Joy in Serving

JOY in Serving... Grace in Giving

You can help brighten someone's Thanksgiving and Christmas this year by Joyfully Offering Yourself in serving! JOY brings opportunities each and every week to make a difference this holiday season. Between now and Christmas, you can sign up to serve alongside our partner schools, local community agencies and our global partnerships. When you do you are a tangible reminder to those in need of the love and light of Christ!

There are many ways for individuals, families and small groups to make a positive impact in the community. Some of our opportunities are only available in the Narthex at our JOY tables during worship each weekend, others have online sign ups. Let's spread the Joy!

Thank you for making Thanksgiving JOY a Success! Your generosity made Thanksgiving possible for over 1,000 individuals and were served by 200 volunteers.

Christmas Opportunities to Joyfully Offer Yourself in Serving

VOLUNTEER for Christmas JOY 2017

Give the gift of time during JOY this season.  There are several ways you can help! 

  • Party Time! Be a part of the large team which hosts the winter parties at our urban partner schools.  Register for this opportunity here.
  • Find Your Inner Elf! Transform the Hope Faith Barber Shop into Santa's own Workshop for young shoppers to visit. 
  • Like to Shop? Serve as a personal shopper for families visiting one of two Christmas stores this season - Cross-Lines and Grace United.
  • Help Mrs. Claus! Help behind-the-scenes at a large family-friendly party at Central United Methodist Church as Mrs. Claus visits with gifts for the neighborhood children. 
  • Serve a Meal Set the stage for holiday fun at an early December dinner at Lazarus Ministries on December 2.

Click here for online registration.  Some opportunities will only be available by visiting the JOY tables in the narthex.


DONATE For Christmas JOY 2017

Share the JOY this Christmas season by helping to ensure those in our community have what they need.  You have three options. 

  • Bags:  Shop for items to be collected for meal bags, winter care kits, hygiene kits as well items for our partner organizations and schools.  Bags with organizational names and bag lists will be in the narthex each week.  Please be sure to check the due back date!  Donated items can be delivered to the rolling bins in the Narthex labeled JOY located near each door.
  • Ornaments:  Want to shop for gifts?  Grab an ornament from the trees at the JOY tables in the narthex and support one of many organizations.  Items include Adopt a family, toddler coats, diapers, monetary donations  and other gift items.   Different opportunities will be available in the narthex  each week.  Donated items can be delivered to the rolling bins in the Narthex labeled JOY located near each door.
  • Baked cookies:  Please deliver cookies to the shelves marked JOY Cookies in the Mission Ministries Engagement Space either between Nov 29-Dec, Dec 9-10  OR Dec 13-15. 

Organizations we will serve this holiday season include:

Lazarus Ministry
Cross Lines
St Paul School of Theology
Grace United
Avenue Of Life
Community LINC
Healing House
Central UMC
Gentleman of the Round Table
Hope Faith
Happy Bottoms
Partner Schools

Global Partnerships

South Africa, Ditshego House of Laughter

The primary focus is to serve the most marginalized and vulnerable impoverished community of Mooiplaas.  The combination of the ongoing urbanization of the South African population, the lack of growth in the S.A. economy and the reduction in employment has played havoc in the lives of the children. Ditshego has now increased the number of children under its care to 367, by providing meals they are ensuring that all the children get a chance to learn in a healthy and safe environment. After the nutritional and health needs of the children have been taken care of, their educational, mental and spiritual development rests almost squarely on the shoulders of their teaching staff.  These teachers also come from the Mooiplaas community, where access to an education is extremely difficult.  The main purpose of Ditshego is to prepare the children from Mooiplaas for a life of opportunity and to ensure that each child receives a high quality childhood education from staff that has been invested in.   

The most effective way to fund all the activities that Ditshego engage in is through their Sponsorship program. A donation towards the $2300 sponsorship means that they can support a child in his/her nutritional, health and educational needs for a year.   That comes out to less than $45.00 per day for meals and resources.  This donation would also mean that a member of a family of six – typical of the Mooiplass community - has a chance to alter their circumstance by improving their lives through education.    

Your gift will be an answer to prayer for educational materials and resources for children and teachers at the Ditshego House of Laughter.  This holiday season consider giving a gift of hope!  Visit the JOY tables in the Narthex for details the weekend of December 9/10 or December 16/17.


Haiti, Community Health Education

One of the oldest cities of Haiti still find themselves striving to survive after the catastrophic 2010 Earthquake that measured 7.0 on the magnitude scale.  Families continue to work hard towards providing food and obtaining an education for their children.  This is a country where 42% of the population struggles with access to clean drinking water and where low labor wages impacts 60% of the population that lives under the national poverty line.  Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming.  Poverty and vulnerability to natural disasters and low levels of education for much of the population represents a large obstacle to Haiti’s economic growth.   

Through the Community Health Education program families in the Petit-Goave area have an opportunity to raise and breed goats.  Goat farming can provide financial stability to families from producing products such as milk, meat, fiber, manure and skin.  The families will be taught a business plan so that they can produce products that can be easily sold at market.  The cost of one goat is $50 with gestation being 5 months and an average of 1-2 goats per birth.  This donation will help families acquire a skill for caring for livestock, financial planning and managing of their products.  This can truly help improve not only the lives of those caring for the goats but the community as well as generations to come.    

Each $50 will provide a goat to a family, which can help transform their lives.  Families will earn money to send their children to school by selling the milk, drink it themselves for protein, or simply provide food for their family.  Did you know goats have been around for about 9000 years?  Visit the JOY tables in the Narthex for details the weekend of Dec 9/10 or Dec16/17.


JOY Partners Ongoing Local Serve Opportunities

  1. Many of the JOY in serving holiday partnerships were born from ongoing relationships with these organizations.  Though we do have some occasional scheduled volunteer opportunities with these organizations, we wanted to make it easy for you to learn more about them and how you may be able to serve those in the Kansas City area throughout the year.  Joy In Serving Ongoing Local Serve Opportunities
  2. Ability KC was a recipient of the Community Transformation Award from our Easter Grant 2017.  As an ongoing partnership we wanted to make you aware of some upcoming holiday opportunities to support this organization.
  • On Tuesday, 11/21, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, they need up to 4 volunteers to assist with our Children’s Center Campus - Thanksgiving lunch.  All of the agencies participate in this amazing thanksgiving event with lunch provided for each child and two guests.  I recently heard that 40+ turkeys are being prepared for it.  The volunteers help us with set-up, serving and clean-up.   
  • In addition to the Thanksgiving lunch, Ability KC hosts an annual holiday boutique for our families and children to shop from donations provided.  It is a wonderful opportunity to assist them during the holidays.  To support the boutique, we are asking for donations to help us fill our store!  We need gently used items including: 
    • Clothing sizes newborn through adult sizes
    • Shoes
    • Household appliances
    • Books and videos
    • Games and toys
    • Decor or gift items

Donations are being accepted through November 17th at our Children’s Center Campus.  In addition to the donations, volunteers are also needed to help with set-up and the day of the boutique, also Tuesday, 11/21 from 7:30 am – 2:30 pm.


Lacy L. Butler | Therapeutic Preschool Operations Manger

3101 Main St | Kansas City, Missouri 64111 P: 816.389.2702 | E: