The Breast Cancer Navigator Fund

Breast Cancer Navigator Fund is designed to help patients with breast cancer to help with short-term financial issues as a result of the additional costs of their medical care. They give people dignity, a safe place to turn to and they intervene quickly.  

 The Navigator Fund serves two main groups: 

- Aging population on fixed income  

- Working poor population, most often single moms. 

Most patients are out of work 3 to 6 months when undergoing treatment. Examples of what they pay: 

- Car payment 

- Rent                

- Utility 

- House taxes  

- Groceries (they helped several patients this winter due to school closures. The children were not receiving free or reduced breakfast and lunch) 

- Wigs for working women 

In the above examples the financial help prevented the loss of a car, being evicted, loss of house or utilities being turned off. Some patients have to choose between taking their meds and eating.  

Patients are eligible to apply for help up to 6 months after treatment. Primarily they serve Genesee County residents. Occasionally they will help someone from a surrounding county.  

They give away approximately $100,000 per year. The money is raised by donations or fund-raising events.   

Patients are eligible for help after a detailed financial assessment and a review of their expenses. There are three people that evaluate each situation.  

Consideration is being given to developing funds for additional kinds of cancers.

Carriage Town Ministries

“The mission of Carriage Town Ministries (CTM) is to provide help, hope and the Good News to our community through the skills and means of God’s people and the transforming power of Christ’s love.”

CTM is a homeless shelter and an emergency services provider. The range of services and opportunities available make them so much more than “just” a homeless shelter. 

Residents have an opportunity to create a Personal Success Plan (PSP) that helps them establish not just goals, but a plan for achieving those goals. It is a mentorship program that is flexible and helps to equip residents with the skills and resources needed to transition into the workforce. 

Spiritual encouragement through Christ-centered classes, daily chapel, and dedicated mentors.

Dinner is served every day in the CTM café for anyone that shows up at 4:50pm, no questions asked. A community chapel service takes place after the dinner. 

A free Health Screening Clinic provides access to medical, dental, and optometry services at “street level” for Carriage Town residents, non-homeless but extremely poor men, women, and children, and walk-up access for those living on the streets. 

Baby care classes and a free layette are offered to new moms and dads. 

The Donation Center receives clothing and household furnishings. These are available to residents but are also shared with local non-profits.

Computer courses are offered to all residents.

An early Head Start program is housed at CTM.

Blueline Donuts provides job-skills training and income to residence. It also helps foster better relationships with the community and police officers, police leadership and other first responders. The donuts are delicious! 

This year our church contributed funds to help continue the work of Carriage Town Ministries. There are numerous ways you can serve at Carriage Town Ministries. Please contact Brittany Willingham, Volunteer Coordinator at Bwillingham@carriagetown.org or call (810) 233-8787 ext. 12 for more information. 

The Food Bank of Easter Michigan (FBEM)

The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan (FBEM) distributes over 28 million pounds of food annually, through a network of over 415 partner agencies, in 22 Michigan counties. They are a member agency with Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people.

Four years ago, the Hunger Solution Center was built to allow for the collection, storage and distribution of produce, dairy and meat products. This makes up about half the food

distributed by FBEM. This has allowed them to provide healthy food solutions for those in need. The need for more nutritious food has become an even more important factor in a healthy diet since the water crisis.

In addition, the Hunger Solution Center has a state-of-the-art production kitchen with the capacity to prepare more than 3,000 meals per day for Head Start and other school

feeding programs.  In the summer of 2017, the kitchen produced more than 75,000 meals for summer feeding programs in Genesee and Saginaw counties.

Our church contributes to the School Backpack Program. This program is designed to provide weekend help to elementary age children who receive free or reduced-price meals at school. The backpack is full of nutritious and easy-to-prepare foods for children

to take home on the weekends. Food is provided for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack for two days. For many of these children, this backpack is their only source of food when school is not in session. The program costs approximately $100 a year for

one child and serves 13,000 children from 200 elementary schools. For middle school and high school students the FBEM provides a school pantry to help with hunger alleviation.

Another program our church contributes to is the Senior Grocery Box. This program provides supplemental food boxes to senior citizens once a month. It provides a senior citizen on a fixed income with 55-60 pounds of food each month including seasonal fresh produce. The cost of the program is approximately $200 a year for one senior.

Volunteers are critical to the mission and daily work of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to reach out and help those in need. In 2018 there were over 7,800 volunteers who worked for a total of 54,000 hours.

Mission Statement: Crossover Downtown Outreach Ministry is a faith-based, interdenominational mission established to provide free emergency food, clothing, household items, personal items, and youth programs to those most in need in our community. They provide faith-based services and programs, showing the love of Christ, restoring hope, and rebuilding lives.

 

Crossover Outreach Ministries

First Presbyterian was one of the three downtown churches that founded Crossover in 1991. The churches united to provide a convenient, centrally located, service center to help meet the needs of the less fortunate and offer programs designed to help persons become more self-sufficient . . . to “cross over” to a better life.

Crossover is open daily, Monday through Friday, to serve clients. Clients are those facing hardships and are referred to Crossover by many qualifying organizations in Flint and Genesee County. There are over one hundred referring agencies. Referrals can be done online and must be used in 5 days. ID is required and proof that children are living in the home for support for your children as well. 

Once every 30 days referred clients can receive a bag with food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack for each member of the family living under the same roof. Food is packed every morning into bags for individuals, couples or families of 4. There is a coordinator to help in the scheduling of this daily volunteer job. Once every 60 days referred clients can receive hygiene bags and clothing. They clothes shop and choose up to three outfits per person. Hygiene bags contain shampoo, soap, toilet paper, deodorant, razor and feminine products.

A household set-up is available to clients with proof of a lease. The set-up includes dishes, bedding, towels, pots and pans, and decorations. 

First Presbyterian has supported Crossover since it was established. There are many opportunities for scheduled volunteer opportunities. They also accept donations of food, clothing, and hygiene items. Contact Denise Dillard at Crossover for more information at (810.234.2479).

To learn more about the many additional services available at Crossover go to their website at: crossoverministryflint.org. 

Forgotten Man Ministries

The mission of Forgotten Man Ministries (FMM) is: To follow in Christ’s footsteps by bringing the healing powers of the Great Physician to those incarcerated in Michigan’s county jails. FMM is a multi-denominational Christian ministry.

In Michigan, every county has a jail that is operated by the local sheriff’s department correctional staff. Inmates stay in a jail until they are sentenced or if they are sentenced

for less than one year for their crime. Typically, inmates are there for less than a year but occasionally they are there for as long 3 years. Inmates at a jail face a lot of uncertainty as they wait for their legal process to unfold. This uncertainty often leads to

an openness to God and some inmates appreciate an opportunity to speak with a chaplain, volunteers or to join a bible study.

FMM ministers to an average of 580 men and women daily at the Genesee County Jail. In a year this can be as many as 16,000 individuals who are ministered to. There are a number of programs they offer at the Genesee County Jail.

- A book cart ministry

- Distribution of bibles

- Correspondence bible courses

- Christian counseling

- 45 group bible studies each week

- 7 worship services each Friday

- Follow-up and discipleship ministry.

In addition, an 8-week in-depth program that teaches biblical principles with life applications called GRO (God Restoring Offenders) Pod has reduced recidivism in participants from 76% to 22%. Our church has donated funds to help with this program.

We have several members of our congregation that volunteer at the jail. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kim Skaff at kskaff@fpcf.org or 810.234.8673

The Genesee County Free Medical Clinic

The Genesee County Free Medical Clinic provides health care for uninsured Genesee County residents. They also provide care for patients waiting for Medicaid approval. The clinic provides an amazing variety of health services through the partnership of many organizations throughout the community. 

Patients benefit from the services of volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other professionals (over 100 on-site on a rotating basis). There are 4 full-time employees. 

Funding for the clinic comes through grants, an annual fundraising event and donations from individuals and organizations. They had a budget of $300,000 last year. 

All services (including prescribed medications) are on-site or by referrals and are free of charge to eligible patients. 

The Clinic is open for 4 hours, 3 days a week and one evening per month for 3 hours. During the day approximately 12 to 16 patients are seen. In the evening 24 to 25 patients are seen. In a year, the clinic serves between 1,500 and 2,000 patients from all over Genesee County. 

McLaren Health Systems is the primary partner with the clinic. Dr. Kakarala, an Internal Medicine specialist from McLaren is the Medical Director at the clinic. She teaches and supervises students from McLaren’s residency program at the clinic. On occasion Family Practice residents work there also.  

The clinic has a working relationship with Hurley’s Emergency room for emergency needs and for follow-ups after leaving the ER. Nursing students from Baker College, U of M and Mott volunteer at the clinic. 

It is important to the staff of the clinic to empower patients to take care of their health. Nutrition counseling, lifestyle coaching, and behavior counseling are a significant part of what they do. They also help patients apply for Medicaid and direct them to Genesee Health Plan for additional help. 

Our church has contributed to the clinic for a number of years. More information can be found at their website: https://www.gcfmc.org/

Intervarsity

Chad Schlosser has been leading Intervarsity (IV) on the campus of University of Michigan Flint since 2010. In 2018 he took a 6-month sabbatical focusing on personal growth and development. 

Chad grew up in the upper peninsula and attended Michigan State where he graduated with a degree in accounting. He lives in Mott Park with his wife and three young children. Chad has a heart for ministry and specifically for college age students. He is quite passionate about faith formation and is also committed to the city of Flint. 

Intervarsity emphasizes small groups in their campus ministries. These create opportunities for students to process faith, be invited into community and for spiritual growth. This year there are 8 small groups at U of M - Flint, 2 at Mott Community College and 1 at Baker. Chad’s job is U of M – Flint but if time allows, he makes connections at the other two campuses. 

Chad writes the curriculum for these small groups. He chooses one of the Gospels or Acts for each year’s study. Both Christians and non-Christians attend the small groups. 

This past few years he has tried various formats for weekly large group gatherings. This school year he developed a new format with significant input from the small group leaders. The leaders choose the topics and lead a discussion with the larger group. U of M – Flint is a commuter campus so it can be hard to find a time the large group can meet. They are meeting on Thursday’s at 3:00p weekly and this is working well. 

Chad emphasized the importance of building relationships with the students by meeting with individuals as often as possible. He said his favorite days are when he is on campus meeting with students individually and also greeting and interacting with other students. He acknowledged that this generation of students entering college are presenting a new set of challenges that he is navigating. 

Please pray for Chad and his family as he serves the college students in our area

The Ludwigs

The Ludwig family serve through Presbyterian World Mission, in the country of Niger, located between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of Africa’s most economically impoverished countries. Only about 30 percent of the population is literate, and less than 50 percent of children are enrolled in school. Niger also experiences frequent famines. The annual per capita gross domestic product is only about $800. 

Ninety-five percent of Nigeriens are Muslim, the government is secular, and there is openness to the gospel. The Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger (EERN) is the largest Protestant church in the country and is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. In recent decades, the EERN and the Presbyterian Church have begun working as partners in mission. Church leaders are often some of the only educated people in a community. People, both Muslim and Christian seek out pastors and evangelists for practical information on health and well-being or help with reading and writing. 

Rachel and Michael Ludwig and their 4 children have been serving in Niger for almost 5 years. Their children are Adeline, age 9, Simeon, age 7, Zach, age 7, and Isaac, age 2. They also mentor Hassan, a young man they encourage and help in seeking opportunities to become better educated. 

Michael works with leaders of the EERN to use Community Health Evangelism (CHE) to respond to a community’s greatest needs with their own resources. CHE is used to help with literacy, education, nutrition, health and self-sustaining businesses. Michael travels to local communities to train pastors in CHE practices and English. Currently Michael is working on fish farming as a way to provide income and food for local Bible schools. 

Rachel focuses on homeschooling their children and developing relationships in their neighborhood and church community. 

Please pray for the Ludwig family as they minister in a country with very hot conditions, malaria risks, and security concerns. There will be prayer cards on the Welcome Desk. If you are interested in receiving their newsletter contact Kim Skaff at kskaff@fpcf.org or 810-234-8673.

Voices for Children

Mission: Voices for Children Advocacy Center is dedicated to serving the child victims and families of child abuse in Genesee County and enhancing the lives of all children through treatment, education and by increasing community awareness.

 Vision: Shining a light so all children are empowered, and all families are thriving.

Voices for Children (VFC) is a child-friendly place that serves children, ages 2 to 17, who are the victims of abuse or neglect. At the Voices for Children Center these children receive a forensic-child-focused interview, undergo medical evaluations, receive therapy services and receive support, advocacy and resources. Children who have been abused or trafficked do not have to retell their traumatic story of abuse multiple times and do not have to walk through this process alone.

VFC serves as the “hub” for a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) made up of various professional that work together in the investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases. The MDT includes members of many organizations including law enforcement, social services, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy personnel. The work of the MDT allows a child to begin healing from the trauma of abuse and allows for an effective prosecution of the offender.

The center also services as an advocate and voice for children in Genesee County to ensure children have their basic needs met. All services are completely free to the victims and their families.

This year our church contributed to the To-Go-Backpacks for the victims of human trafficking. After a victims’ safety needs are met VFC is faced with meeting the physical needs of the victims. In most cases the victims of trafficking have left a situation with no personal belongings or hygiene items. The funds we gave will be used to take victims shopping for personal items including clothing, shoes, blankets, sheets, towels and hygiene items. For many victims being allowed to choose their own items is empowering and a symbol of hope.

If you would like to learn more about the Voices for Children Advocacy Center or to find out how you can volunteer visit their website at voicesforcac.org.

 

Young Life

Young Life of Genesee County exists to introduce Genesee County teens to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith. Young Life leaders throughout the county invest time in the lives of teenagers to build lasting friendships and to help them consider the direction of their lives. 

Young Life believes in the power of presence. Teens’ lives are dramatically impacted when caring adults come alongside them and share God’s love with them. When they understand their leader believes in them, they begin to see that their lives have great worth, meaning, and purpose.

Young Life meets on Monday nights in four communities: Linden, Lake Fenton, Grand Blanc, and the city of Flint. A meeting for middle schoolers called WyldLife meets on Saturday night in Lake Fenton. Plans are underway to begin a WyldLife Club in Flint at Calvary United Methodist Church. 

Our church contributed to the Flint City Club this year. The ministry that Young Life provides in the city of Flint to a group of 30 to 35 teenagers is a light in the midst of darkness. The plan to begin a WyldLife Club in Flint will help to reach and share Jesus at an earlier age. Many of these students have seen and experienced more than many of us can imagine by the time they reach high school. 

A story from the Flint Club:

On a Monday night in February there was a birthday celebration for all the students with January to March birthdays. A cake was provided, and a celebration was held. As the team of leaders were cleaning up, a student asked if he could take the rest of the cake home. It was his 19th birthday the next day and he wanted to eat cake at midnight to celebrate. He shook his head and expressed astonishment that he had lived to the age of 19. Most of his friends had been killed or were in jail. He shared with the leaders that his 17-year-old brother was in jail for two years. 

If interested you can support Young Life in a variety of ways — by becoming a volunteer leader or committee member, by attending a Young Life fund-raising event or by simply telling others in the community about Young Life and its commitment to kids.

YWCA

“YWCA Greater Flint is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.”

The YWCA is a non-profit organization that is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen our community. The YWCA Greater Flint combines programming and advocacy in order to generate change.Some of the services provided by the YWCA Greater Flint are; safe protective shelter, legal advocacy, counseling and necessary supportive service for battered women and their children to move them towards self-sufficiency, independence and freedom from abuser. 

The YWCA SafeHouse provides free safe, emergency shelter and supportive services to survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault and their minor children. In addition, they provide safe and secure shelter for victims of human trafficking. They are a part of the SART (Sexual Assault Response Team of Genesee County) which provides a coordinated response to sexual assault in our community. They focus on meeting the needs of sexual assault survivors and more effectively holding offender’s accountable.

The YWCA provides medical-forensic examinations for survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking at the SAFE Center (Sexual Assault Forensic Examination). The Center provides a private, supportive environment and an advocate who offers emotional support and information. The Center is on a 24-hour, on-call bases for adults. The examinations are done by specially trained, forensic nurse examiners (SANE - Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner).

The number of people coming to the YWCA for help has increased significantly during the past two years. The church contributed funding for the training of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) this year.

If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (810) 238-7621 ext. 310.