Faith in Action
Members and friends of Union Church seek to live their faith in service to the community both locally and far beyond our neighborhood in a variety of ways. Our annual budget and the generous additional support of many in the church family help to financially support several programs in the greater Biddeford community as they try to bring food and other forms of support to people in need. The annual Summer Speaker Series designates all of its financial income to the community programs we have targeted for support. Many programs also receive hands-on volunteer assistance from some of us. Some of this help includes food preparation, mentoring, sharing skills with leadership guidance, music therapy, and the knitting of prayer shawls.
Some financial assistance is also dedicated to national and international, including financial support for two students seeking to complete their education in Kenya and Belize. We also share financial support with national organizations responding to natural disasters which have taken place.
Here are some of the groups which have been served
through our outreach efforts at Union Church:
Saco Meals Program serves hot meals and/or meals to go to needy individuals in the Saco and Biddeford area every Monday and Thursday. Union Church prepares a meal on the third Monday of each month as well as providing funding to cover the cost of the meal ingredients. The meal site is at Most Holy Trinity church hall in Saco. https://sacomeals.org/
Located in the center of Biddeford at 35 South Main Street, Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center is open to everyone who is in need of a safe place of support and companionship whether they are unemployed, homeless or deprived of social and spiritual contact and support. Seeds of Hope operate a drop-in center 4 days per week, a health and weight loss support group, health education, and a career resource center. https://seedsofhope4me.org/
Stone Soup Food Pantry in Biddeford provides free food, clothing, furniture and other household items twice weekly to over 100 families per week. The pantry provides fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, pastries, meat, chicken and non-perishable food. It is a community gathering place where families are able to share their resources with each other.
This food pantry is no longer active.
Union Church has financially supported a Biddeford youth development program called APEX Youth Connections which grew out of the former Community Bicycle Center. APEX gets kids “out there,” connecting with mentors, their community and the great outdoors through free after-school and summer programs, including a kid-run bike shop that teaches job readiness. https://www.apexyouthconnection.org/
Alternative Pathways Program is a program of Biddeford High School. Students participate in a non-traditional learning environment to earn their high school diplomas. Union church provides various kinds of support including having volunteers in mentoring/teaching roles. https://biddefordschools.me/alternative-pathways-center/
Biddeford Primary School food support for families is another Outreach project. Union Church has collected healthy snacks for ELL kids in the BPS and in the 2020 Advent Giving Program presented $1300 to the school for its Friday backpack program sending supplemental food home with 75 kids, many from the ELL program.
Ever After Mustang Rescue is a non-profit organization that rescues and rehabilitates previously adopted mustangs and either transfers them to new homes and useful lives, or offers lifetime care to unadoptable horses. Education programs and mentoring are provided to prospective adopters and other interested persons in the care, handling and training of the wild horse. The Rescue also conducts important outreach for women and troubled teens. http://mustangrescue.org/
Again, through the Blessing of the Animals, Union Church supports Lucky Pup Rescue a nonprofit, all-breed dog rescue program based in southern Maine. In addition, several Union Church members have adopted dogs through this wonderful organization. https://www.luckypuprescuemaine.org/
Through our annual Blessing of the Animals event, Union Church supports the Animal Welfare Society, a non-profit human society located in Kennebunk and serving York County. https://animalwelfaresociety.org/
Through our church’s Advent Giving Program, we also provided support to Southern Maine Agency on Aging’s Meals on Wheels Program. For decades, Southern Maine Agency on Aging has been providing nutritious and delicious home-delivered meals to homebound older adults in Cumberland and York counties. The program is more than just a meal; it is also a wellness check and friendly visit. Volunteers and staff are trained to make sure that clients are safe when they make their delivery. This brief check helps to provide peace of mind to our clients and their families. Learn more at https://www.smaaa.org/wellness/meals.html
Safe Passage (Camino Seguro) is a nonprofit organization based in Maine that works to support children and families in the poorest neighborhoods in Guatemala City. The program offers hope, education, and opportunity to nearly 500 children, ranging in age from 3 to 21 years, nearly 300 families, for a total community impact of 2,500 people. They provide holistic education programs focused on three key areas: Full-Day Education for Pre-K through 9th grade, Educational Enrichment and Adult Education and Social Entrepreneurship. https://www.safepassage.org/
Education for All Children-Kenya receives funds from Union Church to support one secondary or post-secondary student with tuition and other school costs for a year. https://educationforallchildren.org/
A new project for our support for the last several years has been the Holy Cross Anglican Primary School in Belize where we sponsor a young boy in the school and pay his annual tuition cost. https://www.holycrossbelize.org/
Thank you for your support of the Union Church of Biddeford Pool Summer Speaker Series. Your participation is helping us do a world of good. If you want to volunteer your time as well, let us know. For more information, contact Katherine Blaxter, Outreach Chair, at email@example.com