Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

Wow what a day. Thanks to an article in the newspaper we had 146 volunteers make 1000 sack lunches in 35 minutes. We knocked on 800 doors and distributed 800 sack lunches to those who were home. The numbers went like this they are all approx. 300 at Trailer Parks, 300 Garden Square, 200 at Pine Valley. The 200 left-overs were taken to the Favor's Christmas party. I later learned that they were running out of food and the left-overs saved the day. We also found about 20 families whose Christmas wasn't going so well. There was a family with a 3 and 4 year old and an infant without presents. One man who was alone said he hadn't received a Christmas gift in years. He got a whole bunch this year. Another woman had just lost her family to death(children and husband, I believe) she was alone in a trailer with no food and no furniture except for a TV. I realize that I am very blessed and I thank God for all of those who stepped forward to help. Below is the news article that caused so many people to volunteer it was published on Christmas Eve in the Kokomo Tribune, by writer Othello Bach.

True Christmas Giving

By Othello Bach

One frigid Christmas Eve when I was six, my mother had no choice but to take her seven children to the Salvation Army. Bundled up in practically every stitch we owned, and with gunny sacks tied around feet to trudge through the snow, we walked from our shack outside the city limits to a small church where the Salvation Army Santa was supposed to hand out gifts.

My sisters and I had prayed for rubber dolls for weeks. Maybe our prayer would be answered.

I have no idea how far we walked but it seemed like miles, and once there, a crowd jammed the door. Mother kept saying, “I have children here. Please, let us in.” My three older brothers ran around the church and entered through another door. They wanted to get up front, hoping for a better gift.

When we finally wiggled our way inside and squeezed onto a pew, the stifling heat and stench of wet wool coats made me nauseous. We heard Santa “ho-ho-ho-ing” in the front of the room but couldn’t see him. Then we were told to hold up our hands so a lady could bring us presents.

We held our arms as high as we could, but after a while, our elbows sagged. “Keep you hands up!” mother whispered franticly. “Keep them up so you’ll get present.”

We tried. But she had to tell us several times. It was so crowded we just couldn’t be seen. My little sisters began to cry. “Please!” mother called repeatedly. “Over here! I have small children!” When she was finally noticed, a smiling lady handed her three gifts. Instantly our hopes for a doll vanished. The gifts were far too small.

My sisters and I received little rubber trucks.

However, the walk home wasn’t too bad; one of my brothers received a pair of stilts and entertained us stumbling about in the snow. The others received a baseball and bat—plus, our unwanted rubber trucks.

Last night, at Trinity Methodist Church, I watched Pastor Jeff Newton hand out gifts to children whose parents are also experiencing difficult times. One little boy, five or six years old, began to cry because he thought he had been forgotten. But even after he received a gift, he continued to cry. A few minutes later I learned he didn’t like his gift.

That’s when my memory returned like a bolt of lightening, and I suddenly had to blink back tears.

It may appear that a child is selfish and ungrateful to cry in such a circumstance, but when situations seem particularly hopeless, one more disappointment can be unbearable. Then today, I learned that after the program ended, the boy received the gift he longed for: a toy truck! Decades ago, I cried because I got one; last night, he cried because he didn’t!

I hope everyone reading this will consider helping Pastor Jeff Newton fulfill his incredible mission. He established the Kokomo Urban Outreach three years ago, and that year served approximately 50 families. This year, he has served 25,000 meals... so far.

Kokomo Urban Outreach has two locations where 300 dinners are served each week, and in three other locations there are food pantries that provide food to neighborhood families. Pastor Newton and his generous volunteer staff will distribute 1000 Christmas Day sack lunches, but he still needs help packing and delivering on Christmas Day. Packing will begin at 10 AM Christmas Day and deliveries will be made between 11 and 12. If you can help for even one hour, your assistance will be deeply and sincerely appreciated.

As the economy weakens, the number in need will increase each week. Hunger and need do not end after

Christmas. Pastor Jeff constantly needs help keeping the pantries full and continuing to do the work of Kokomo

Urban Outreach. His phone number is: 461-9618. You’ll never regret lending a hand.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Miracles

After the miracle of serving 840 people Thanksgiving at 5 locations the following miracles occurred:

  • Bags and Bags of clothing etc were given to the Outreach. The mound reached the ceiling in our clothing room. A group from Chapel Hill came and sorted it all.
  • Wasn't sure how we would secure volunteers for Christmas break lunches received a call from a volunteer named Monica from Delphi, she asked to be put on staff because she recruited help for every day. I gave her a staff T shirt.
  • Food has been provided out of nowhere for daily Christmas vacation meals at Pine Valley and Trinity.
  • Milk came on just before our first day for meals. Fifty- one gallons.
  • The food pantry gets used to the max each week. Yet God continues to keep it full.
  • Needed 1000 pieces of fruit for sack lunches, was just about ready to put out an email plea and a local orchard called and donated 1200 apples.
  • The Bishop of the United Methodist Church visited and preached at Trinity on the 14th. He oversees 1200 churches in Indiana and usually only goes to churches that invite him for special occasions. He called me to come here. That visit was wonderful and the bishop has been talking about us to various groups. We received a nice check from someone he spoke to. Let's say it will provide thousands of meals.
  • Another fine man brought a large check to us out of the blue.
  • We received a $1400.00 grant to start food service at two new sites.
  • We have received 100's of hats, gloves, and socks. I did say hundreds.
  • We added a Secret Santa Site. We needed 600 presents for children to give to their parents. We have more than enough.
  • Christmas gifts keep pouring in and we think by the time all is said and done every Sidewalk Sunday School Child will have a gift.
  • We have had some awesome new volunteers join our more experienced volunteers
  • A brand new stove has been given to the trailer site by a Sunday School Class at Russiaville UMC.
  • Two freezer have been given to the Outreach one is for the trailer.
  • Money has been provided to buy kitchen appliances at two of our sites.
  • Roasters are are being provided to new site.
  • My family sorted and packed all of the Secret Santa Stuff
  • Wasn't sure how we were going to pass out 400 fliers in the trailer park to tell them about Secret Santa, Darren and his group, said no problem we have got it covered. Wow.
  • We are confident that the new Riley Modern site will open the first of January.
  • The first Cycle of Baby College is fully funded(almost $3,000)
  • Buddy Bag Sponsor need just completed.
All of the above happened during the last 23 days. Praise God!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Trailer Project

Click here to see pictures of our Outreach Trailer at Riley Estates.

Blessings so far this year

At Kokomo Urban Outreach we have been blessed by:
  • Chapel Hill Dishwashers
  • All the great youth groups that have volunteered about 20 different groups
  • Society of St. Andrews Potato Drops
  • Cowboy Church and Pastor Steve Sherwood
  • Giving businesses especially Kim at Kroger
  • Support from civic groups
  • My Tuesday Morning Covenant Group
  • Father Richard Lightsey and St. Andrew Episcopal church
  • The Board of Directors of Kokomo Urban Outreach
Stephanie Berghoff Board President
Ron Harper Secretary/ Treasurer
Travis Taflinger
Gloria Strickland
Grant Poynter
April Mozingo
Deanna Ancil
Chris Roberts
Walt Doering
Madelyn Stanforth
John Rudy
Lori Collins
  • Awesome Volunteers over 2000 strong
  • A strong relationship with nearly 50 area churches
  • Lifesaving Administrative Assistant
  • Expansion of Project EAT with a new volunteer coordinator
  • Lots of food drives
  • A strong connection with other non-profits
  • Tons of food given to be distributed
  • Wonderful cooks and servers
  • Faithful givers
  • A vision of the future

This list is incomplete, I have just scratched the surface.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Food Pantry Run and the goodness of God

This past week was interesting. Early in the week there was a front page article in the paper with big bold print that said Out of Stock Salvation Army Food Pantry shuts down. Apparently, it was on the radio and TV. From my understanding, the Salvation Army has a yearly budget to buy food from Food Finders in Lafayette. Their budget year starts on October 1, meaning Sept is the last month of their year. When the food ran out last week they closed until October 1 when a new load would be delivered. However, people that depend on the food pantries, panicked on Wednesday there was a run on all the pantries in town. At the end of the day Wednesday most were without food. Our shelves contained 60 jars of peanut butter, 12 cans of soup and 24 cans of green beans. We could not open with that on Monday. However, God is good and God is big and by Friday Night we were completely restocked with our shelves filled to overflowing. Thanks be to God. Thanks for the prayers we really appreciate it. Jeff

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Reily Outreach

This summer Mary Ingle went around town asking managers of Apartments/Mobile Home Parks to see if they would be open to us coming in and setting up an Outreach site. Generally, we use community centers. She went to Riley Modern Estates on North Washington St. The manager was not only open to having us in the park, she gave us a trailer with free lot rent. The trailer is junk and had to be gutted. Yesterday was the United Way's Day of Caring. A group from Delphi and a group of students came and helped with the inside demolition. In about two hours the whole trailer was gutted. Kitchen, Living Room, three bedrooms and a bath and a half. Here are the pictures. We will be running Sidewalk School, a food/clothing closet and will be listening to neighbors to see what else we might need. Keep praying!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

US Poverty Tour

Watch this powerful video.
Click on picture to go to Project EAT website.

Project E.A.T. 's goal is to be sure everyone eats everyday. Kokomo Urban Outreach with the help of churches and organizations are providing food to the food insecure all across Kokomo. Our focus is on childhood hunger. KUO disburses food in a variety of ways---weekend backpacks full of food to weekly meals. This blog is designed to provide hunger awareness and to be a resource of appropriate ways to respond to it.

The logo on this page was designed by some children we serve. I asked them to draw a picture of a city with the sun going down to remind us that no one should go to bed without eating.

Open Letter to Everyone especially United Methodist


All across Indiana hunger is quietly on the rise. Hunger is found in every city, town, and county in Indiana. Hunger hits children and senior citizens, hardest. Everyday people in our state and in your community go to bed hungry. It appears that local hunger is not being addressed in many churches. I have had opportunities to speak throughout the state and have learned that few in the church understand the causes, ramifications, and proper response to hunger. While I don't pretend to be an expert, I do see hunger everyday and hear first hand stories about present challenges, as I work with the under-resourced throughout Kokomo. Presently, we are experiencing a crisis in our community that is headed toward or has already arrived in yours.

In October 2007, the State of Indiana rolled-out a new program known as, "The Modernization of the Welfare System". In a 1.6 billion dollar agreement between the State and IBM, the Welfare System was partially privatized, with the new system placed in twelve central Indiana counties including my county--- Howard. In March of 2008, the state added 27 counties in southern and western Indiana, such as Clark, Floyd and Vigo. While we were at Conference, in May of 2008, 20 more counties came on-line: Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley in northeast Indiana and Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Pike, Perry, Posey, Spencer, Warrick and Vanderburgh in southwest Indiana. Within a few weeks "The Region" will come on board followed by Indianapolis.

It has now been the nine months since the first counties were rolled out and from my experience it has been a difficult transition. There are no more face to face interviews to apply or reapply for welfare benefits which include: Food Stamps, Medicaid and TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families formally known as welfare cash). Applications for benefits are to be submitted by phone, on-line, or fax. The problem is that few under-resource families have access to phones, computers or fax machines. Many families in my neighborhood have lost their stamps for improperly filling out a form sometimes it is as simple as not putting in zip code or as big as not submitting proper records. When an application is rejected, a letter of denial is sent, families then must reapply from scratch with benefits taking up to 90 days to be restored. While many are successful in securing benefits, others with little education, mental issues, or other life uncertainties, find it difficult to maneuver through the system, resulting in benefit loss.

The State thought that most would apply on-line not by phone. A recent update on the roll-out shows that Hoosiers so far are favoring the call centers over the Internet, with 800,000 calls versus 22,000 online applications (Welfare shift debuts under fire By Niki Kelly, Published: May 22, 2008 The Journal Gazette, Ft. Wayne, IN). The volume of calls has overwhelmed the call centers causing great frustration for applicants. In Kokomo, we help our neighbors fax information, yet, most have to be faxed late at night or on the weekend as the call centers fax machines can't handle the load.

What are the ramifications of the "Modernized of the Welfare System"?

  • Hunger is on the upswing, especially since school is out with few communities offering a summer lunch program.
  • A great deal of pressure has been put on local food pantries trying to keep up with increased demand. The pantry at Kokomo Urban Outreach was providing food once a month to an average of 40 families. In May and June we served over 200 families. Every pantry in town is being taxed to its limits.
  • The local economy has been affected, grocery stores derives a significant portion of their income from food stamps. According to one grocery manager, in Kokomo, people will soon be losing jobs.
  • It has put stress on low-income families. Many families were barely getting by but without food stamps it has become a day to day worry of how to feed the children.
  • The loss of Medicaid has made it hard for children to secure medicines. Many of the children we work with have moderate to severe mental disabilities, the lack of medicine caused several children not to be able to function at school.

Just this week emergency Food Stamps became available to flood victims in southern Indiana. It is a wonderful thing to offer flood victims emergency Food Stamps, it is my prayer that they will actually get them in a timely fashion.

Loss of TANF(cash benefits averaging about $200.00 per month) have caused evictions, sanitary issues (food stamps is only for food not soap, laundry soap, toothpaste, shampoo or toilet tissue with no cash to secure needed items families do without) and transportation problems(no money for gas, taxi, bus etc).

The whole scenario is putting a strain on families (domestic violence is on the rise); crime in our area is on the rise, as well as homelessness.

Once food stamps are secure the rising cost of food makes it very difficult for families to stretch food dollars. Lack of transportation, whether due to no car or no gas, keeps families from using their food stamp dollars, prudently. Not being able to go to larger groceries with the better prices, forces many to shop at neighborhood convenience stores.

According to the USDA website, the average Food Stamp benefit per person in the State of Indiana is $3.13 per day. A family of four would receive $12.52 daily. I wonder what would happen if every United Methodist took a week and spent $3.13 a day on food. Would it be possible to organize a "Food Stamp Challenge" and journal our experiences? Is it even possible to live on $3.13 per day? Maybe for an extra challenge we would have to secure our food without the benefit of transportation. Just a thought.

This email is far too long and I heard we are not to link to other sites. If you email me I will send you resources and ideas that will put your Church in a position to respond to hunger in your community. I will, also, send you links of recent local news articles dealing with the "Modernization of the Welfare System".


Jeff Newton

" I was hungry and you gave me something to eat...."

- Jesus

Note: While this sounds like I am against government "privatization" I am really not for or against anything. I just want everyone to eat and to become self-sufficient. I contacted my State Representative and he visited us on a Sunday night where we serving a meal to 183 people(we only seat about 100 in our fellowship hall). He gave me an 800 number to call to complain about the system, we made copies of it and passed it out to all who were having trouble. Every adult in the room asked for the number. I do think it is hard to take the "human" out of human services. JN

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lowell Work Team

Today a 24 person work team from Lowell Indiana came to town to help us out. They completed about 132 hours of work translating into a gift to KUO and the church of $2640.00. WOW!!!! They:

  • Remodeled two restrooms
  • Cleaned Kitchen including 2 refrigerators and defrosted a freezer
  • Put away about 500 items of food in the food pantry
  • Cleaned, primed and painted the food pantry room
  • Put together about 100 craft projects for VBS
  • Installed an Air conditioner in the Sanctuary
  • Sorted a large amount of clothing
  • Did exploratory surgery on a water fountain :)
  • Donated 5 computer monitors
  • Donated Several bags of groceries
  • Left through volunteers about $150.00 in cash
  • Brought a smile and some joy to about 25 children---- which is priceless
Thanks Lowell friends. Jeff

Friday, June 06, 2008


Cook Outs are now being held in four locations Garden Square, Pine Valley, Briarwick and Parr UMC on any given Sunday about 450-500 people are being served. The Parr/Oakbrook partnership seems to be working well. Hot dogs are pouring in but buns are a bit harder to come by. We are making it. Keep us in your prayers. Jeff

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Annual Conference

Chris and I attended our last Annual Conference of the North Indiana Church at Purdue. For 24 years we would trek to Purdue for the Conference. This year the North and South Conference voted to unify. Now we are one. Next year's Conference will be held at Ball State in Muncie. The highlight of this year's conference was when our great volunteer Jim Williams received the bread and basin award for all of his work in his church and the outreach. In other business Oakwood Park will be sold for the second time, Epworth Forest will be remodeled for about 20 million dollars and we voted to have every North Indiana Conference Church start a new faith community. Not sure how that will work since NIC is now gone.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oakbrook and Parr

Parr UMC is getting ready to do cook-outs for the neighbors around their church. Parr is a small church with few resources. They needed help. Meanwhile Oakbrook Community Church(mega-church located just out of town) called me as asked how they could help in the city. I suggested they partner with Parr they are with the first cookout days away we shall see how it goes.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cowboy Church

I spoke at "Cowboy Church" this week. Cowboy Church is held at Fairview Baptist Church once a month in two services. It is a service of bluegrass, country and comedy. Sort of a Christian Hee-Haw. Good clean fun. The offering went to the outreach and about 1400.00 was raised.


Thanks Pastor Steve Sherwood!!!!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Food Back Packs

We are beginning to deliver backpacks full of food to 230 students at a local elementary school. The backpacks are delivered on Friday and returned on Monday and refilled on Friday. It takes a great deal of volunteers and a lot of food. We secured another location to do the pilot program which will be the last four weeks of school.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Crisis Child Care Center

This week Renee Roberts became our interim director of the Crisis Child Care Center. We welcome Renee as we figure out what our next step is in this outreach.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

OH MY I am very sorry

I thought I have been publishing posts all year long. I just realized I was saving posts but not publishing them. It appears I have been silent for a long time. Sorry about that. I think I have everything published now. Thanks Jeff

more speaking engagements

This week I spoke at the Sunday night service at the Free Methodist Church. I have never seen a crowd that large on a Sunday night. I had a great time preaching about Outreach. Today I was invited to share with the Carver Center Board of Directors. For those of you who are not from Kokomo, Carver Center was started during the time of segregation. Black folks were not allowed in the Y. Carver Center is like the Y in many regards, however, in recent years many white kids have played in the basketball leagues and of course the Y welcomes all people. Both black and white kids go to school together and young adults have little prejudice, thus producing may bi-racial children. Finally, it appears that in Kokomo race is mattering less and less. The only place that is really racially divided in town is our churches and that is sad :( . I know there is hope and I believe that KUO and Carver Center will be able to partner in various projects to create a better community.

Tomorrow I speak to a rural church in Tipton County. I will update that later. thanks Jeff

Friday, April 11, 2008

Whew!! I am tired.

This was Spring Break week. In order to provide relief of the food problem in the area, we provided lunches at two locations each day of Spring break. We served about 150 mostly kids each day. We also provided 250 breakfast bags. We had great volunteers, again, Chapel Hill came through in big ways. It was funny, we had the 1000 pounds of potatoes and I had 4 or 5 retired guys break down the large bags and make smaller bags(about 7 pounds). It usually takes two people about 2 hours. It took them about 15 minutes. Wow!!!!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Potato Drop

One thousand pounds of potatoes were dropped off today. The United Methodist Men of the Kokomo District picked-up and delivered the potatoes. They are greatly needed. God is providing food everyday. We have never helped so many nor have we ever had so much food. Thanks for the prayers.....Jeff

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Today we had our last Saturday of the month breakfast we usually serve about 30 today, when I couldn't be there nearly 100 was served. It appears that people all over are losing food stamps, medicad and welfare due to privatization. There no longer is a welfare office in Kokomo, to apply and reapply you must go to Marion(35 miles away), phone, go on-line or fax. Few of those in poverty have those resources. We are working to help. Grace UMC purchased a fax machine so that we can help neighbors re-apply. We helped nearly 200 families in food pantry this month, usually we help about 60. Things are looking dire. But God is bigger. I hope we can help. Keep us in your prayers. Jeff

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Leadership Kokomo Part 2

I meet with a team from leadership Kokomo, last year's team provided us with a trailer for the cookouts. This year's team is providing us with laptops. In a recent study, preschoolers that do not have a computer in their home are behind when they get to school. Leadership Kokomo will provide computers, curriculum and training so we can teach pre-school computer classes. Wow!!!

Wouldn't it be cool if we could take the class to other under- served neighborhoods in some fashion?

I can see it now. The Computer-mobile :) Thanks for the prayers

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Participated with 6 other pastors in a Good Friday Service from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM. Each of us had ten minutes to expound upon the last seven words of Jesus. This service is one I will not soon forget as it was mostly African-Americans. The service was very emotional and intense. There was a great deal of shouting and encouragement from other pastors. It was a very, very good service and one that I will not soon forget.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Basket Workshop

Today was our Easter Basket workshop our third. On Tuesday St. Luke's UM youth carried from the third floor to the basement, hundreds of pound of candy, 600 baskets, grass, toys, animal etc. On Wednesday the Prime Timers from Chapel Hill Christian Church set it up. On Thursday they returned and passed it out. Thank you Chapel Hill and St. Luke's . It was great time for all. At night was our Maundy Thursday Service, we moved through the church remembering the last week of Jesus' life. It sure is tiring to come back from vacation on Holy Week :).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Returning from Vacation

Just returned yesterday from a week long cruise. We went to Mexico, Belize and the Bahamas. We enjoyed the food, hospitality and had a great time. One of the highlights was seeing a Mayan Temple in Belize. Chris and I climbed to the top---breath taking. We also enjoyed the towel animals each night. This vacation was a first---first with no children along, first cruise, first vacation since returning to Kokomo. We were celebrating 30 years of marriage, my 50th birthday, and a successful raising of three boys to adulthood. Here are some pictures of the ship, our room, the ruins, and the towel animal.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Serving with Cassville

Cassville serves lunch at the Rescue Mission on the first and third Wednesday of the month. I have been there nearly a year and had no idea they did that. I went today and helped serve lunch. I had a great time. I really enjoy serving in the community with the church I pastor. Cassville also has a dinner after church every third Sunday, other church folk attend. This little church provides the Outreach with a great deal of food for the pantry and is willing to provide whatever we need. Thanks Cassville!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Last Night

Led a workshop at Sunnycrest United Methodist Church in Marion. The church wanted to come to the Saturday workshop I lead earlier in the month but could not. The discussion was lively and people were attentive. One thing they did some years ago was to build a gym hoping to attract young people. It didn't work. Many churches added family life centers or gyms in the 90's to attract folk. Some work better than others. We focused on how to go out. They came up with some ideas. I hope they are able to move from a more attractional mindset to a missional mindset. Keep all of us in your prayers. Thanks Jeff

Monday, February 25, 2008


We are in the season of Lent. Several churches in the outlying areas are have a combined Sunday Night Lenten Service, all the offerings collected with go to KUO. Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to attend the services as they start at 6:30 PM and I really do not finish until 6:15 PM. I will try to make it to the ones that are nearby.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


I had two speaking engagements this week. The first was with the United Methodist Men of Greentown(although there were several women there). I was able to share about neighborhood outreach. They shared of the wonderful things they were doing in a mobile home park in Greentown. At the end of the presentation I was asked, how could they help us in Kokomo, I encouraged them to focus on Greentown and to get other churches involved in what they are already doing.

I also spoke to the Kokomo Ministerial Association at the Kokomo Rescue Mission. Things went well there and I have been invited to speak in a couple of churches. Thanks for the prayers.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Had a great day today leading a workshop entitled, "becoming a Missional Church". There were folks from Hammond, South Bend, and Kokomo. We talked about the life-cycle of a church, how to reach into the community, Sidewalk Sunday School and reaching people living in poverty. The day ended with particpants delivering cookies door to door in the apartment complex, showing God's love in a real way.

Monday, January 21, 2008

So blessed in 2007

2007 Annual Report
By: Jeff Newton, Ex. Director


· 2007 General Giving was about $68,000, up $22,000 from 2006
· Designated giving was about $10,000.
· Giving entities increased from 90 in 2006 to 105 in 2007
· Giving entities included 27 churches or Sunday School Groups and 10 organizations and businesses
· Financial assistance was also received from the North Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Bishop’s Christmas Children’s Offering


· Leadership Kokomo Team provided numerous hours of volunteer service as well as:
A trailer equipped with a table, sound system, gas grill, coolers, etc.; Shelves in the food pantry; Paper products
· A team of volunteers from Kohl’s provided service
· KUO was been blessed with a Summer Intern and a student volunteer
· Hosted numerous Adult and Church youth groups from Howard County and throughout Indiana
· First-time volunteers this year included 468 youth and adults for a total of over 800 volunteers
· Regular email newsletters are sent to 400 individuals


· Attended Community Foundation sponsored classes
· Have been working with a Consultant provided as a result of those classes
· Have made changes in the detail of the donations received
· 501(c)3 Application has been filed and accepted
· An Administrative Assistant has been working 10+ hours a week
· The Ministry of KUO has been shared at 5 church mission fairs and denominational
· Pastor Jeff and Staff has been the main speaker at 33 functions throughout the year (23 Churches, 10 Organizations)
· Sponsored the Call To Action, which has resulted in a working relationship between KUO, Bridges and the Kokomo Center School District
· Met one-on-one with 9 Pastors to discuss KUO

· Opened the Crisis Child Care Center in July, with gifts from Grace UMC and St. Andrew’s Church
· Hired a Child Care Director
· Hours have been extended and Referral Forms revised in hopes of attracting more users

MEALS (over 15,000 meals served in 2007)
· Served an average of 215 at GS and 125 at PV at Summer Cookouts
· Served an average of 100 at GS and 80 at PV with inside Sunday evening meals
· Served Thanksgiving Dinner to appx. 185 at GS and 140 at PV
· Served Spring Break lunches to an average of 83 at GS (5 days)
· Served Summer lunches to an average of 95 at GS (17 days)
· Began serving Breakfast on the last Sat of the Month in July, to an average of 55 each month
· 400 Sack lunches were delivered on Christmas Day
· Served Christmas Break lunches to an average of 60 at PV (8 days)
· Alto UMC has assumed the responsibility for preparing the Sunday evening meals at PV

· Provided bags of food to all children attending Sunday evening SWSS & Cookouts each week
· Delivered 500 bags of food and 40 loaves of bread as an Outreach project
· Provided 43 breakfast bags and 25 snack bags to children during the summer
· Collected tons of food during a 4th of July food drive
· Distributed 25 lbs of green beans and 20 doz. ears of corn plus other fresh vegetables from the Community Garden
· Served an average of 35 families per month with food from the pantry (Sept—Dec)
· Distributed 600 lbs of potatoes from the Society of St. Andrews


· Secret Santa Shop for children of GS and PV
· Easter Basket Workshop provided 600 baskets
· Valentines provided to all children at GS (80)
· Valentine gifts to mothers at GS (80)
· Backpacks provided to all children at GS and PV (180)
· Held a clothing give away at GS and PV
· Began weekly sewing classes
· Volunteers distributed 100's of children's books in the summer and fall
· Gave away about 60 bikes to those needing transportation to job
· Bike Repair
· Held a community concert and meal at the conclusion of VBS (325)
· Smoking Cessation classes had 10 individuals participating
· Socks were given to all who attended the Thanksgiving Meals at GS and PV
· Assisted many new families moving into GS from homelessness
· Numerous families at GS and PV were adopted at Christmas by individuals, church and scout groups
· Partnered with Kokomo Auto World who hosted a Christmas party for appx. 30 children, with each receiving a toy from their “wish list”
· Provided games to each child attending SWSS at PV
· Christmas Eve service held at the PV Community Room blessed 60 individuals


· Conducted weekly programs for an average of 40 children at GS and 20 children at PV; teaching about the Fruits of the Spirit, Easter and Advent, reaching a total of 180 children
· Held a mid-week summer class for an average of 10 children from GS and 15 from PV; teaching the Beatitudes
· Held Easter Egg Hunts, a Fall Party, Winter Carnival, and a Birthday Party for Jesus
· Partnered with Grace UMC in order to provide a week long VBS program to the children of Grace UMC and GS


· 3 new Directors were appointed with a Board of ten members