Families Forward SOV 21

Published: April 2, 2021

Team Name: University United Methodist Church Volunteer Team

Award Category: Live

Why This Team is Extraordinary:

Families Forward is honored to have the opportunity to nominate our University United Methodist Church Volunteer Team. The eight dedicated volunteers that make up the UUMC Volunteer team have been instrumental in supporting our mission, programs, and consequently have touched the lives of countless families in Orange County over the years, especially this past year. Because of their commitment and unwavering support during these challenging times, they have assisted families in Orange County facing hunger and homelessness. The former longtime CEO of Families Forward, Margie Wakeham, has been a member of UUMC for quite some time. Margie connected the church with Families Forward in the early 1990s. Other members were first introduced to Families Forward through their children’s schools and service organizations as well. All of these connections to Families Forward helped UUMC to further solidify their relationship with the organization that continues today. For the past 30 years, UUMC has been an incredible support to Families Forward in a variety of ways. Members of the volunteer team at UUMC support Families Forward in different areas that they are most passionate about on a weekly basis all year round or for special programs and projects including helping in our food pantry with preparing food bags for families in our housing program, assisting families at our front desk with registering for our programs, applying for housing, and obtaining crucial resources, repairing donated bikes for our families, hosting food drives, and assisting with our seasonal programs – the Back-to-School program, the Thanksgiving program, and the Adopt-a-Family holiday gift program. In 2018, UUMC took their involvement to the next level when they became a Signature Partner of Families Forward and committed to hitting certain goals when working with Families Forward. This has led to the UUMC volunteer team recruiting more support from their members with volunteer service and engagement, food donations to the pantry, and contributions to the mission of the organization. This past year of 2020 was a year like no other with numerous challenges for all, and despite the state of the pandemic, our UUMC volunteers’ support was unwavering and UUMC increased their support even more! They were called to action and felt the need to make a difference even when the world was facing the global pandemic. Some of the UUMC volunteers did not feel comfortable shopping at the grocery stores, yet happily have come to Families Forward to volunteer and help others. They said they were proud of the way we figured out how to stay open and feed even more families in OC in a safe and efficient manner. They believe in the mission of Families Forward, see the need in the community, and their faith drives them to help others. They also enjoy being a part of the team in accomplishing the goal of ending family homelessness in Orange County, appreciate the trust and respect to be able to help, and care immensely about our families. Kelly, a UUMC volunteer, shared, “It is a miracle what we are able to accomplish.”

6 thoughts on “Families Forward SOV 21

  1. Thank you UUMC Volunteer Team! We are honored to recognize you all for your incredible support and dedication to Families Forward!

  2. Thank you UUMC Volunteer team! Shouts out to Carol, Debra, Greg, Karen, Kelly, Larry, Margaret, Marge, and Tammy!! Your dedication and participation at Families Forward is such a blessing! We appreciate all that you do!

  3. Thank you to the dedicated volunteers at UUMC! They can always be counted on to help out when asked! They show up every week and don’t go home until the job is done! It has been inspiring working beside you with your giving, selfless spirit!

  4. Thank you UUMC team! You are stalwart supporters of Families Forward, and we are so grateful for the time and commitment you give to our mission and our families.

  5. Our UUMC volunteers are AMAZING! Thank you for the many ways you support the Families Forward mission and our community. Your volunteerism and generosity has been especially meaningful over the past year. When so many of our neighbors needed help, you were there. I appreciate each of every one of YOU!

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