Come Serve With Us! 

 
An important part of GPC’s mission is to “engage our neighbors.” GPC has developed a diverse range of opportunities to serve our local and global community of neighbors. Everyone is welcome to join in our efforts to grow our faith as we lead and serve those outside our church walls.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Current Volunteer Opportunities for Community Engagement

GPC’s Community Engagement team is an active outreach group that impacts many people on local, regional, and global levels. Exciting projects are happening all the time – join us as we reach out in God’s love! For a list of areas that currently need help, click here.
 
 

Help Cook for the MCCH Men’s Shelter! 

Together we can help our homeless neighbors!

GPC is partnering with Kind Works and Nourish Now to cook some great meals for the MCCH Men’s Shelter. Nourish Now supplies the raw ingredients for great hot breakfasts or dinners for 80 residents; GPC supplies the kitchen, and KindWorks and GPC supply the volunteers.
The meals are taken directly to the shelter so that residents may enjoy them on the following day. No experience is necessary to help out; all are welcome!
 

Upcoming Dates

Friday, May 25 and June 29

  11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.   |   GPC Kitchen

 

Please register so we know how many helpers to expect.   
 
 

 

#Refugees Welcome 

Help Outfit an Apartment for a Refugee Family

 

“…I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” —Matthew 25:35

Have you been following the refugee crisis, feeling compassion but not knowing what you can do to help? Join KindWorks in their project outfitting apartments for refugees!
 
If you would like to donate items needed to furnish an apartment for a family, including beds, furniture, kitchenware, linens, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc., contact Alexa Abdelatey. You will receive email notification when the next family is coming and instructions on how to proceed. Storage for donated items is not available, so donors are asked to hold onto them until they are requested. Volunteers will be needed to move furniture and other items, and to set up the apartment for the family.
 
 
 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Participating twice a year on mission trip rebuilding projects

GPC-led teams have participated in 25 mission trips to work for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance on rebuilding projects. Groups go on mission trips twice a year, normally in the spring and the fall. We have made 9 trips to the Gulf Coast to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief; 4 trips to Nashville, Tennessee, for flood rebuilding; 2 trips to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to build houses for tornado victims; 5 trips to the New York/New Jersey area to provide assistance after Hurricane Sandy; 3 trips to Charleston, South Carolina, for flood rebuilding; and 2 trips to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to assist victims of wildfires.
 
Fletcher Tukes has participated in ALL 25 mission trips. In June 2016, he was honored for his leadership and participation in GPC’s first 21 trips. Fletcher (left), Pastor Mary Beth Lawrence (center), and Bob Wasik (right) are pictured above.
 
For information about participating in the Fall 2018 trip, please contact Mary and Bob Wasik.
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Lord’s Table 

Preparing and serving hot meals at St. Martin’s Church

 

The Gaithersburg community soup kitchen—The Lord’s Table—is a volunteer organization that collects food from area food banks, wholesalers, supermarkets, churches, and individuals and provides meals for approximately 50–75 people each day at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church on South Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg.

Hot meals are served Monday through Saturday at 3:30 p.m., from September through mid-June. Outreach volunteers are at the soup kitchen every time meals are served to assist people with county programs that would be appropriate for their needs, such as referrals for clothing, food, dental care, eye glasses, shelter, and healthcare.

A portion of the food collected during GPC’s Lenten “Feeding of the 5000” Food Drive is donated to The Lord’s Table. GPC provides financial support as well as volunteers who cook and serve the meals to the clients. Two groups from GPC volunteer on the third Tuesday of each month: Group 1 works from 12:00 noon until 2:00 p.m. preparing the meal from scratch—a beef macaroni casserole, salad, soup, drinks, and dessert. Group 2 works from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. serving the food and cleaning up. Volunteers are required to have a TB test on file. If you want to volunteer or have questions, please contact Francie Whitlock. More information can also be found on St. Martin’s website.

 
 

 

Gaithersburg HELP 

Lending support to this local food pantry in many ways

Gaithersburg HELP is a year-round food pantry that has served the Gaithersburg community since 1968.

This is an all-volunteer organization composed of 200 volunteers from more than 25 local congregations, including GPC. It provides short-term, emergency assistance to more than 3,500 families in need.

Gaithersburg HELP provides 3-day emergency food supplies based on family size, supplies for infants, help with prescriptions, transportation to medical appointments or to obtain services, and other support and referrals. GPC provides financial support to Gaithersburg HELP, as well as donations of food and supplies. This organization is one of the recipients of the items collected during the Lenten “Feeding of the 5000” Food Drive that GPC members participate in each year.

Gaithersburg HELP always needs volunteers to assist with telephone screening, provide transportation for clients, perform administrative tasks, or serve in the food pantry. A list of current volunteer opportunities, along with a link to the volunteer application, can be found here.

For more information on ways that you can get involved, please contact Gaithersburg HELP or visit www.gaithersburghelp.org.
 
 
 

Weis Markets

Supplying St. Martin’s Food Pantry with surplus goods from Weis Markets

The Weis Crew goes to the store at 9:00 a.m. every Monday and Thursday and takes shopping carts to the bakery and meat departments to collect surplus items. Because GPC is a nut-free facility, the items are taken back to GPC to be sorted (nut-free bakery items are separated from those containing nuts or made in a facility that processes nuts). Nut-free items are placed in the GPC freezer to be used later for Communion, Sunday morning coffee hour, and SOME (So Others Might Eat). The remaining items are taken to St. Martin’s Food Pantry, just north of the church on South Frederick Avenue. The pantry gives groceries to the hungry every Monday morning. Food delivered to the Food Pantry on Thursdays is stored in their pantry and freezers until the following Monday morning.
 
This is an easy way to heed the call to minister to hungry people in our community! It is also a minimal commitment for busy people who may not be able to commit to participating more than once a month. It usually takes only about one hour total! Two members of the Weis Crew are responsible for one day of the month. As a team, we cover every Monday and Thursday. Often it is easy enough that one member can handle it. We also have a list of substitutes who can fill in if a team member is not available. If you are interested in joining the Weis Crew, please email Cammie Moncak or call 301-926-8668.
 
 

Rebuilding Together 

Helping provide low-income homeowners with safer homes

Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (RTMC) offers low-income homeowners safe and healthy home repairs at no cost to the recipient. Over the course of a year, RTMC repairs the homes of more than 100 families, reducing their financial burdens and improving the quality of life for more than 500 people across our county. RTMC’s critical services preserve safe and affordable housing, prevent homelessness, protect a family’s most valuable asset, and stabilize our vulnerable communities.

GPC works with RTMC to provide home repair services. This program depends entirely on volunteers to repair and/or renovate the homes. Projects take place for one day in April. Volunteers do not need to be GPC members; anyone older than 14 years of age with any skill level (but experts are also needed!) can participate. GPC offers scholarships to volunteers who cannot afford to contribute toward materials for the projects.

For further information, contact Yaw Obeng.
 
 
 

Prison Ministry 

Connecting with local inmates

GPC’s Prison Ministry is a group of volunteers affiliated with the St. James’ Prison Ministry—a consortium of local churches serving Montgomery County’s inmate population and their families at the three correctional facilities: the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Boyds, the Montgomery County Detention Center in Rockville, and the Pre-Release and Re-Entry Services Center, also in Rockville. Volunteers are involved in a wide variety of activities, including meeting and praying with inmates, collecting and distributing religious literature and greeting cards, mentoring and participating in job partnership programs, and providing other services as needed.
 
If you are interested in volunteering with the Prison Ministry, please contact Mary Wasik.
 
 

SOME (So Others Might Eat)

Serving up French toast and more on the first Tuesday of every month

SOME (So Others Might Eat) is an interfaith organization that takes a holistic approach to helping the poor and homeless in Washington, D.C. During the past 40+ years, SOME has grown from a local soup kitchen to a comprehensive program that provides affordable housing; employment training and placement services; medical, dental, and mental health care; meals and clothing; addiction treatment and counseling; and more. It is a vibrant, faith-based program that offers hope and a fresh start to thousands of poor and homeless individuals and families each year.
 
GPC provides financial support to SOME, and volunteers from GPC prepare a hot breakfast for 400–500 individuals at the SOME dining room on the first Tuesday of each month. SOME serves a nutritious breakfast and lunch at its main facility on “O” Street in northwest D.C. every day of the year, and GPC volunteers have been providing the hot breakfast once a month for more than 30 years!
 

Volunteers can participate in two ways: (1) join the GPC SOME Crew and help cook breakfast when you can, and (2) donate the ingredients for breakfast. The SOME Crew is simply a list of people who have said that they would like to go to SOME with a group from GPC and help prepare breakfast, whenever they are available. Each month an e-mail is sent out to see who is available, and the group is assembled based on the responses.

Food items are donated by volunteers each month. Donations needed include eggs, bread, syrup, apple sauce, and orange juice. Additional items (ham and milk) and whatever items are not received as donations are purchased with support from the GPC Community Engagement Ministry budget. Food donations should be delivered to the GPC kitchen on the Sunday before the first Tuesday of the month. For more information on how to join the GPC SOME Crew or donate food for the breakfast, contact Steve Olin.

 
 

The Dwelling Place

The Dwelling Place, Inc, is a local non-profit that helps families transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. There are many reasons that families in wealthy Montgomery County become homeless. Thankfully, The Dwelling Place is here to provide not only housing but also supportive services that help families make needed changes in their lives. GPC provides space for monthly Life Skills Classes, which are an important part of addressing those necessary life changes. We also donate paper products that help families stretch their monthly budgets a little bit further. For more information about The Dwelling Place, please visit tdp-inc.org.
 
 

Summit Hall Elementary School 

Supporting teachers and students in many ways

GPC has developed a bond with our neighboring public school, Summit Hall Elementary School (SHES). Volunteers have helped for years—in the classrooms and assisting teachers with paperwork—and several GPC members are on staff there. Many students are recent immigrants and new to the area. The parents are usually busy working multiple jobs and do not have the time or language skills to participate in school activities, so SHES doesn’t receive the support through PTA membership and homeroom moms that many other schools do.

For GPC’s 50th anniversary, it was decided that half of the funds collected would be given to SHES for after-school programming. Keith Jones, SHES principal, was presented with a check for $10,000. In the spring of 2015, after-school programs began with Big Learning, a science program; SandBell Fitness; and a martial arts class. 

As many as 20 volunteers from GPC have been active at the school—working in classrooms and the book room, helping with the outdoor Move It Monday running activity, reading in the classrooms for the Read Across America Day, helping with the PTA book fair and game night, collecting BOX TOP$ FOR EDUCATION, chaperoning on field trips, donating supplies, and preparing materials. GPC’s middle school youth group spent a day cleaning up the grounds and labeling new books during their summer ServeFest week one year. GPC members have donated many winter coats to help families whose children needed warmer outerwear. We have also been able to support the Linkages to Learning program associated with the school, which reaches out to low-income families, offering medical care and counseling. These families always need toiletries, cleaning supplies, and gift cards to grocery stores.

The staff is fantastic and we are welcome to work in almost every aspect of the school’s programs. Our volunteers are constantly thanked by staff members whom we assist, and even by those with whom we don’t work directly! There are many opportunities to use your skills at SHES, including the following:

  • Classroom Help – assist teachers and students in the classroom

        Morning or afternoon, once a week

  • Move It Mondays – promote outdoor running during recess

       Punch the students’ cards and keep them from cutting corners

       11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Mondays, weather permitting (Volunteers should         arrive by 10:40 and will finish around 2:15.)

  • Update School Sign next to the Street – post informational messages          using individual letters
         Bi-weekly and/or for special days and school events

        Anytime during the school day (text is available from the front office)

  • Teachers’ Book Storage Room – re-file books, label new books

        Flexible – anytime during the school day

  • Lunch Room Helpers – help students with lunches

       11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. any day of the week

  • BOX TOP$ FOR EDUCATION – collect box tops from grocery items by participating manufacturers and put them in the little boxes
        located in Lindsay Hall and GPC’s main office anytime

For more information, contact Marilyn or Stuart Morrison.