Caring for Each Other During the Coronavirus

Caring for Each Other During the Coronavirus

What can I do to help?

Last Updated: 5/1

We suggest that you bookmark/save this page to come back to for updates regarding needs, volunteering, sign ups, etc. You do not need to be a member or attend HPCUMC in order to serve, donate, or help. We have an opportunity to work together in order to care for each other. Please share with others!

UPDATE: Since Governor DeWine has decided that school building will continue to be closed the rest of the school year, we will continue to serve lunches daily as children are learning from home. Our last day of serving lunches will be Thursday, May 21 which is also the last day of school for Cincinnati Public Schools. 

The church and the services we are providing are STILL considered ESSENTIAL under Gov. DeWine’s order going into effect at 11:59p on Monday, April 6. Therefore, people are STILL ABLE to serve, drop off donations, and get the resources and food during distribution times. We are keeping up with protocol and limiting the amount of people serving to maintain social distancing and have plenty of sanitizer and gloves available for people helping to use.

The church building will be open from 10:00a-6:00p daily to receive donations at the Welcome Center.

Take basic precautions. Model healthy behaviors.

These simple steps will help you and those around you. They’ll also reduce your feelings of powerlessness.

  • Practice good hand-washing techniques.Wash your hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your bent elbow, when you cough or sneeze.
  • Maintain at least six (6) feet between yourself and others.
  • Seek medical attention if you or a family member experience a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

 

Distribute free meals EVERYDAY to children. There are TWO options for locations: Hyde Park Community UMC (1345 Grace Ave.) AND the State Ave. UMC (690 State Ave) 

We are providing ALL children 18 and under with a FREE lunch EACH DAY (including Saturday and Sunday). The meals we will be serving are shelf stable so do not need to be refrigerated.

  • Hyde Park Community UMC  (1345 Grace Ave.) will distribute food from 12:00p-1:00p at 1345 Grace Ave. every day (including weekends). Children need to be present to receive meals. 
  • State Ave UMC (690 State Ave.) will distribute food from 3:00p-5:00p every day (including weekends). Children need to be present to receive meals. 
  • We are following Gov. DeWine’s orders and all meals will be picked up and to be taken offsite (meals will be given out to CHIlDREN at HPCUMC and the Warehouse, but the kids need to take the meals home and can’t eat onsite). This option will allow the kids to be fed, but greatly reduce the risk associated with in person contact (think social distancing).
  • Other ways you can help from your home in this area is helping to get the word out about this resource on social media and your networks OR make homemade masks for those serving and bring them to the church or email Pastor Kate to schedule a pick up (ksmith@hpcumc.org)
  • To distribute meals at HPCUMC (1345 Grace Ave.) with shifts being 11:45a-1:15a daily sign up to serve here
  • To distribute meals at State Ave UMC (690 State Ave.) with two shift options daily and helping to clean up the neighborhood on Mondays, Wednesday, and Saturdays sign up to serve here

Donate food to Madisonville Education and Assistance Center (MEAC)

MEAC has been working to meet the needs of the community since 1986 and HPCUMC has been a partner since it’s inception. In this time of crisis and uncertainty, MEAC wants our neighbors to feel secure in our ability to continue to meet the needs of the community, and to do so in a way that limits the risks to public health.

  • We are continuing our Project 5000 food drive to support MEAC’s food pantry. You can buy the pantry items yourself or donate money (approx. $25 to fill one bag to feed a family of 4) that will go directly to MEAC to purchase food.
  • Give online here – choose Project 5000 in the drop down menu.
  • The church will be open from 10:00a-6:00p daily to drop off your donation. The church’s address is 1345 Grace Ave. Please drop off your donation in the Welcome Center (signs will guide you from entrances off the parking lot)  and it will be delivered to MEAC. This method allows for social distancing and allows you to come when you are able.
  • Extra Project 5000 bags will be available if you don’t have a bag before you shop or if you plan to make another donation. Just fill the bag when you get here and feel free to take a bag if you want to make another donation.
  • Below is the shopping list that will feed a family of 4. We’ve gotten feedback that people are going to multiple stores to get what’s on the list (that isn’t needed). Right now, please use the list as a guide not a rule in filling the bag. It is better to bring in a bag with alternative non-perishable items than wait until you find exactly what’s on the list.

Donate food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and other school/art supplies to Rothenberg Preparatory Academy for students and families

HPCUMC has a 9-year partnership with Rothenberg Preparatory Academy. Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) is providing breakfast and lunch to children at various CPS locations – find a location closest to you and schedule of distribution here. We are accepting donations at the church and the donations will be distributed to families when they pick up food at Rothenberg. There is another option to give money directly to Collaborate and Care that will be used to purchase goods.

  • The church will be open from 10:00a-6:00p daily to drop off your donation. The church’s address is 1345 Grace Ave. Please drop off your donation in the Welcome Center (signs will guide you from entrances off the parking lot)  and it will be delivered to MEAC. This method allows for social distancing and allows you to come when you are able.
  • Please make your donation/bag with “Rothenberg”
  • Ideas for donation:
    • Hygiene/Toiletry Kits
    • Educational/Fun Activity Kits (stickers, coloring pages, books, games, etc.)
    • Power Packs/Bags of Food/Non-perishable items, canned goods, etc.
  • To give monetary donations please mail your check to: Cincinnati Public Schools; Attn: Collaborate & Care; P.O Box 5381; Cincinnati, OH 45201-5381

Schedule a Pick Up from New Life Furniture Bank and Donate Furniture, Dishes, Linens and Home Goods 

Many of you are currently using some of your time at home to organize and unload furniture, dishes, linens, homewares, etc. that you no longer need. Please call us if you would like to donate your furniture to people who are fleeing homelessness. Just give us a call at 513-313-0530, and we’ll pick it up (outside of course), and we’ll email you a receipt (all donations are tax-deductible).

Send Letters to Homebound Seniors

Mail letters/cards/pictures to isolated senior adults. Contact Pam Pilger at ppilger@hpcumc.org to obtain addresses.

Ideas/Resources for Children

  • Stay connected with other children: decrease social isolation for children by submitting pictures of them and we will publish them in our weekly HPC Kids Newsletter (contact Pam Pilger to get the Newsletter for your family ppilger@hpcumc.org). They can be silly, happy, or sad. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. We are not alone. Together, as the body of Christ, we can remind our children of this.
  • Children’s Sunday School Lessons: check out the HPC Kids Newsletter for brief, entertaining video lessons. The Preschool Theme is “Follow Jesus” and the Elementary Theme is “Forgiveness – It’s Up to You.” Contact Pam at ppilger@hpcumc.org if you are not on the HPC Kids mailing list.
  • Sharing Prayers of Joys and Concerns: post your children’s joys and concerns on our Facebook Hyde Park Community UMC Children and Family Ministry group page. Then share what other children have posted and pray about them together with your child. The Facebook group is a closed group. Please join to help keep connected and supported.
 

Donate blood 

There is always a need for blood donations, especially in a time of health crisis.

Denounce racism and xenophobia

Coronavirus has revived racial stereotypes, and harmed many. Remember – this outbreak is not confined to one race or ethnicity. There is never an excuse for racism. Speak out when you hear blame and shame being placed on a specific race or ethnic group.

Check on older family, friends, and neighbors

Share God’s kindness. And do it in a way that does not jeopardize their health. Many of the suggestions below are from Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Action, M.D., MPH.

  • Call, send a text message or video chat. Ask how they are doing. Tell them you’re praying for them. Share a joke or memory.
  • If you can’t call or text, talk through the door.
  • Leave a hand-made card or small “thinking of you” gift on their doorstep or mailbox.
  • Make sure they have plenty of food, water, and medical supplieson hand, or prepare a meal. Ask questions like “I’m running to the store – can I get you anything?” or “Are you hungry for anything in particular?” If store supplies allow it, stock them up for several days. Drop it off on their front door step.
  • Run other errands – pharmacies for medicines, other stores for essentials
  • If applicable, do basic yard work, take their trash or recycling to the curb or bin, or drop off their mail at their door.
  • Support their four-legged friends. Help stock up on essentials like food, treats, etc.
  • Think about what you would like if you were stuck in your home. Would you want books, games, other comfort measures?
  • Identify a backup caregiver for your older relative who can step in if you get sick.

Supporting local partners 

Hyde Park Community UMC is proud to partner with local organizations, agencies, and schools. Now more than ever we need to come together as a community to support each other. Below is a list of places that we are (and will continue to) support financially and many through service thanks to people’s generosity and giving:

Please contact Pastor Kate with any questions (ksmith@hpcumc.org) 

The Beat Goes On

As we come to a finale of this “long and winding road” of Advent this Sunday, some of you might be thinking, “Don’t stop the music!” If that is your sentiment, know that I stand in solidarity with you – as music is a passion of mine. While I know God can’t give all of the gifts to people – I wish I would have received the gift of music (either singing or playing – I’m not picky) instead of only the gift of appreciating music.

For some people, though, music is something that just “sounds nice, it’s good background noise.” For me, it is so much more! People of the Bible used music as a tool to pray and as an outlet to express the whole spectrum of human emotion. This creative expression helps us emotionally and spiritually, offers us direction, and has the ability to articulate thoughts and feelings all while showing us that we aren’t alone.

This series was based on the premise that God is in all things and we have the ability to find sacred in the ordinary and everyday as we theologically reflect on how songs not traditionally found in “Christian music” can point us to God. This Advent, the Beatles songs acted as a soundtrack for the season leading up to Christmas as we were invited to explore creative ways to connect with God and others.

For those who want the beat to go on and continue to explore faith through music – never fear! The teaching theme for *Summer Impact is “Rock of Ages” as a way to enjoy music, express faith, and find community. There is even a community made playlist of 176 songs that you can access through Spotify:  https://spoti.fi/2UUurt6 or search “Rock of Ages: Summer Impact 2019.” These songs were submitted to the playlist because people have found divine meaning, hope, and love. Are there unexpected songs that have connected you to God?

May you experience God in unexpected places and ways this Christmas season and into 2019 as you open your eyes (and maybe your ears) to what God is trying to show you.

Peace,

Pastor Kate

Summer Impact – http://hydeparkchurch.org/summer-impact/

 

Seeing Samara Through Our Hosts Eyes

Sorry to get this out to you later, but we had a very busy night.

Yesterday began with a moving devotional by Becky, which lead the group to open up about personal challenges. After, we all went to Novokuybyshevsk, where we visited a theater program for people with a disability. In Russia, people with disabilities are marginalized, and there are not any programs sponsored by the state after the age of 18. This organization gives a place for people over 18 with disabilities to have a sort of life. At the theater we learned that this was a group led by volunteers and mostly mothers whose children have a passion for acting. They have so much confidence in the shows they are putting on, and you could tell were completely happy to be performing. A highlight was watching Albina watch the children because she works closely with them through teaching them to sing and writing songs. Her pride for how well the children performed brought tears to our eyes. Afterwards, we had a reception of coffee and tea, where we could interact with the performers. They were filled with such warmth, and we could see what great friends they were.

Afterwards, we went to the church, where we were picked up by our host families. We went to their apartments for a late lunch/dinner. Albina graciously hosted us and Elena to a wonderful meal and some sledding. Fortunately, we had Maria there to help translate. However, some groups learned that Google Translate doesn’t always convey the right meaning.

We debreifed as a group about our different experiences at the host families, which were all very positive. The day extra was special because it was Christmas Even in Russia. Max and Stassi took Sarah, Elena, Pastor Cathy, Pastor Doug, and Linda to part of a Russian Orthodox Christmas Service. It was an amazing experience. While we did not understand the Russia, Max said that most of the service was in ancient Slavic, so even they did not understand either. The church was ornately decorated with beautiful scenes and idols painted on the walls, and everything shone in gold. It was an incredibly unique experience that we are fortunate to have seen.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

One for the Books

This morning was pretty similar to yesterday. We finished our painting at the church and got everything cleaned up. We also took a break at noon to celebrate both Max and Stas’s birthdays (Stas is the deacon of the church) with cake and tea. After a bit of cleaning we had lunch which was a soup we would consider most similar to chowder and a second course of meat with scalloped potatoes, cabbage, and tomatoes. We finished work at the church around 4 and were brought back to the hotel to shower before going out to do a bit of shopping. Then it was time for dinner, which is what we are going to spend a majority of this blogging talking about.

If there’s two things we haven’t emphasized enough this week it’s how much food we’ve been served and how absolutely incredible everyone we’ve met has been. Starting with the food this evening, they decided to treat us to unique Russian cuisine, more specifically the ones we’ve been hearing about all week and trying to avoid. The first appetizer was a bit of bread with a thin layer of pig fat and salt. It is second from the left in the picture. Next up was a toothpick of meat that had been roasting for 6 hours on top of a broth gelatin which can be seen on the far right. We called this the meat jelly as we were contemplating it on our plates. After this came the small cup with a white liquid. It was a thick milk with a similar taste to Greek yogurt, but I must say it smelled a bit like Swiss cheese. Next was a bowl of cabbage that ended up tasting very similarly to cole slaw. Finally, they had bread with butter and red caviar, which they told us they only have on special occasions. Overall, we tried all of them and none of them were too off-putting. There were even a couple I went back for seconds of. For our main course, we had buckwheat and mushroom stuffed chicken. Once again, there weren’t many problems with this and I (Anna) was forced to overcome my fear of mushrooms, and I think I succeeded. For dessert we had a Turkish disk called chuck-chuck and it resembled a Rice Krispie Treat. It was covered in honey and definitely delicious. Along with this we were also served some very tasty chocolates. This is just one meal, but you can see how extensive it was and we feel like they never stop eating.

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Now onto our second point: the people. As dinner was winding down Stas starting asking questions for everyone to answer and one in particular was what our biggest impression has been of Samara. Doug started us off and took the rest of our answers by saying the enthusiasm and spirit the congregation has is incredible. They voluntarily have spent so many hours at the church this week, not only hanging out with us, but also preparing for us and driving us and cooking for us that we definitely feel their love. The love they have for the church, the love they have for each other, the love they have for God, and especially the love they have for us. It’s so insane how connected we feel despite the language barrier. When we asked the Russians their impressions of us, it was crazy to see how we had touched them because I think we all feel like they’ve impacted us so much more than we’ve  impacted them.

The waterworks started and we know tomorrow night is going to be incredibly difficult. We realize this mission trip hasn’t been about the physical work we’ve done, but the emotional in keeping and strengthening HPCUMC’s relationship with Samara United Methodist. There isn’t a better group I could imagine having a partnership with and it’s exciting to see what the future could hold. These people will forever be in our heart and prayers and we can only hope to one day see them again. We still have one more day and will post a couple more blogs, but after tonight this was something we really wanted to share. Samara United Methodist is doing incredible things and will continue to do so with the passion they have.

Here are a few pictures from the day, but we didn’t take many:

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Doug and Sarah painting

Doug trying a Georgian dish of meat wrapped in grape leaves as Tanyla looks on with excitement

Doug trying a Georgian dish of meat wrapped in grape leaves as Tanya looks on with excitement

The birthday boys, Stas and Max

The birthday boys, Stas and Max

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The room after being painted and the repairing and moving of the shelving used for giving clothing to the homeless

A Review of a South Carolina Gem: The McCutchen House

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Our son, Blake, is a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.  During one visit we discovered “The McCutchen House” right on the “Horseshoe” of campus, a lovely, open green space.  It is a part of the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management.  Students who are studying to be chefs, owners of clubs, and those majoring in Hospitality Management are able to work in this lovely, charming Southern gem.

The service was gracious and attentive and the food was outstanding, not to mention reasonable. As I was leaving I found myself thinking, “You can practice on me any day….that was amazing!”

As a Christian what does it mean to embrace and practice radical hospitality?  The Benedictine monks seem to understand this, both in theory and practice.  Several years ago I attended a seminar at a Benedictine monastery.  Within ten minutes of my arrival, I happy that I was there.  The welcome was genuine; the food was delightful.  I felt as if I was among old friends yet I had just met these gracious people.  They exceeded my expectations in every way.

What would happen if we as God’s representatives in the world exceeded the expectations of each person who came through the doors of our homes and our churches? For the month of September we will be exploring what it means to be a person of hospitality in the world and in the Church.  We can be part of the transforming love of God as strangers become friends, friends become disciples, and disciples change the world.

May God richly bless you this week and always!

Peace,

Pastor Cathy