Throughout the year, you, together with all of us who make up National Avenue Christian Church, we share our gifts with our neighbors here at home and around the world with our time, talents, and treasures. In the past, NACC has created an Alternative Gift Market, a kind of fair with booths from some of our partners. This year we’re offering this virtual alternative gift market. Read just a snippet, or click the links to discover more, and in just a few clicks you can donate directly to a nonprofit we’ve been honored to partner with over the years. We’ll have cards available on Sunday if you’d like to have something tangible to hand to a loved one to let them know you made a donation of your volunteer time or money in their honor.
We all have gifts to share.
Serving the Ozarks
Council of Churches
We Are #MoreThan the Council of Churches. We are nine outreach services working closely with 72 member congregations from 17 different religious affiliations. The Council of Churches of the Ozarks assists with basic services — food, shelter, clothing — a comforting hand to help in times of need. Neil Guion has served on the Council of Church’s board. They have many worthy programs, from our congregation, Jackie White and Louise Jackson have both volunteered with Safe to Sleep and Joan Young has been instrumental in building teams to volunteer at Crosslines. Read more below and at: http://ccozarks.org
Donate: https://4agc.com/donation_pages/38186b61-26df-4f0f-af14-b20f458078b9 and note which program you’d like to fund.
Safe to Sleep:
Safe to Sleep is a temporary homeless women’s shelter, primarily supported by donations from individuals and area churches. Read more: ccozarks.org/safetosleep/
Crosslines provides support to families in crisis in Greene County through food assistance and hygiene items. Read more: http://ccozarks.org/crosslines/
Diaper Bank of the Ozarks
Jan Akinson has served on the board. Diaper Bank of the Ozarks keeps babies healthy and happy by providing access to diapers, basic needs, and educational resources to families in need in our community during pregnancy and beyond while increasing diaper need awareness. Read more: https://diaperbankoftheozarks.org
Discovery Garden Montessori School
DGMS is the school that shares our building in the north wing and several of the children in our congregation have attended school here. The mission of Discovery Garden Montessori School is to prepare an outstanding Montessori environment that fosters collaboration, cooperation and peace, and to provide experiences for each child to develop to his/her fullest potential academically, socially and emotionally. Through the dynamic partnership of the child, parent, and teacher, a consistent Montessori framework for learning is created, offering the tools for a journey of lifelong learning. Read more: dgmontessori.org
The Kitchen, Inc.
Church members have served on the board and Jenny Reynolds previously worked at Rare Breed. The Kitchen brings stability and purpose to people who are homeless. Read more: thekitcheninc.org
Donate: https://www.thekitcheninc.org/donate/ note which program you’d like to fund.
Rare Breed Youth Services
The Rare Breed has been assisting youth experiencing homelessness, inter-generational poverty, and trauma since June of 2000 and serves 60-70 youth a day through a drop-in center and provides rapid rehousing and permanent housing for approximately 35 youth. Read more: https://www.thekitcheninc.org/our-programs/rare-breed-youth-services/
National Alliance on Mental Illness – Southwest Missouri Chapter
Our own Deborah Biggs recently retired from being the Executive Director of the local chapter. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans (one in five) affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, support and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope for living with a brain illness. Read more: www.namiswmo.com
NAACP Springfield Chapter
The local chapter of the NAACP is an all volunteer organization, and one of the only local organizations fully committed to combating racism. Our church recently partnered to host an NAACP storytelling event called Intersections that brought the stories of discrimination and bullying that students have faced to the attention of the Springfield Public Schools administration, school board, and broader community, and we are looking for further ways to partner specifically as members of the Religious Affairs Committee. The NAACP Springfield, Missouri believes in the dignity of all human beings and works to identify and remove barriers to equality and justice. We are actively engaged with and sought out by business and community leaders to participate in the economic, social, and cultural growth within our community. Through trust and respect, the NAACP Springfield serves to inspire all within our community to join our historically diverse organization as we promote and implement our mission.Read more (website currently under redesign): http://www.naacpspringfieldmo.org/home.html
Newborns in Need
In the United States approximately 2,000 babies are born into poverty each day. Over 540,000 babies are born prematurely each year and for every 1,000 babies born, 6 babies lose their fight for life. Volunteers provide our Newborn Immediate Need Kits filled with basic necessities for a newborn during the first few weeks of life. Collecting needed items such as baby wash, sleepers, diapers, wipes, thermometers and other necessary items, these items are distributed in the local community. Read more: https://newbornsinneed.org
Reentry and Resources
NACC sponsored the Fresh Start 5K/10K fundraiser last year and is again this year, and hosted one of their Reentry Simulations which several members participated in. This organization is an important partner with Hand Up, our Justice Collaborative’s program that assists with funds for reentering citizen, co-founded by Lynda Nickle and Thom Goodfellow. Reentry & Resources is a non-profit organization that serves the Southwest Missouri Area. We provide referrals, develop partnerships, and maintain a network of agencies for support. We provide financial assistance to citizens who have felony criminal histories. Our organization also educates the community through events and activities in hopes of decreasing the stigma associated with criminal backgrounds. The actions of Reentry & Resources will aid in lowering the unemployment rate of citizens negatively impacted by felonies and combat high crime rates in the area. Reentry & Resources is run by volunteers, meaning all donations will be used to assist citizens. Read more: reentryandresources.org/
Specifically Supporting our LGBTQ Neighbors
AIDS Project of the Ozarks
We have supported APO through events like the Red Ribbon Ride and AIDS Walk consistently through the years. We are currently working on an application to bring a portion of the Names Project AIDS Quilt to NACC for World AIDS Day in 2020. Multiple members receive health care here. AIDS Project of the Ozarks (APO) is a non-profit community-based organization serving a 29 county region in southwest Missouri. APO currently serves over 700 clients with HIV/AIDS and their families. Concerned families and friends established the organization as a grass roots entity in 1983. Services include: medical care, case management, education to the general public, and services to persons with HIV infection, their families and significant others in a confidential, caring environment. We also offer primary medical care to those who are not HIV positive, in a safe inclusive environment. Read more: https://apo-ozarks.org
The GLO Center
Ashley Quinn works part-time at GLO (in addition to NACC) as the Community Resource Coordinator leading the Ozarks Inclusion Project. The GLO Center seeks to serve the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and “plus” (LGBTQ+) community of greater Springfield and the surrounding areas through advocacy and outreach, as well as programs and activities that encourage personal healing and growth. With the help of our allies, GLO strives to make a positive impact on the community at large. Read more: www.glocenter.org
PROMO is Missouri’s statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization. Ashley Quinn served on the board for a number of years, and a PROMO staff member accompanied Helen and Doris on their drive to Iowa for a Marriage License. PROMO is a 501(c)4 meaning it has more freedom to engage in political advocacy, like working to pass a statewide non-discrimination law (MONA) protecting LGBTQ folks. There is also a 501(c)3, PROMO Fund promotes equality and protects the human and civil rights of LGBTQ people in Missouri. SAGE of PROMO Fund strives to enhance the quality of life of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults through service, advocacy, and community awareness. Read more: https://promoonline.org
Supporting Ministries of our Denomination
Since 1999 Bethany Fellows has served congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) by helping newly ordained, young pastors transition from seminary to sustained congregational ministry with a strong and healthy pastoral identity. Pastor Laura, Pastor Jenn, and Pastor Kevin have all been a part of Bethany Fellows and have found it vital to sustaining their careers. Read more: bethanyfellows.org
Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance
The Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance are members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), called to join in God’s work of transforming the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) into a just and inclusive church that welcomes persons of all gender expressions and sexual identities into the full life and leadership of the church. They support churches on their journey to be Open & Affirming with education and other resources. Formerly known as GLAD and also referred to as AllianceQ. Read more: https://disciplesallianceq.org
Ekklesia, legally known as United Ministries in Higher Education (UMHE), is a progressive campus ministry that welcomes Jesus followers, seekers, doubters, interfaith advocates, and people of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. We strive to make our campus and world a more just, loving, and peaceful place through critical thought, prophetic action, and authentic spirituality. We are closely tied to Ekklesia which used to office out of our building, Howard Cavner recently retired as Campus Minister Ekklesia and our own adjunct pastor for preaching, Michelle Scott-Huffman currently serves in that role while Lisa Clark serves as Administrative Assistant and Pastor Jenn co-leads their board. Read more: https://www.ekklesiamsu.org
Week of Compassion
As the relief, refugee, and development mission fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Week of Compassion works with partners to alleviate suffering throughout the world. Read more: https://www.weekofcompassion.org
Our youth have chosen to collect funds for Heifer International in the past, and the ability to donate a goat or a chicken is a unique opportunity to make a lasting impact for a family. Ending Poverty from the ground up. Heifer International works alongside the communities they serve, providing livestock and training in sustainable agricultural and business practices to create the most opportunity for the individuals and communities with whom we partner. We also have their printed catalog available in the office. Read more: https://www.heifer.org
Gift an alpaca: https://www.heifer.org/gift-catalog/index.html
International Rescue Committee
We often focus on the refugee at Christmas, and have for our Christmas Eve offering done a special collection for the International Rescue Committee. The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. In more than 40 countries and in 26 U.S. cities, their dedicated teams provide clean water, shelter, health care, education and empowerment support to refugees and displaced people. Read more: https://www.rescue.org
NACC has supported Rainbow Network for years, with major fundraising campaign with the youth, church members supporting “adopted” young people, multiple trips to Nicaragua and ongoing support of the Hilapo 2 community. Brad Wadle has served on the board and Louise Jackson has written a book. Rainbow Network provides innovative, integrated and sustainable solutions that enable the poor of Nicaragua to break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient, resulting in an improved quality of life. Read more: https://www.rainbownetwork.org
National Avenue Christian Church Justice Collaborative
You can also make a special donation to our church and our Justice Collaborative efforts. Donate: https://nationalavenuecc.com/make-a-gift/ and note which program you’d like to fund or if you’d like to more generally earmark funds for the Justice Collaborative.
Breaking Bread & Building Bridges (4Bs)
On Monday evenings we have teams of folks who prepare meals, deliver and serve them to over 100 folks experiencing homelessness and/or food insecurity in the basement of Grace United Methodist Church. Funds purchase ingredients, steamer pans, plates, forks, napkins. Volunteers always welcome. There’s also a Free Store kept open on Monday nights by our friends in the Ozark Dharma Community.
Co-founded by Lynda Nickle and the late Thom Goodfellow, this program helps to fill gaps in existing services available to those reentering society after incarceration. It could be a particular pair of shoes needed to start a new job, or money to cover prescriptions in the gap before they have health insurance available to them. A task force of formerly incarcerated folks and service providers help to review requests and distribute funding through existing agencies.
Pies for Justice/General Justice Funds
Benny Ellis has been baking pies, selling them, and donating the profits to the Justice work of this church for years. We sometimes have specific asks that come in, some examples have been a call from Rare Breed and a need for a teen to get a new pair of eyeglasses, or a last minute pizza dinner for the youth. Or we may have someone who needs help with a gas card, or to keep their utilities from being shut off. Sometimes we have Justice events to sponsor in the community, like a racial justice training.