We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. At Buncombe Street UMC we desire to impact lives by empowering the most vulnerable through love, service, sacrifice, and discipleship. Daily our members and groups reach out sharing God’s unconditional love. Please help us provide hope and encouragement right here in Greenville by volunteering.
Epworth Children’s Home Foster Care Program
Be a Family for a Child in Need
There is an urgent need for foster parents in South Carolina. Currently, more than 4,000 children in South Carolina are in the foster care system, and at least 1,900 more homes are needed. When you open your home and your heart you will provide one (or more) of these children with a safe place they can call home and create a sense of belonging during their time of need.
For a child who has experienced abuse, neglect and/or loss, sometimes the comfort of being a part of a nurturing family is the right setting to bring life-transforming change. Epworth’s Foster Care Program provides qualified foster parents with the training, tools, and support they need to make a difference in the lives of children. Your nurturing care, persistent involvement, and ceaseless encouragement to a child in your care can help break destructive cycles and create meaningful and lasting change in his/her life.
Volunteer Opportunities: Fostering children
Frazee Dream Center
The Frazee Dream Center is a free preschool and after school program serving children between the west end of downtown and White Horse Road in Greenville. The center houses a preschool program, Girl’s Club, and mentor program. The preschool program provides after school and summer programs for under resourced children. Their mission is to prepare children with 5K readiness skills for academic achievement as well as social skills for future rolls. The Frazee Center Girl’s Club offers guidance and assistance in academics, character development, sportsmanship, after school activities and emotional wellness to girls ages 3-16. The mentor program is run by Mentor Upstate which promotes mentoring programs through training, resources, and support by enlisting community involvement. Mentors work closely with their student to provide help and guidance in school and life.
Volunteer opportunities: mentoring, providing meals, tutoring, and building relationships.
Mosaic Educational and Arts Program
Mosaic is a community organization that serves as a comprehensive enrichment resource for elementary, middle, and high school students whose second language is English. Through academic assistance, cultural workshops, and artistic experiences, Mosaic acts as a vital foundation for underserved, low-income scholars to reach their full potential. Mosaic provides daily after school support, one-on-one tutoring, and ‘¡Mosaico Celebrar!’, an evening cultural arts program. Students who grow up in the Mosaic program have the opportunity to join the Youth Leadership Academy (Mosaic YLA) which focuses on instilling self-confidence, growth, cultural pride, essential life skills, and job opportunities for Middle and High School Students. Following High School graduation, ‘Mosaic Cultivate’ assists former Mosaic students with college/living expenses encourages college retention and provides overall support.
Volunteer Opportunities: Tutoring, homework assistance, reading buddies, pen-pals, mentorship, snacks for ¡Mosaico Celebrar!, breakfast for Saturday tutoring
PMAC was launched in June 2018 with 35 children attending summer camp. Our after-school program runs every weekday in concurrence with the Greenville County School District’s schedule. Most children come straight from school to our building, where they engage in academic, fitness, and character building activities throughout the afternoon. We also provide an after-school snack and supper at the end of the day. PMAC provides an environment for children to Delight in their childhood, Discover their gifts and talents, and Develop into creative, contributing members of their communities. PMAC recently moved to a building in the Poe Mill community near downtown at 1215 Buncombe Rd.
Volunteer Opportunities: Need people to assist with homework, reading, crafts, playing games, and providing meals. Weekly mentors needed to meet with kids in the afternoons. Must be 15 years old to mentor. Great opportunity for groups to provide and serve meals and for teens to obtain volunteer hours.
Scouting at BSUMC
Cub Scouts (Grades K5 to 5th grade) meet on Sunday’s at 4:30pm in the scout hut. The Cub Master is Thad Roland.
Troop 9 (Male) (11-18 years old) meet on Wednesday night at 6:30-8:00pm in the scout hut. The Scoutmaster is Dave Lockhart.
Troop 9 (Female) (11-18 years old) meet on Wednesday night at 6:30-8:00pm in the 3rd floor of the church downtown campus Scoutmaster is Tricia Ravenhorst.
Crew 9 (14-21 years old) is our coed program and they will start meeting this fall. Crew Advisor is Joe Edge.
Girl Scouts of America Troop 9, (Grades k5 to 5th grade) meet every other Wednesday night in the scout hut. The Girl Scout leader is Autumn Bible.
Thomas E. Kerns
Thomas E. Kerns Elementary School (TEK) is a Title One school in Greenville. There are 5 ways that BSUMC partners with TEK:
- Backpack Program: This program provides weekend food to children who receive free & reduced lunches during the week, and would otherwise not have food. We collect, sort, pack, & deliver weekly bags of food.
- Safety Patrol: Sprouts support this program with special Christmas packages for 20-25 safety patrols.
- Mentors: BSUMC members spend 30-60 minutes a week with a child who would benefit from a mentorship. TEK determines the children most in need of this program.
- Title One Committee: The BSUMC Children’s Pastor sits on this committee as the official Community Representative. They attend the meetings, offer input on such things as which programs would best benefit the students, review data on testing, & provide feedback on experiences volunteering in the school.
- Children’s Ministry works with the GCSD Appointed Social Worker to address acute & immediate crisis needs such as help required for a child suddenly without a home. BSUMC members become involved on an as needed basis.
Volunteer Opportunities: Mentorship and Weekend Backpack Program (This program provides weekend food to children who receive free & reduced lunches during the week, and would otherwise not have food.)
Homelessness / Poverty
Circles Greenville County
Circles Greenville County was launched by Buncombe Street United Methodist Church and SHARE in September 2015. It’s a nationally recognized, proven model to help families emerge from poverty. Circles promotes intentional relationships across income lines. While middle-income and high-income families enjoy networks of support through their jobs, schools, and neighborhoods, families living in poverty rarely develop such contacts. Many who live in poverty are hardworking and motivated, so when a circle of support forms around them, advice is offered, contacts are shared, and the fears that keep people in poverty start to disappear.
Circles changes communities. Volunteers (Allies) and participants (Leaders) grow and learn together. While Leaders navigate their way to prosperity, Allies get an in-depth education on the culture of poverty. Participants’ successes and challenges are also analyzed at monthly meetings with community leaders. This new understanding enables a community to identify, discuss, and often resolve the barriers that keep people in poverty. By changing the mindset, systems can be transformed from poverty management to poverty reduction which empowers each Leader to achieve their unique goals and dreams leading to economic stability.
Circles is also a two-generational approach. While parents are in their weekly meeting, their children are in age appropriate classes. The older youth learn about finances, how to write a resume, do mock job interviews and receive assistance researching and applying to college.
Volunteer Opportunities: Become an Ally and help transform someone’s life while serving as a life mentor. Serve on the Community Team which is responsible for weekly children’s programing; greeting Circle families on arrival; helping with dinner set-up or serving.
Emmanuel’s Hammer is a hands-on ministry that rebuilds or remodels homes for families who have had their home damaged or destroyed by disaster or who are otherwise living in substandard conditions in the Greenville, Anderson, Pickens and Oconee counties of the Upstate. We identify, through existing case management channels or local church contacts, those families with the most critical unmet needs. We then lock arms with that family to conduct a needs assessment, fundraising, mission team recruitment, materials procurement and project management of their rebuild. We stay with them through home dedication and move in. We feel by attending to the families physical needs we have an opportunity to tend to their emotional and spiritual needs as well. Helping others, expecting nothing in return, is the highest form of exhibiting the grace and love of Christ.
Homes of Hope
Homes of Hope is an organization that focuses on rebuilding communities and individual lives through housing, economic and workforce development. They build affordable energy-efficient houses for low-to-moderate income families and/or individuals, who lack a safe place to call home. They have built over 600 affordable homes to date. Homes of Hope also provides a Men’s Workforce Development Program in which they have graduated over 300 men. This is a voluntary one-year residential job training and mentoring program for men overcoming drug and alcohol addictions. Through biblical based discipleship, life skills training, and construction-job training, men receive the ingredients necessary to start a new life.
Volunteer opportunities: working/building BSUMC sponsored house, landscaping, providing lunches, and attending graduation for men in development program.
Triune Mercy Center
Triune Mercy Center is a non-denominational mission church ministering with and alongside the homeless through the support and involvement of over 60 partner churches. Located near downtown Greenville, SC, Triune is a welcoming congregation that reflects the diversity of God’s kingdom. In addition to being a worship community, Triune offers support groups, employment assistance, medical resources, drug rehabilitation placement and recovery meetings, art and music programs, social work and counseling, and food assistance.
Volunteer Opportunities: Donations for food and supply pantry, serving on site in numerous capacities.
United Ministries provides life changing opportunities and advocacy for people in our community who lack education, employment skills, in financial crisis, or who are homeless. Through four distinct programs, United Ministries holistically addresses the needs of our community: be it basic needs such as shower and laundry facilities to provisional services such as groceries to advanced opportunities like adult education and skills training. United Ministries also offers educational opportunities for the community to understand poverty and make informed decisions on giving and getting involved. BSUMC supports United Ministries each year in October through the Transformation Walk.
United Ministries’ Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN)
IHN is a program that allows families with children to stay together as they confront the daunting challenges of tackling homelessness. The network consists of local congregations who share hospitality with homeless families that include children, and to help those families achieve self-sufficiency and self-fulfillment. The strategy is to provide homeless families with children emergency shelter, short term housing and meals for up to 12 weeks. During this time, case managers assist families by creating a case management plan addressing barriers so families can become self-sufficient. Buncombe Street UMC hosts families four times a year and always needs volunteers to provide a welcome and safe place.
Volunteer Opportunities: Variety of ways to help with each week, including: Sunday Set up & Break Down, Grocery Shopping, Meals and Fellowship, and Overnight Hosting.
CROP Hunger Walk
CROP Hunter Walks are community-based walk events held in cities and towns across the United States raising funds to support the global mission of Church World Service, a faith-based organization transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster. Twenty five percent of the funds raised support the work of Loaves and Fishes of Greenville. The remaining money is used by Church World Service to alleviate hunger in poor communities throughout the world. In addition to assisting hungry families in the Greenville area, CROP helps families in the United States who are victims of natural disasters. The Upstate Crop Walk encourages teams and individuals from public and private schools, civic and cultural groups, area businesses, and all faith groups to participate. In the past, Sprouts, Confirmands, B-Street Youth, and Adult Sunday School classes have taken part in this mission. The next Crop Walk will be held on Sunday March 21, 2021.
Volunteer Opportunities: While what is needed most are walkers/teams to walk and raise money, other volunteers needed include route monitors, people to set up tables and tents on the day of the walk, people to pass out water, and route monitors. Register for your local CROP Hunger Walk, raise funds, and take us one step closer to ending hunger once and for all. Join the movement!
If you’re seeking a mercy ministry opportunity to help serve the homeless and poor in our community, then Feedin’ Jesus needs you! Every Sunday after the 10:00 AM Sunday School hour, BSUMC’s Feedin’ Jesus volunteers prepare 100+ bag lunches. These volunteers come in groups from Sunday School classes, Sprouts, as well as other whose desire is to serve this mission. This mission has been a part of BSUMC’s community for more than 15 years. Each Monday morning at 6:00 AM, the volunteer team distributes the lunches to the local day-labor providers in our community. This allows these under resourced laborers to have a good start to their week. Suspended during Covid-19
Kairos is a lay-led, interdenominational Christian ministry in which men and women volunteers bring Christ’s love and forgiveness to prisoners and their families. The programs involve a structured model that includes a weekend “Walk to Emmaus” like experience, followed by guests or participants gathering regularly for accountability, support, and prayer. The Kairos method is to tell the story of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness to the prison residents, most of who have not heard of this love, or at least have not experienced it firsthand. Through this ministry, lives are transformed and new purpose is awakened in many.
Volunteer Opportunities: Each spring and fall, members of BSUMC participate in the weekends to Perry Correctional Institution, a men’s facility, and Leath Correctional Institution, a women’s facility.
Safe Harbor’s mission is to provide a continuum of services to victims of domestic violence and their children and to eliminate cultural acceptance of domestic violence through a coordinated community response, education, and prevention. Individuals and families impacted by domestic violence have inherently been exposed to traumatic events in their lives. Safe Harbor is committed to providing programs and services that are designed with an understanding of the impact of trauma on individuals and families, as well as a recognition of a survivor’s resiliency and ability to heal. We use a trauma-informed approach to services and community work that aims to support and empower survivors, to respect and honor each individual’s experience and to avoid re-traumatization.