Ozarks Dharma Community Outreach Activities

ODC has partnered with National Avenue Christian Church (NACC) which has a very active community outreach program and NACC has graciously invited us to be a part of their efforts. ODC is participating in three endeavors on a routine basis and will join other NACC initiatives as opportunities arise. The efforts we currently have adopted are:

1. Supporting NACC in providing meals to those in need on Mondays at Grace United Methodist Church on Jefferson Avenue and Cherry Street. 

NACC has four groups that rotate on Mondays to provide the meals, including cooking/preparation, setting up, serving and cleaning up. It typically takes 7-12 people each Monday. The NACC teams almost always need help and our ODC group helps provide the extra people needed on a weekly basis.

The meal service time frame is 4:30-6:30, with dinner served from 5-5:45. You can show up any time from 4:15 to right before 5 and usually be of help.  Enter on the Cherry side (Northeast side of the church). There is a parking lot and a big blue awning – enter under the awning.

ODC has joined NACC as the 5th team to provide the meals when there are 5 Mondays in the month. On the 5th Monday, ODC plans, purchases all aspects of what is needed for the meal service (plates, cups, utensils, sugar, beverages, etc. and food), prepares and serves the food.

The dates ODC will serve for 2019-2020 are:

  • December 30, 2019
  • March 30, 2020
  • June 29, 2020
  • August 31, 2020
  • November 30, 2020

If you are interested, email ozarksdharma@gmail.com or Kris Williams at kristenjw33@gmail.com.

The NACC contact people for each week are (you can just show up, find the contact people and let them know you are there to help.)

  • Myrna W – week 1
  • Susan W – week 2
  • Susan M – week 3
  • Donna C – week 4
  • Kris W – week 5, when there are 5 Mondays in the month; this is ODC’s Monday

2. Opening the Free Store at Grace United Methodist Church on Mondays

As an extension of the ODC’s participation in serving meals to those in need and in cooperation with Grace Church, ODC has volunteered to open the Free Store that is housed at and managed by Grace. The Free Store was typically open only on Wednesdays, but the needs of those who come for meals extends beyond just food on Mondays, so ODC offered to open and manage the store every Monday.

The Free Store has a variety of items ranging from personal care, shoes, clothes, underwear, socks, coats & gloves, towels, blankets, packaged food and other items that those in need can have for free. NACC and ODC are coordinating efforts to obtain Free Store donations. We will announce monthly drives for specific items requested by Grace and are deeply grateful for NACC and ODC’s continued support of this fragile community.

Michele Sparks is leading this endeavor. If you have questions, would like to help, or have items to donate, you can contact Michele at shelsparks@yahoo.com.

3. Providing food for the Rare Breed backpack program. 

Rare Breed Center provides services to at-risk and homeless youths. The backpack program happens once a month, typically the second Friday of the month.  The program provides easy to eat foods that kids can pack to take with them over the weekend while the Rare Breed Center is closed. These items include protein bars, cheese or peanut butter crackers, easy open canned meats or raviolis, Gatorade, juice, water, etc. Personal items (deodorant, toothpaste, etc.) are also welcomed. A collection bin is located just inside the main entrance of NACC – the door ODC enters for the Saturday sit.

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