challenged our children to raise money to help the homeless children of St. Johns County. These children are homeless, yet they and their parents have a desire for them to go to school and continue their education in spite of their economic condition.
During the 2011 school year, some 380+ children were registered as homeless. This number includes families living in cars, woods, or hotels. It also includes families who have lost their jobs and are living with someone else, or who have lost their homes due to a fire and are displaced somewhere else.
The purpose of this ministry is to minister first to the 40 unaccompanied youth who are among the homeless children. The unaccompanied youth are young people living alone with no families. They live in the woods, in tents, or they “couch-surf” at a friend’s house.
If you would like to help, please bring coupons to the church and place them in the designated 'coupon' box located in the front lobby. If you want to pick up an extra Sunday paper or another paper and drop them in the box that is fine too. Julie's super couponing team will work magic with these coupons to purchase toiletries for these 40, and then to the other 340, if possible. Beyond that we are waiting on the school administration to let us know other ways we can assist these children. We are doing what we can to give these kids a Safe Harbor and make a difference in their lives.
Blessings in a Bag
Hearts For The Hungry
The Great Back Pack Give-away
Our annual Back Pack Give-away revolves around giving away very nice back packs filled with school supplies to children as they begin a new school year. Each year we give away 800 to 1,000 such backpacks that are purchased through the kindness of the Homeport Family members and friends. We also offer, thru the kindness of doctors and nurses in our area, free school physicals. Over the last few years we have given away over 150 free school physicals each year. Dr. Deprey takes time to fit the backpacks to each child for back safety, and Dr. Rex Painter provides free dental screening.
In addition to what is mentioned above, we provide a free meal to each family while at the event and coupons for free Kid’s Meals to several of the community’s restaurants. Merchants like Arby’s, Chic-Fil-A, CiCi’s Pizza, Dominoes, McDonalds, Publix, Sonic & Wendy’s have donated food and coupons for this event. Dozens of local merchants each year offer money and prizes for giveaways. We also have snow cones, popcorn, bounce houses, games and much more. This event has grown from its first year of over $50,000 of merchandise and services provided to the community to over $110,000 in recent years. It is a core value at Homeport Christian Church to serve the community and we have experienced God using the Back Pack Give-away to bless many in our community.
Card & Letter Ministry
Cookie Caller Ministry
Each year at Thanksgiving time our congregation interfaces with the community to find families that need assistance. As a congregation we collect all of the needed items for a very nice Thanksgiving meal. Then we purchase Publix gift cards for personal likes and perishable items. These items are all put together in a basket and delivered to families in our community.
We provide Christmas presents to families for their children thru names provided by our congregation. We invite these families to a Christmas Celebration party where we share a Christmas meal, have a program and share gifts with the parents that they then can take home and present as gifts to their children.
Throughout the year we partner with Somebody Cares St. Augustine to work on the homes and property of the elderly, single parent homes and financially struggling families in our community. Anything from a clogged sink to a rotten roof have been fixed or replaced for those in need.