Special Needs

Special Needs News

Special Needs Council

Please consider partnering with us on the SPECIAL NEEDS COUNCIL!  We only meet once per quarter so this is a very do-able way to serve!  We would love to network with any and everyone in 2014 to share fresh ideas and grow the ministry this year (no previous experience, membership, etc required)… JUST YOU AND YOUR ENERGY AND IDEAS…. For more information, or to RSVP, contact Vandie Loper.


Doug Goddard of AccessLife just sent this wonderful video of the event where we had a booth in November – the song is precious and wanted to share that we had a wonderful experience being there and handing out information about our ministry so please take a moment to enjoy it!

First Friends Fellowship

This is a brand new opportunity for adults with disabilities and their families. First Church invites you to a luncheon and program to be held on the first Sunday of each month at 12:30 on the 2nd floor, room 260.    For more information, please contact; Vandie@firstchurchorlando.org or Candie@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 2015 are: 
    Friday Jan 16, 6 – 9pm
    Saturday Feb 21, 10 – 1pm
    Saturday March 28, 10 – 1 pm
    Friday April 24, 6 – 9pm
    Saturday May 23, 10 – 1pm
    Mon/Tues June 15 & 166:30-8:30pm VBS
    Friday Sep 25, 6 – 9pm
    Saturday Oct 24, 10 – 1pm
    Saturday Nov 14, 10 – 2pm*
    Saturday Nov 12, 10 – 2pm*
    *special visitor/family meal
  • There are many fun opportunities to serve our special needs families.
  • Special Needs council, 1 time per quarter
  • Buddy Volunteer, 1 time per month
  • 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.

VIP Family Information and Enrollment Form Sibling Information Enrollment Form Authorization/Release Form Declaration of Consent Form “I Want to Be a Buddy” Form

Volunteer/Project Captain Opportunities

We need your help with various projects throughout the year.  Please email Vandie@firstchurchorlando.org for more info.

Special Blessings

This is a Sunday school small group experience for children with special needs. The class meets at 11am on the second floor. Would you or a family member like to be involved in this ministry? Please contact Vandie Loper for full details about the class.