April is Autism Awareness Month!
First Sunday Fellowship
This is a brand new opportunity for adults with special needs and their families. First Church invites you to a luncheon and program to be held on the first Sunday of each month at noon on the 2nd floor, room 260. For more information, please contact; Vandie@firstchurchorlando.org.
Nathaniel’s Hope Buddy Break
First Church is in partnership with Nathaniel’s Hope Buddy Break, offering free respite care for parents of kids and adults with special needs (VIP Kids), a break from on-going care-giving responsibilities for three hours on the fourth Friday or Saturday of every month. Buddies are friends to VIPs. Each VIP kid is paired one-on-one with a background screened volunteer Buddy, who completed a two-hour mandatory Buddy Training 101 program. Click here to see information video:
- Our “buddies” are ready and we are recruiting VIPs and their families! If you know a family that would like to participate please have them email Vandie Loper for details on how to get signed up and be matched with a buddy volunteer. We will have all kinds of fun activities, face painting, music, therapy dogs and over 20+ volunteers. Buddy Break respite dates for the rest of the school year are - Saturday, March 23 (10am), Friday, April 19 (6pm), Saturday, May 11 (10am rsvp requested), Saturday, May 25 (10am)
- Special Needs Vacation Bible School will take place June 17th – 19th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
- There are many fun opportunities to serve our special needs families.
- Special Needs council, 1 time per quarter
- Buddy Volunteer, 1 time per quarter
- VIP Sunday school teacher/assistant, 1 time per month
- Buddy 101 trainer, 1 time per month
- Assistant Buddy Break coordinator, 1 time per month, must attend Basic Leadership Training by Nathaniel’s Hope
- To get a head start in getting enrolled you need to go to the Nathaniel’s Hope website and fill out their paperwork the application by clicking the links below. Don’t forget to state First United Methodist Church of Orlando as your Buddy Break location so it will come up in our database.
Recycling to Benefits Special Needs Ministry
Think Recycle Contest
The 5th Annual Cell Phone Collection Campaign by Think Recycle concludes at the end of May. Please contribute your unwanted cell phones, and help our Special Needs Ministry while protecting the environment by preventing improper disposal. Donations can be placed in the black donation shelves in the first or second floor gathering places.
The collection benefits Buddy Break, giving the ministry rebate value on each phone plus a chance to win a cash prize.
Click here to learn about Think Recyle.
Volunteer/Project Captain Opportunities
We need your help with various projects as follows:
Finding prizes/gifts, massage, pedi/mani for Mother’s Day spa 5/11. Volunteer interested in starting Prayer Box ministry for BB parents. Several volunteers to ‘man’ stations for the next Just Like Me awareness project in March (request from Pastor Tom).
A pilot program of a Sunday school class for people with special needs. The class meets every other Sunday. Check the church calendar for the next gathering of Special Blessings. Please contact Vandie Loper for full details about the class.