How To Serve During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our mutual call to love and serve the world faces particular challenges in a time of sheltering at home.

Here are a variety of ways in which you can serve from home and in the community that are needed and permitted under the current directives from the Governor of Michigan and the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.  If you have questions, email Pastor Manisha.
(page updated August 14, 2020)

1. PRAY!

While you are staying at home, praying for those affected by the pandemic is one of the most powerful ways you can serve.

 

 

We have asked our community partners for what may we pray.  Here are their latest needs:

  • Baldwin Center: 
    • Pray that the bus stop that brings people to Baldwin Center is not taken away. (If you want to do something to help prevent this, look under “Do.”)
    • Pray for our staff, volunteers and clients that they may be safe and healthy as they continue to show up to help and in need of help.
    • Pray for guidance and wisdom for our agency leadership as we continue to make decisions which impact a lot of people and families.
  • Lighthouse of MI:
    • Pray for our staff and emergency shelter clients’ health and safety. 
    • Pray for the 62 people without homes who have been given a place to stay during the pandemic and the facility will remain COVID-19 free.
  • Bound Together: 
    • Pray for our families, and for all of the families in need and anxiety right now in Pontiac;
    • Pray for our volunteers, who are willing to be vulnerable for the sake of those who are more vulnerable;
    • Pray for a sense of solace, peace and trust for all of us. Julian of Norwich, who said, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well,” also reminded us that even in the smallest examples of creation God made it, God loves it, and God keeps it. If we can remember that, and remember that our work is to be God’s hands and feet, making that love visible: we’ll be okay, no matter what.
  • All Saints Episcopal Church: Pray that a spirit of true hospitality come to abide in the hearts of our volunteers and team leaders so that the only the only motivation for the hospitality for which we are striving is kindness and remembering Jesus abides in the poor and homeless and we are serving.
  • Micah 6: 
    • Pray with thanksgiving that the summer interns are still coming. Ask that they arrive safely and have a meaningful summer experience serving with M6.
    • Pray thankfully that the M6 Community and its volunteers are COVID-free so far, and ask for God’s protection that they remain safely so.
  • Oakland County Jail:  Pray this daily calendar for all of those in the jail.
  • Hope Warming Center:
    • Pray that the bus stop that brings people to Hope Center is not taken away. (If you want to do something to help prevent this, look under “Do.”)
    • Pray for the 62 homeless people who have been given temporary shelter at Hope.
    • Pray that the residents will not go stir crazy since they cannot go anywhere and this is not really a home.
    • Prayer of thanksgiving for the meals being provided by local restaurants and the funds being used for that.
    • Pray the shelter remains COVID-19 free.

2. DONATE!

 

 

 

 

Our Community Partners are in dire need of items ranging from peanut butter and pasta to the ever-scarce toilet paper.  You can also give to our COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND, which covers care for front-line workers, addresses food insecurities, gives the homeless stay-at-home shelter and offers financial assistance to those who are unemployed. Finally, donating blood can help save lives.

Our current goal:  To be announced.

The COVID-19 Response Fund has been made possible by the generosity of church members and community members. With the Fund, we are able to address the following critical needs:

  • Caring For Those On the Front-Line: We have reached out to care for those fighting on the front- line of the pandemic by providing restaurant-made meals to hospital staff and providing hundreds of snack bags. 
  • Food Insecurity:  We have partnered with Metro Detroit organizations working with vulnerable populations to help those who are experiencing food insecurity and do not have the resources to feed themselves or their families.
  • Homeless During A Pandemic: We know it is impossible for people who are homeless to shelter-in-place and stay safe.  We are helping 124 people in Pontiac and 150 people in Detroit’s Cass Community to have a temporary place to call home throughout this pandemic.  
  • Financial Fallout: After the stay-at-home order is lifted, we anticipate some will find they do not have jobs and they will be in arrears for basic bills to be paid. We plan on expanding help to those who will experience critical financial insecurity.

Especially when times are troubled, Christ Church Cranbrook believes God’s steadfast care for the world can and should be found in the church’s work for the community. 

To see all the partners and causes we are have supported so far, click here.

To give a tax-deductible donation, give here.  Your funds are matched dollar-for-dollar by some generous contributors!

Questions? email Pastor Manisha.

 

Bound Together, a tutoring center in Pontiac, has become a site to give out bags of food.  They would love to hand out workbooks for kids of all ages as well.  Use this Amazon Wish List to purchase books.  They will be sent directly to Bound Together.

We had to cancel the blood drive at our church and the need is profound.  \

Visit the American Red Cross website and pick a time to donate blood. They are working hard to keep social distance for all donors.

 

Purchase items and deliver to our local food pantries and shelters.

 

Urgent food needs: Mac n Cheese, cereal, pasta and sauce, canned meat, all pantry items, fruits/veggies, bagged snacks, deli meat, bottled water.

Urgent household item needs: Toilet paper, all hygiene items, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, bleach, cleaning agents, paper plates, plastic utensils

Unique Items: Underwear and socks (All Saints Episcopal Church) , lunch bags (Baldwin Center), cigarettes (Hope Warming Center), Paper Grocery Bags with Handles (Meals on Wheels)

We are asking you to deliver directly to the organizations to minimize exposure.  Drop off items at any of these locations- they all need them!

 

Sanctum House needs your help

Sanctum House is a sanctuary for women survivors of Human Trafficking.  It is a local safe house and a place of love and support but now, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and physical distancing, Sanctum House is in desperate need for food.  They need donations of electronic giftcards from Walmart which will be used to purchase fresh food and staples for the 15 residents of the facility.  Christ Church Cranbrook has responded with an initial donation. Won’t you join in this effort?

Please order an electronic giftcard for any amount from $5 – $50 online, and Walmart will email it to Sanctum House to be used to purchase essential grocery items.

Donate here: https://giftcards.walmart.com/ip/Basic-Blue-Walmart-eGift-Card/653984410

Recipient email: shannon@sanctumhouse.org

Recipient name: Sanctum House

Senders name: (donor name)

Message: (any message donor wantsplus Christ Church Cranbrook

For Questions?  Contact Tim Miller at murphy2@bignet.net

Looking for a way to get involved and make a difference during the COVID-19 crisis? Lighthouse is hosting a can and bottle drive to raise funds for our COVID-19 Emergency Food & Shelter Fund.
Drop off your returnable cans and bottles to help your neighbors in need!
Tuesdays / Thursdays / Saturdays  9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Webster Elementary School
640 W. Huron – Pontiac

 

3. DO!

Believe it or not, there are things you can do safely at home.  There are also ways you can help that require venturing out.  Governor Whitmer has made exceptions to allow people to volunteer at non-profits “that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals.”

A request from our Community Partner Baldwin Center:

We invite you, our treasured supporters, to help us advocate for our community and clients by sending an email to PublicHearing@smartbus.org regarding the proposed elimination of the SMART Bus Stop at Baldwin and Virginia/Tacoma Ct, a change that would be a hardship to our clients.

Emails should be sent before August 20th. Feel free to use the following sample subject and body in your email.

Sample subject: Public Hearing comment, elimination of Route 753, extension of 462 FAST

Sample body of an email:

I am concerned that the proposed discontinuation of the SMART Bus Stop at Baldwin and Virginia/Tacoma Ct. will create undue hardship for people in the area. It is my understanding that Baldwin Center clients, community members, and guests at the nearby HOPE shelter use this stop. Without it, the nearest stop would be on Montcalm, nearly a mile away.

I ask that SMART keep a stop at Baldwin and Virginia/Tacoma Ct.

You can see more information, as well as other ways to participate in the public hearings, here:
https://www.smartbus.org/How-to-Ride/FAQs/ADA/category/featured-homepage-news

Again, all feedback should be sent before August 20th to PublicHearing@smartbus.org. Thank you for raising your voice with our community.

 

Click here to read an article about the bus stop changes.

 

After 3 months of reinvention of their mission, day-to-day tasks, professional and personal demands and threat to their own health, our community partners’ staffs are mentally and physically overwhelmed. 

 

As other significant events in the country have occurred, media focus has moved away from the COVID pandemic and the battle to overcome it. This has been disheartening to many of the non-profit staff members and we would like to let these heroes know that their efforts continue to be so appreciated by the entire community. 

 

What You Can Do: Send a card or write a note of encouragement and thanks to staff working at one or more of our community partners. They can be as simple as a “Thank You!” or could highlight appreciation for all of their hard work to ensure that vulnerable folks who have no other source for help are being cared for during this difficult time. Wish them well and offer prayers that they, and their families, stay healthy. 

 

Have your children create a card or drawing to show their thanks as well!

 

Here are all the addresses! 

Come Volunteer to help with the CCC Community Garden.

Christ Church Cranbrook has four raised vegetable beds near the church’s south door.  Volunteer gardeners are needed each day to weed, water and harvest the garden.  We have planted tomatoes, kale, collard greens, beans, onions and more. There is an herb garden too.   Our fresh produce will go to our the farmers market at All Saints in Pontiac.   It can be as little as 1 hour every week or as much as every day – whatever your schedule allows.  Click on the link below to view timeslots to participate.

Link to CCC Garden Sign Up

                                                                        

  1.  Volunteers 18 years or older are needed to help pack emergency food boxes in Royal Oak warehouse that will be distributed through Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb County.There will be a morning (8:00am-11:30am) opportunity and an afternoon (12:30pm-4:00pm) opportunity, Monday through Friday. Please CLICK HERE to sign up.
  2. Pop-up Mobile Pantries need volunteers to distribute food boxes to clients.  Please CLICK HERE to sign up.

 

Over 150 people eat breakfast at All Saints on Saturday.  With the new mandate, this has become a take-out meal.

Thursdays: 4 people hard-boil eggs and prepare food

Fridays: 4 people package the meals

Saturdays: 4 people set up, distribute meals and take down.

We need volunteers, aged 18 to 65.  Please sign up for any shift here.

 

Volunteers are needed for limited positions in June to sort food and to distribute.  To see all opportunities, click here.

 

Food Distribution – Clarkston & Southfield
Lighthouse will be distributing produce boxes to families in need in Clarkston (Wednesdays) and Southfield (Thursdays). Volunteers are needed to help distribute produce boxes to those in need. Jobs will include unloading/loading food and collecting client data
To volunteer at the Southfield Distribution Center, click here.
To volunteer at the Clarkston Distribution Center, click here.

 

Because all Michiganders are required to wearing face masks, we have been asked to donate masks for residents who do not have any.

For more information and directions on “HOW TO” and “WHERE” to donate them click here.

Questions? Email Jill Bednas .   

 

 

 

 

Be a driver for Lighthouse of MI and deliver food boxes to families by leaving on their front porch.  If interested,  Email Manisha Dostert

The COVID-19 Response Team is coordinating food distribution efforts at Oakland University. Volunteers are needed on site to assist with packing food boxes for households. Shifts are from 9am-1pm and 1pm-5pm Monday – Friday.

For more information and to sign up, click here.