Outreach & Missions

Outreach and Missions

At Northwest, we believe in living out our faith. We do this through serving others in our community and beyond. Some opportunities we create ourselves, but much of what we do in the area of service is through building partnerships with other organizations that are already doing great work. We believe we can create more good when we work together.

Are you interested in getting involved in outreach? There are a variety of opportunities for all ages including donating money, supplies, or time to serve others. If you would like more information about any of these opportunities, contact the church office or fill out the form below. We look forward to connecting and serving with you!

Our Ministries

These are ministries that started here at Northwest and are primarily run by members of our church community as we serve our neighbors.

Brown Bag Lunches and more

Within a few miles of our church, there are a number of apartment communities with families who are eligible for free or reduced school lunches. When there is no school, families may or may not have food for the children, so we have started providing brown bag lunches on some of those days. There are also many senior citizens who benefit from lunch deliveries.

Lunches consist of a sandwich, fresh fruit or a fruit cup, an individual bag of chips, a cookie, and a juice box. Volunteers go out into these communities along the Bethel-Sawmill corridor to deliver lunches. Students in these communities attend Dublin City Schools, including Daniel Wright Elementary, Thomas Elementary, Sells Middle School, and Coffman High School. We also deliver to senior citizens along the routes.

We have also expanded this ministry to more than lunches. We deliver Blessing Boxes with things like pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, grape jelly, bread, macaroni and cheese, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, and fresh vegetables from the Northwest Children’s Garden. We have donated children’s books, hosted parties in the neighborhoods, given away backpacks and school supplies, delivered Thanksgiving and Christmas food boxes, and had Santa deliver Christmas toys. We are continually looking for ways to increase our ministry to these neighborhoods.

Find A Friend

We purchase supplies and pack up care kits (wipes, granola bars, fruit snacks, water, socks, and a $1 bill) for people to take from the church and keep in their car. These can be handed out to people experiencing homelessness when you pass them at an intersection.

If you would like a kit to have in your car, they are available just inside the main entrance of the church building. As part of this ministry, we also want to encourage you to take some time, pair up with a friend, and offer to take one of the people you meet out to eat. Ask them about themselves and learn their story. And then be open to how God might move that relationship forward. Who knows? You might make a new friend!

Each kit costs about $5, and you can donate directly to the “Find a Friend” ministry at Northwest to help purchase the kits.

Coffee and Conversation

As part of our Brown Bag Lunch Ministry, many of the families requested English classes. From this need developed Coffee and Conversation. This is a time of a basic conversation for people from the community to practice English and to prepare for common life situations, such as parent teacher conferences, going to the grocery store, and more.

Coffee and Conversation meets Thursdays from 10-11 a.m. We are always looking for people who enjoy teaching and would be interested in serving as conversation partners.

Christmas Families
This is an annual program through Northwest UMC in which families are “adopted” by the church.   The adopted families are interviewed and specific Christmas gifts are specified and then collected for each child in the family.   Northwest attendees have the opportunity to select items from each family they would like to shop for and donate. The wrapped and donated Christmas gifts are distributed to the families prior to Christmas.  Volunteers are needed to help with donations, wrapping, and the distribution process. For more information about our Christmas Families ministry, watch this video from December 2018.
Winter Blessings

Each fall we give away new coats to children in our community whose families may not be able to afford them. These coats are donated from individuals in our church and community as well as from organizations such as Operation Warm. For more information or to get involved, contact the church office.

Mission Partnerships

There are so many organizations doing great work in our community and around the world. We love partnering with these organizations because we know that together we can do more. These are some of our partnerships.

Church For All People

The Church for all People is dedicated to creating a community and church that welcomes and cares for all people. It is located in Columbus’ South Side near Nationwide Childrens’ Hospital and works to improve the economic, social and spiritual quality of life for the local residents. The church is part of The Community Development for All People Corporation, a faith-based, non-profit community development organization.

We support the Church and Community Development for All People in the following ways:

Church for All People Breakfast

Northwest UMC provides and serves breakfast at The Church for All People on the fourth Sunday of each month for members and visitors of the church. We also serve on the fifth Sunday in months with five Sundays. The meal is only possible through your donations of breakfast items and volunteers to serve. This video from November 2017 shares more about that partnership.

The United Methodist Free Store

The United Methodist Free Store provides clothing and household items to families in need in a hospitable atmosphere that affirms the self-worth of each individual. It has served more than 40,000 families since opening its doors in January 1999. The success of the UM Free Store is the result of individuals, local businesses and church congregations in the Central Ohio area. And of course its volunteers!

We are continually collecting donations for the free store in the bins at the bottom of the stairs closest to the front doors of the church, as well as under the bench seats near the top of the stairs. Volunteers then take these donations to the free store. Items should not be in bags larger than 15 gallons and large or heavy items should be delivered directly to the free store.

Special Collections

In addition to the continual collections of basic needs we hold two specific collections each year. In July, we hold a school supply drive to help the free store meet the needs of students before they head back to school, and in December, the youth group leads a collection of new toys and children’s clothing that are taken to the Church For All People Christmas Store. The Christmas Store provides gifts for children who might not receive a gift if not for the generosity of others. Our youth also volunteer during the Christmas Store hours so that they can assist families in their Christmas shopping.

Mike Dyle Community Garden

From April to October, the Open Door group engages in an ongoing service project with the Church for All People community. The project assists a south Columbus community with growing and maintaining a community garden. This is a great opportunity to work alongside the community residents and build lasting friendships. The garden is located at 764 Wager Street in Columbus and the team gardens on the 3rd Saturday of the month, based on hours of operation. For more information about our partnership with the Mike Dyle Community Garden, check out this video from September 2018.

Find more information about Church and Community Development for All People here: 4allpeople.org

Food Pantry Support & Opportunities

The reality is that regardless of where you live, you have neighbors who may not know where their next meal is coming from. In order to help those families who experience hunger, Northwest supports local food pantries in a variety of ways:

  • A portion of your pledge or offering is shared with local food pantries.
  • Monthly requests for specific food items are taken to NNEMAP Food Pantry.
  • Volunteer opportunities are always available if you are interested in serving.

Here are ways to get involved:

NNEMAP Food Pantry

Located at 677 E. 11th Ave in Columbus, NNEMAP (Near North East Material Assistance Partnership) has become one of the largest food pantries in Franklin County. It is a cooperative ministry of over 30 churches distributing food and material assistance to needy residents of the near northside of Columbus with a 3-day supply of food twice a month. Their food supply comes from private donations and the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Volunteer opportunities are available. For more information about our partnership with NNEMAP, check out this video from November 2018. Find more information about NNEMAP here: nnemappantry.org

SouthSide Community Ministry Food Pantry

Located at St. Paul UCC, 225 E Gates Street in Columbus, the SouthSide Community Ministry (SSCM) has served hungry people on the South Side for over 30 years. Open during the last full week of each month, SSCM provides a 3-day supply of food and material assistance to needy residents in the area. Their food supply comes from private donations and the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Volunteer opportunities are available. Find more information about SSCM here: sscmfoodpantry.org

Harvest Home Sunday

Once a year, in November church attendees are asked to participate in Harvest Home Sunday. On this fall Sunday (typically in November), specific food items and monetary donations are collected to help support NNEMAP and SSCM food pantries.

Manna Café

Manna Café is a feeding ministry connected with Broad Street United Methodist Church.  Meals are provided by businesses, churches, nonprofits, and volunteers. Northwest cooks and serves a meal for Manna Café on the 3rd Wednesday of even numbered months. Food donations are collected and the meal is prepared at Northwest, then the meal is taken to Broad St. UMC where it is packaged into to go boxes. Volunteers are needed to donate food, help with cooking and delivering the meal.

Faith Mission

Once a month on the 3rd Friday evening of the month, men from Northwest meet at the church to carpool to serve at Faith Mission.  Faith Mission is an outreach to the homeless population in Columbus.  At the shelter, the Northwest volunteers serve a hot meal, read Scripture, sing, pray and share Christ’s love with the homeless men. Find more information about Faith Mission here: lssnetworkofhope.org/faithmission

Sparrow House

The Sparrow House Ministries is a vital part of South Perry UMC and is located in South Perry, Ohio near Laurelville.  Northwest UMC has teamed up with the Sparrow House to provide gently used and/or new items to their “God’s Child Gift Shop” for the Christmas season.  Northwest collects items in October and delivers them to the Sparrow House.  Monetary donations are always welcome.

Wright Elementary School

In the fall of 2015, we started a partnership with Daniel Wright Elementary School in Dublin. There were two things that led us to create this partnership:

  • Hunger is a significant issue for many students at Wright. Many of the students receive free lunches, and when school is not in session, some students do not have lunch at all.
  • Many parents work two or three jobs to support their families, which means that there is not the same level of participation in the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) that other schools have.

Currently, we partner with Wright Elementary through providing meals for teachers on Parent-Teacher conference nights and in our Brown Bag Lunch Ministry. We also have collected donations and provided volunteers for opportunities when the school staff brings them to our attention. Getting involved is a simple process, but there are some steps that need to be taken before you can volunteer in person.

House of Mercy

House of Mercy (Casa de Misericordia) is a children’s home located in Piedras Negras, Mexico.  The mission of the House of Mercy is to provide a safe, nurturing, God-centered home for the abused, neglected and homeless children of Coahuila, Mexico. Northwest UMC provides the home with financial support and periodically a mission team goes down to help with various projects and outreaches.

Little Bottoms Free Store

Little Bottoms is a free store located in the Franklinton area of Columbus that provides resources such as diapers, wipes, clothing, and supplies for families with children age 5 and under. Northwest supports Little Bottoms through a collection of baby wipes in May. Volunteers have also spent time filling diaper bags with resources for new moms. Find more information about Little Bottoms here: littlebottoms.org

Downtowners was founded in 1973 to serve the college students in Downtown Columbus and the surrounding community and provide mission opportunities for the students to serve in the community and to bring a team on mission to Washington DC. Dr. Ellen O’Shaughnessy has served as the Executive Director for over 40 years. The Downtowners continue to support our Brown Bag Lunch Ministry and  Children’s Garden Ministry. Find more information about this ministry here: downtownersministry.org
Crossroad World Outreach
Pastor Cory founded Crossroad World Outreach Ministries in the Franklinton Community eight years ago ministering to the families facing food insecurity and homelessness. In 2020 during the pandemic, the Northwest Outreach team started this partnership by bringing food boxes to Franklinton and met Pastor Cory in the summer of 2020. In 2022, we formed a team of youth and adults to lead a VBS on the Go in the month of August. We share Bible stories, songs, bible verses, games, and crafts.  Throughout the year, the Northwest Kids small groups and Outreach team bake cookies, assemble hygiene kits and food bags, decorate cards, and drop off clothing and books for their children and families. Find more information about Crossroads here: crossroadswom.org/ministries
Troop 200

Troop 200 is the Boy Scout troop chartered at Northwest. They meet in the building each Tuesday night and regularly participate in ministries including clean up days, special events like Breakfast with Santa, and more. Many Eagle Scouts from the troop have completed their final projects on our property including expanding the Northwest Children’s Garden, adding benches, building a gaga pit, and more. We are grateful for the ways that Troop 200 and Northwest are able to support each other. Find more information about Troop 200 here: troop200bsa.org

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