Mill Plain UMC has a longstanding history of serving the community, and we believe it is a beautiful response and reflection of God’s love. We support numerous organizations and charities and seek to serve those in our neighborhood, the local Vancouver community and beyond.
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?Micah 6:8
Hearthwood Elementary School
Hearthwood Elementary is Mill Plain UMC’s official partner school, and we support them with a variety of programs throughout the year. The Lunch Buddy program teams volunteers from Mill Plain with a student to enjoy talking, playing games and generally spending quality time together each week. The Tutoring program matches Mill Plain volunteers with teacher requests to provide additional hands in the classroom. The church community comes together to provide school supplies, gift cards for teachers to purchase materials, food for the Share Backpack Program, Thanksgiving Food Baskets and requested gifts for students via the Angel Tree at Christmas. Over the years, the church has also donated to playground equipment and other improvements at the school.
Winter Hospitality Overflow Shelters
Mill Plain UMC joins more than 50 faith congregations in providing volunteers and needed supplies to the Winter Hospitality Overflow (WHO) shelters. Volunteers greet and visit with guests, help serve hot meals, prepare lunches, complete light chores and set up bedding during four-hour shifts from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m.
At Mill Plain, we aspire to host everyone and give a helping hand in big and small ways. Some of our current ministries include:
- Little Free Pantry – in our parking lot, we offer a self-serve pantry with nonperishable food items, and we invite those who can help to stock it and those in need to take what they’d like. The Little Free Pantry is located next to the Mill Plain Book Exchange, where visitors can swap or take books for all ages.
- Bags of Grace – available for purchase in our lobby, the bags are filled with snacks, a water bottle, socks and other necessities to share with someone experiencing homelessness.
- Ev’s Honorary Discretionary Fund – donations are always welcome to this fund that allows the pastor to respond to requests from our church family and community members in need.
Feeding the community
We participate in numerous programs to help bring warm meals to those in need, stock pantries and provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Clark County Food Bank Distribution – we are a distribution site for fresh produce twice a month during the summer. Food Bank Fresh is geared for low-income families who find it difficult or impossible to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at traditional grocery stores. All items at the market are free.
- FISH Partnership – We hold food drives and ask for donations year-round to support FISH of Vancouver‘s efforts to provide emergency food to those in need.
- Sharing Meals – we believe in the nourishment of warm, healthy food and always leap on the opportunity to provide meals, whether it’s at the Share House men’s shelter or through Family Promise of Clark County.
Drive Thru Food Drive
With good spirits and a lot of green, on March 18, Mill Plain United Methodist Church welcomed a leprechaun and church members from age 4 to senior citizens to collect food for the Friends in Service to Humanity (FISH) food bank in Orchards. Having learned that one in four Clark County residents are hungry, and that people seeking food assistance at the Orchards Food Bank now averages 70 people a day, up from 35 a day before the pandemic, the congregation set out to collect a TON of food and a TON of money ($2000) during the season of Lent. On March 18, with the help of neighbors and friends, they received 645 pounds of food and $264. The congregation had already collected 602 pounds of food and $1330. In addition, their friends at Vancouver Heights United Methodist Church collected 269 pounds of food. They hope before Easter on April 9, to collect at least another $500 and 500 pounds of food to meet their goal. More importantly, they encourage the community to support all food banks and food assistance programs throughout Clark County.
During the summer, Mill Plain UMC hosts a literacy program to help children maintain their reading skills throughout the summer. Students are paired with adults to read self-selected books aloud. The program partners with Hearthwood and Mill Plain Elementary schools, but everyone is invited to join.
Friends of the Carpenter
Mill Plain UMC provides financial support and volunteers to Friends of the Carpenter, an organization that greets everyone with coffee, a snack and an invitation to work with others on a woodworking project. The program serves those experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable members of the community.
Babies in Need
Mill Plain UMC joins 20 other churches in providing financial support and volunteer hours to support Babies in Need to ensure that every baby born in Clark and Cowlitz counties has essential clothing, bedding and car seats. In addition, our Prayer Shawl Ministry provides baby blankets and hats for Babies in Need.
And Much More
There are always new needs and new ideas to serve the community, and being a part of Mill Plain UMC will bring you opportunities to serve others in many different ways. From youth service projects to the Men’s Service Weekend, if you are interested in serving the needs of your community, Mill Plain UMC will help match your talents, time and interests.