TEEN GROUP HOMES - ARNETTE HOUSE
The Arnette House Residential Group Homes provide services to youth ages 13-17 who are in need of long-term foster care placement. There are two homes, one each for six boys and six girls, that focus on the physical and emotional well-being of the individual clients and teach methods for sustaining basic life skills aimed at fostering self-sufficiency. The youth are provided a healthy and supportive home-like environment, which meets basic needs, and will assist in their goal to become self-sufficient once they age out of foster care when they turn 18.
Prior to COVID restrictions, volunteers from Grace Church engaged the girls at the foster care group home in activities every month, either at the group home or in the community. We look forward to being able to be with the girls again soon. Each Christmas Grace congregation provides the resources for the six boys and six girls in the group homes to participate in activities they would not otherwise be able to enjoy.
Arnette House provides many other services for vulnerable youth. Click here for their website.
INTERFAITH EMERGENCY SERVICES
Grace was one of a group of churches that founded Interfaith Emergency Services (IES). For more than 3 decades, Grace has continued to support IES as they provide a full range of services and assistance to individuals and families in need. They provide the basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and much more to enhance the quality of life for families and individuals.
Each week members have the opportunity to bring canned and dry goods to church to support the IES Food Pantry. We now also collect supplies for the IES Center for Life medical clinic. Twice a year we hold church-wide food drives, filling shopping bags with food for the pantry. We also bring dinner to the residents of the IES shelter every other month.
Click here to learn about all that Interfaith Emergency Services does for our community.
WOMENS PREGNANCY CENTER
Women’s Pregnancy Center is a safe place to discuss unplanned pregnancies without judgment, while addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of the pregnancy. They offer a range of services from pregnancy testing and counseling to parenting classes and life coaching. Their goal is to offer help and hope while sharing the love of Christ in both word and deed.
Grace Church assists with fundraising activities, such as the Baby Bottle Campaign and Walk for Life.
Click here to visit the Women's Pregnancy Center website.
OCALA FARM MINISTRY
The Ocala Farm Ministry serves the farmers and their children in Ocala. They offer a variety of programs, from after-school tutoring to Boys Scouts. Grace Church has partnered with this ministry and helped build a computer lab for its tutoring program with the funding of The Episcopal Church and The David & Lisa Midgett Foundation.
To learn more about the program and possible volunteer opportunities, please contact Fr. Daniel Pinell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CENTER
The Ocala Domestic Violence Center is committed to helping the battered woman and her family. Their professional and volunteer staff conducts a complete counseling, assistance, safe housing, and referral program. They also counsel with husbands who have been battered. All services are free. They operate an 81+ bed shelter where the abused woman and her children can go to be safe from further harm and find the emotional and practical support to begin to rebuild a safer, happier life. Each week Grace collects supplies for the the shelter.
Click here to visit the Domestic Violence Center website.
HANDS OF MERCY EVERYWHERE
Hands of Mercy Everywhere (H.O.M.E.) provides a Christian-based residential group home for teenage girls, and pregnant or parenting teens in the foster care system. Working with the community they provide teen girls and teen mothers with needed resources including education, parenting classes, life skills, career development, counseling and support as they lovingly transition them into adulthood with the goal of building healthy families.
Grace has provided supplies for the group homes and invited the girls and their babies to activities at Grace. We are looking forward to seeing them again post-COVID.
To learn more, click here.
PROJECT HOPE OCALA
Project Hope of Marion County is a non-profit organization, established in 2007 by a faith-based community group, to provide solutions for homelessness among women and their dependent children.
Hope Villas has 23 units currently dedicated to serving homeless women and children. Their mission is: "Responding to Christ's Call Shepherding Homeless Families to Self-Sufficiency"
They provide comprehensive services including counseling, financial skill development and trauma recovery services. They employ an on-site experienced case manager and outsource licensed mental health counseling as necessary. They also work with a vast network of community organizations that provide services to help meet each family’s individual needs for health, dental, educational needs.
To learn more, click here.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
Operation Christmas Child collects shoebox gifts‑filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—and delivers them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way. For many of these children, the gift—filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received. Children have an opportunity to participate in the discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. There they learn how to follow Christ in their daily lives as they share Him with friends and family.
Every year Grace Church members fill shoeboxes with these simple gifts that are sent all around the world, bringing God’s love and the message of the Gospel. The on-line Build a Shoebox program made it possible for people to participate, even if they were unable to attend church.
Click here to visit Operation Christmas Child website.
INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION
International Justice Mission (IJM) is a global organization that partners with local authorities in 21 program offices in 14 countries. IJM's mission is to protect people in poverty from violence by rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts.
Throughout the year Grace invites those inside the church and in the community to join with IJM in the fight to end modern day slavery; teach and learn about modern day slavery; and share God's heart for justice.
To learn more are about the work of International Justice Mission, and how you can be involved, click here to visit their website, or email Deacon Mary, who serves as Church Coordinator for the Central Florida IJM Volunteer Team.