Outreach

Westside is a Church For the City
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Hi Westside Church! Earlier this month we sent out an i heart text asking for your help. A soon to be mom had just left an abusive situation and had nothing for baby boys arrival in June. She had secured housing, but needed a small crib, baby blankets, baby boy clothes, diapers, wipes, infant car seat, diaper bag, and baby swing.

Thank You SO much for helping us provide this brave new mom with everything she needed! Thank you for being a part of this i heart text ministry. We appreciate you! 

I HEART 365

I Heart 365 is our Outreach texting system! Short explanation? We send out needs via text, and you, upon receiving the text, have the ability to respond to those needs that resonate with you or that match a resource that you already have. (bicycles, extra coats, baby supplies, ect.) 

OK! So how does it work exactly? 
1. Trusted agencies, or one of our own Community Group leaders, calls Westside Church and asks if we can help with a specific need for a family or an individual.  
2. We send out a brief text describing the situation and the items needed. 3. Those who would like to respond bring their donations to the Westside Church office. 
4. Westside facilitates delivery of all of the donated items to the family or individual in need.

It’s that simple! And because I Heart 365 is a group of more than 800 people who want to help those struggling in our community,  there is never any obligation to respond to a texted need unless you feel inspired to.  Also, we intentionally only send out two I HEART 365 text needs a month, in order to choose prayerfully and facilitate well. 

To sign up for our I HEART 365 texting line, and start hearing about specific needs and opportunities to help, text ih365 to 313131. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s Foster Family Appreciation Project! There are more than 260 foster families in Central Oregon, and every single one of them received a “Family Fun Box” through our partners at Every Child. We were able to bless thirty of these families with these resources because of your generosity. Here’s a note from our partners at Every Child Central Oregon (ECCO):

Dear Westside Church,

Thank you so much for continuing to show up and give to our local foster families. It was so amazing that you assembled and delivered to 30 families in Bend. These families were so appreciative and blessed by your generosity. Again, thank you for partnering with us and giving your hearts to children and families in our foster system.

Sincerely,

your ECCO team

Thank you for donating the items, counting and sorting the items, shopping for the items still needed, assembling the bags, and delivering them.  This project had 22 volunteers with a total of 50 hours serving.

With this event, we were able to communicate to these families that they are seen and loved and appreciated for the hard work they are doing by taking care of our city’s “orphans”. 

So, job well done, Team!  

This week marks the completion of For The City, a 2-year giving and serving campaign. When we launched this campaign in the spring of 2019, we didn’t realize how God would use this campaign to strategically position our church to support and encourage families in our community throughout the unexpected challenges of the past 14 months. Today, we still desire to embody the way of Jesus: to love God and love people. As we intentionally engage in proximity to our city, we will see the life and love of Jesus bring transformation to everyone, everywhere across Central Oregon and beyond.

The Campaign is complete, but the initiatives will continue. To give to the For the City initiatives moving forward, select “Ministry Fund” on our Giving Page.

Last year, 11,238 children spent time in foster care throughout the State of Oregon.

66.1% spent time in more than one foster home. Many were split from their siblings. And right now, there are 8 children over 10 right here in Central Oregon awaiting homes. 

We envision a world where family is restored to every child. We see the family being redefined, beyond blood or relation, as people who take care of each other because they see the face of the Creator in the faces of each other. 

Let’s partner together to see and surround children and families, and to support and encourage the city agencies who are courageously advocating for the safety and well-being of children. Let’s bring the Hope of Jesus to our city.

Two Opportunities to Get Involved:

Foster Family Appreciation Project

In the month of May, we want to help Every Child give a Family Fun Box to every foster family in Central Oregon that includes:

  • Family-focused activities and fun items for kids: Arts and crafts, board games, puzzles, baking items, sports balls, educational activities, $25 gift cards.
  • Foster Parent appreciation items: Candles, journals, soap, lotion, blue tooth speakers, tools, $25 gift cards. Anything that shows love and care! 

To join in, bring any of these unused items to the Westside Church office by May 6th (Office Hours are M-TH 9-2).

Birthday Club

Birthdays are more than just a day to receive presents, they help you to feel special and to know that you matter. But many foster children are likely to receive very few or even no gifts on their birthday.

Our Birthday Club fills this gap, purchasing presents for foster kids and others identified as children in need. We have a beautiful opportunity to make a child’s birthday wishes come true while surrounding parents and foster parents with care and support.

Two Live Zoom Events to Learn More:

Discover Meeting: There is something you can do to support vulnerable kids

Attend a live zoom event hosted by Every Child on May 11th to learn how you can be involved in supporting vulnerable kids in care and those who serve them. The meeting starts at 7:00 pm and will finish by 8:30 pm. 

Explore Fostering: What it’s like to foster children in Central Oregon

Every Child is hosting a live zoom event on May 21st from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm for anyone interested in an inside look at foster care. You will learn about the process and hear from foster parents about what it’s really like to foster kids here in Central Oregon.

Thank You so much for helping ensure that every single child experiences family and that no family walks alone! For more information or questions regarding Foster Care in Central Oregon, contact us here.

In partnership with Neighbor Impact, we will be hosting our monthly Free Food Market on Monday, April 26th, 1:30-3:00pm. We will be distributing food to individuals and families who need them. If you are in need of some supplementary groceries, or would like to pick up groceries for a neighbor in need, please come to our drive-through food ministry at the Westside Church parking lotAll are welcome! If you would like to serve on the Free Food Market team, please fill out our volunteer link.

What: Free Food Market

When: Monday, April 26th | 1:30 – 3:00pm

Where: Westside Church Parking Lot | 2051 NW Shevlin Park Rd

Who: ALL ARE WELCOME!

We want to celebrate your generosity in participating in our Canned Food Drive! You gave a TON of food- Literally! Westsider’s contributed over 2000 pounds (1 ton) of food to stock up for our upcoming monthly Free Food Markets. Thank You for your kindness and your commitment to caring for others. 

Our March Free Food Market, in partnership with Neighbor Impact, will take place this coming Monday, March 22nd, 1:30-3:00pm. 

We will be distributing food to any and all individuals and families who need them. If you are in need of some supplementary groceries, we invite you to come to our drive-through food ministry at the Westside Church parking lot

You can find all the details at westsidechurch.org/outreach

Shout out to Westside Home Churches in partnership with our Outreach team! This month we are partnering with Shepherd’s House to support their warming shelters with breakfast each week.

Home Churches stepped up to meet the need in such a beautiful way. We love partnering with our city!  

A simple email to home church leaders addressing supply needs for an outreach trip to Africa ended up bringing in donations totaling around $1500. Brent Earwicker, Global Outreach Coordinator said, “I wanted to report that Westsiders were so generous, purchasing most of the items off the Amazon wishlist: tents, sleeping bags, boat parts, lifejackets, & audio equipment. I was able to carry some of them over in February, and will be taking the rest in May on my next trip.”

Earwicker also said, “It was fun to be inundated with boxes full of useful gear to help propel our African teams forward on Lake Victoria and throughout East Africa. Life and ministry is so tough over there, when we get the chance to resupply their tools & service items it goes a long way!”

It was wonderful to have a way to quickly get the word out to Home Churches! And thank you to everyone who stepped up to the need and gave so generously.

Here’s a shot of the director, Moses Lubega, in a new tent they slept in on Buvuma Island. 

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