Welcome to the First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach mission page for external missions. Listed below you will find a number of potential volunteer service opportunities offered by ministries and organizations with which our church currently partners, with which it has worked in the past or that our church helps to fund financially. We hope that you will find this information helpful as you consider where your talents might best be put to use in the service of your “neighbors.” “For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Galatians 5:14.

From time to time we also organize group service opportunities where members of the church come together as the community of faith for service projects. Our three most recent efforts involved more than sixty volunteers on those occasions packaging meals for Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), an organization dedicated to eliminating worldwide hunger. Our church has packaged more than 36,500 individual meals for distribution to children in developing world countries during these events. These meals have been distributed in Guatemala, Liberia and Turkey.

Every person must discern for themselves what mission service the Holy Spirit is leading them into and what will be most satisfying to them in terms of living out one’s faith. The listing below is only a guide for places that will allow you to start with the discernment process. There are hundreds of other wonderful and worthwhile ministries that work in the greater Virginia Beach area and this listing is not meant in any way to foreclose your evaluation of those ministries. Only your discernment of where the Holy Spirit is calling you to serve can inform your decision-making about where to get involved. This listing is only a starter tool for you. Each of us has been given different gifts to utilize in support of our calling as Christians. “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” 1 Peter 4:10. We trust that you will be able to find somewhere to serve outside the walls of the church and perhaps some way to do so through this church’s involvement with certain organizations. The important point is, however, to get involved in service to others.

It is also true that many people will discern that they are called to work inside the church and that their “neighbors” are fellow members of FPC. This is also very valuable, needed and spiritual. This listing is not meant to suggest that heartfelt service within the four walls of our church is not of equal and sometimes greater importance than service outside our walls. Those service opportunities can be found on other pages of our website and by contacting the church office.

For each ministry or organization listed, you will find a statement about its mission and importance. You will then find a general description of the volunteer opportunities that the ministry or organization has indicated to us are available to those looking to serve through them in support of their ministry. Some volunteer opportunities will be ongoing positions whereas others might be one-time only or occasional projects. Some opportunities are for individual service and others are more properly group projects. We hope that this listing will ease your search for volunteer opportunities.

If you have an idea for a new external mission project or volunteer opportunity, please contact the Director of Missions to discuss your idea. We always remain open to being led by the Holy Spirit in new directions consistent with our core values.

If you have any questions about the external mission life of First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach, please feel free to speak with me at church, call me at 757-672-1797 or contact me by email at missions@firstpresvb.org.

Randy DuVall, Director of Missions

March 2017

Ministries and Organizations that are described below in alphabetical order. Scroll down to read more about these ministries and how you might get involved.

  • Angel Tree Ministry
  • Beach Health Clinic
  • Birdneck Elementary School Signature Ministry
  • Care by Community (Virginia Beach United Methodist Church)
  • Christmas Food Baskets
  • Cooke Elementary School Food Backpack Program
  • Faith Works Coalition
  • Food Pantry
  • Judeo-Christian Outreach Center
  • LivOn Foundation
  • Nimmo Community Garden (Nimmo United Methodist Church)
  • People in Need (PIN) Ministry
  • Red Cross Blood Drive
  • Samaritan House
  • Seton Youth Shelters
  • Untamed Spirit Therapeutic and Education Program
  • West Neck Facility

 

ANGEL TREE MINISTRY  About Angel Tree. The mission of this ministry is to make a difference in the lives of families in our community who live on a budget so tight that putting food on the table is often a struggle and who would otherwise be without gifts for their children at Christmas. The children we served in 2015 were from Birdneck Elementary School.
Volunteer Opportunities. Members of First Presbyterian are given the opportunity to select an angel from the Angel Tree that is set up in November at the church. Members then shop for the child and return their gift to the church. There may be additional opportunities to help with planning, setting up the tree and distributing the gifts.

First Presbyterian point of contact: Carla Stevenson, secretary@firstpresvb.org

BEACH HEALTH CLINIC About Beach Health Clinic. In 1986, a community group consisting of local physicians and concerned citizens, including First Presbyterian, noticed an increasing problem of uninsured working poor residents in the City of Virginia Beach. The Beach Health Clinic was incorporated as a §501(c)(3) organization with the mission to provide basic healthcare to uninsured Virginia Beach residents. Currently, the mission of the clinic is to provide comprehensive medical care to uninsured Virginia Beach residents who are below the 200% federal poverty level. Patients of the clinic generally suffer from chronic conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes. In the first year of operation the clinic only saw 43 patients. The clinic annually serves approximately 1,700 unduplicated patients.
The clinic is run daily by its volunteer physicians, nurses and staff. There are approximately 60 volunteer providers, the majority of whom are physicians whose specialties include cardiology, neurology, pulmonology, rheumatology, podiatry, gynecology, pediatrics, pain management, endocrinology, ENT, urology and internal medicine. There are also more than 100 nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy students, medical assistants and lay volunteers that make it possible for the clinic to provide more than 11,000 patient visits each year.
Volunteer opportunities. There are volunteer opportunities for physicians, dentists, nurses and dental hygienists plus other medically trained people. Lay volunteers are also needed to serve as eligibility screeners. Occasionally, there are specific needs such as landscaping that volunteers can perform.

BIRDNECK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL READING MINISTRY About Birdneck Reading Ministry. In the fall of 2013, First Presbyterian launched a signature ministry at Birdneck Elementary School involving reading with first graders. Birdneck is a Title I school (70% of its students qualify for free or reduced price lunches) serving a large military population (65% of the student body are military dependents). The students are very transient with a substantial number moving in or out of the school during each school year (approximately 40% historically). The school has many needs that are met, in part, by the development of stable relationships between adult volunteers and students. Since the beginning, we have expanded our ministry at Birdneck to include clothing drives, school supply drives, sponsoring Kumon academic scholarships to after-school tutoring, Angel Tree gifts and Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets.
Volunteer opportunities. Adults are needed to read with and befriend first grade students selected by the teaching staff. Volunteers will be paired with another volunteer and will work with a child one-on-one on Wednesday mornings at ten o’clock, alternating with their partner in working at the school. If a volunteer wants to work every week, they are free to do so. This entails only approximately 45-minutes with a child on Wednesday in a quiet setting in the school library to talk, read, write or color. Additional hands-on volunteer opportunities that are available any school day include:

  • Volunteering in classrooms during guided math and reading small group centers, working with a small group of students in literacy or math under the guidance of a teacher;
  • Physical education monitor for all grades assisting with regular P.E. classes;
  • Library aides who shelve books, repair books and help young students find books to check-out;
  • Library research assistants who help students in all grades conduct computer-based research;
  • Computer lab volunteers who help students in all grades in computer-based experiences;
  • Robotics/technology club, an after school program for fourth and fifth graders.     

First Presbyterian point of contact. Mary Clemons, maryr.clemons@gmail.com

CARE BY COMMUNITY (A MINISTRY OF VIRGINIA BEACH UNITED METHODIST CHURCH) About Care by Community. Care By Community is an after-school program for homeless and “at-risk” students from our neighboring schools at the Oceanfront. On Mondays and Wednesdays during the school year, students who participate in the program come to Virginia Beach United Methodist Church to receive help with homework, school projects, reading, and any other academic needs. They then have some recreation time to play games and just have fun. The students are fed a hot meal and then taken home. The program was created to help not only the students but to allow their parents to work later into the evenings. This is a great way to reach out and make a positive and lasting impact on our community. This program has proven to help improve students’ grades, behavior, and self- esteem. It also helps families help themselves and pull themselves out of homelessness. This program runs from 3:15 until 5:30 twice each week.
Volunteer opportunities. Care By Community operates from mid-October through May. You may volunteer to work with the children doing one-on-one homework assistance, reading, school projects and even playing games. Volunteers can work one day a week, or one day a month, or more often as their schedule permits. There is also the opportunity for groups to prepare and serve the evening meal. Training is provided for all volunteers. Presbyterian Women provide meals several times every month through three circles.

CHRISTMAS FOOD BASKETS (DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES) About this ministry. First Presbyterian annually provides the complete fixings for a Christmas dinner for a family. The food is assembled at the church and bagged for delivery or pick-up depending upon the ability of the family. The recipients of this food aid are vetted by Social Services or Birdneck Elementary School. Delivery is made shortly before Christmas Day.
Volunteer opportunities. Set up the food delivered to the church in Stanton Hall for systematic bagging. Bagging of the meals. Delivery of meal bags to families in the Oceanfront area or to Birdneck Elementary one morning in December. Pass out food bags to families that come to the church to receive their meal bags. Load cars of those who pick-up their meal bags at church.

First Presbyterian points of contacts: Lila Davis, liladavis@aol.com and Kevin Merritt, kevinhmerritt@gmail.com

COOKE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BACKPACK FOOD PROGRAM About this ministry. Twice each month during the school year, First Presbyterian packs bags with foodstuffs for delivery to Cooke Elementary School at the Oceanfront. The food is delivered to church and then repacked into individual bags that hold enough food for a weekend. The bags are delivered to Cooke Elementary where they are given to deserving students on Friday to take home in their backpack or otherwise. The students are vetted by school administrators. The program is conducted with great discretion so as not to embarrass students.
Volunteer opportunities. Receive foodstuffs from the Food Bank once per month. Sort and pack food into individual bags at church for ultimate delivery to school. Delivery of food bags to school.

First Presbyterian point of contact: Carol Arsenault, cbapsu@aol.com

FAITH WORKS COALITION About Faith Works. Faith Works Coalition is a faith-based ecumenical ministry that was established to eliminate substandard living conditions in the Virginia Beach community by repairing homes for the elderly, disadvantaged and disabled low income families. Faith Works also provides emergency relief through repair and reconstruction of homes in out-of-state communities affected by natural disasters. It collaborates with the City of Virginia Beach and other community organizations that share Faith Works’ goals and objectives. Service opportunities enhance the joy of fellowship inherent in faith-based volunteer organizations.
Volunteer opportunities. Faith Works undertakes construction projects several times each month that typically require the assistance of six to eight volunteers per day. These projects are usually completed Thursday through Saturday under the supervision of retired professional general contractors. Volunteers help rebuild floors, paint, hang drywall including taping and mudding, repair bathroom plumbing and work on roofing. A volunteer does not need a large skill set but simply needs to have a willingness to listen and take instruction from a professional. All tools are supplied by Faith Works. In addition, Faith Works organizes projects for individual church groups that First Presbyterian participated previously. Finally, First Presbyterian men have traveled out-of-state annually from 2013-2016 to undertake one week rebuilding projects for families affected by natural disasters.

First Presbyterian point of contact: Randy DuVall, duvallchiapas@gmail.com

FOOD PANTRY (DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES) About the Food Pantry. This is one of First Presbyterian’s oldest ministries to the local community. There are two aspects to the ministry, which both have as their purpose feeding people in need of food assistance. On a rotating periodic basis, daily for one week the church hands out food bags of vital groceries to families sent to the church by Social Services. These bags will provide food assistance for a number of days based on the size of the family. The families are vetted by Social Services. The other aspect of the ministry is to provide food assistance to people who appear at the church requesting assistance. The church provides this assistance Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1:00 pm-3:00 pm from the church office.  Although recipients are expected to only ask for food from the church once a month, people are rarely turned away empty handed. This food giveaway is coordinated with other churches and non-profits through Charity Tracker.
Volunteer opportunities. On weeks that our church provides groceries to families, volunteers are needed to pack food items into grocery bags and deliver them to the families sent to the church for food assistance. Food bags for those who simply appear at the church are packed on an ad hoc basis so that they can handed out as needed. This ministry moved into the new modular building in July 2016.

JUDEO-CHRISTIAN OUTREACH CENTER  About Judeo-Christian Outreach Center (“JCOC”).  JCOC exists to break the cycle of homelessness in Virginia Beach by empowering homeless families and individuals to recover from crisis situations and return to being self-supporting, productive and independent members of our community. Its Frank Bragg Dining Hall on Virginia Beach Boulevard serves 70,000 free meals annually. Meals are served 365 days a year and are available to the community, homeless or not. Its Food Pantry provides over 9,000 packages of groceries every year to those in need. JCOC doesn’t want any of its neighbors who have a home to be forced into making the decision between a utility bill and groceries and believe this is a preventive measure against homelessness. Since 1991, JCOC has provided six-month emergency housing for up to 50 individuals at a time through its men’s dorm and its women/family dorm, as well as food and essential clothing. In 2011, it opened its West Lane apartment complex with 14 units designated for homeless veterans (to live up to two years rent free through a grant from the Veterans Administration) and eight units for permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless with disabilities. To date, more than 6,000 individuals and families have found shelter with JCOC. Beyond serving the immediate needs of food and shelter, JCOC is equally committed to providing long-term support by empowering people to forge a life of independence, self-sufficiency and strength. To that end, its employs professional case managers to provide substance abuse counseling, education resources and direction, vocational support, employment services, job placement and, of course, personal counseling and encouragement. The Blumenthal/Schor Education Building, which helps residents and low-income neighbors prepare for the G.E.D. test and develop computer skills, and the new Job Skills Academy, are two of the most visible components of this effort.

Volunteer opportunities. First Presbyterian is one of a number of churches and synagogues that prepare and serve the evening meal at JCOC. Cooks prepare the meal and other volunteer serve the diners as they come through the serving line. There are other opportunities available to serve through JCOC. People are needed to unload food trucks from the Food Bank and to sort the food that comes off the truck. Drivers are needed to transport residents to doctors’ appointments, job interviews and other places. Life and technical skills instructors are also needed in a number of areas including computer skills, addiction and self-esteem sessions, budget and finance management, healthy relationships and nutrition. Contact Lila Davis, elder, for information about helping with the service of meals. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact Krishna Loya, Volunteer Coordinator of JCOC or 491-2846, ext. 102.

LivON FOUNDATION About LivOn Foundation. The mission of this organization is to educate and promote awareness for the early detection of colon cancer for people under fifty years old. Many individuals under age fifty go undiagnosed because symptoms are unnoticed, embarrassing to discuss, or are explained away for a person with no family history of colon cancer In addition, this foundation works to financially support individuals and families affected by colon cancer. The LivOn Foundation was created in honor of Olivia Naples Bostic, who at 37 years old and in the best physical shape of her life, was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Colon Cancer. Visit www.livonfoundation.org.

Volunteer Opportunities. Volunteer opportunities include education and outreach by participation during race packet pick-up for events like the Shamrock Marathon and by participation at LivON booth during events such as WHRO Cancer films; fundraising by gathering donations for LivON golf tournament and silent auction; and administrative needs such as bookkeeping and correspondence and the writing of thank you notes for donations.

NIMMO COMMUNITY GARDEN (NIMMO UNITED METHODIST CHURCH) About Nimmo Community Garden. The Nimmo Community Garden began in 2009 as a container gardening project with the Potter’s House ministry. This project grows and gives away everything from the garden including fruit, vegetables and herbs to feed the hungry in Virginia Beach, including FPC’s Food pantry. The garden is 100 feet x 60 feet and is located at Nimmo United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach. From summer through winter, the produce is picked and distributed by faith-based organizations including Potter’s House, Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, First Presbyterian Church and other church partners. In 2013, more than 1,200 pounds of produce was distributed from the garden. This ministry is accomplished by a labor of love by many warm hearted volunteers giving of their time, talents, service and gifts. Volunteer opportunities. Gardening work including harvesting the produce from the garden and maintaining the garden.

First Presbyterian point of contact: Kitty Bosher,  blackbirdswing@gmail.com

PEOPLE IN NEED (PIN) MINISTRY About PIN Ministry. PIN Ministry is located at the Beach Pentecostal Church on 15th Street at the Oceanfront. Its mission is to provide food, clothing, shelter, and free medical care for people who are either homeless or extremely poor. The ultimate focus is to help the homeless of Virginia Beach transform their lives by meeting them where they are and sharing the Good News of a God who loves them and wants a relationship with them. PIN values prayer and creative approaches to helping the homeless of Virginia Beach. It values relationships with Jesus Christ that build up the body of disciples. It values partnerships and unity that result in tangible, repeatable outcomes. It values accountability, which enhances its ability to minister to the people of God. PIN envisions former homeless people who are no longer bound by addictions and habits of their past. PIN is a Christ-based non-profit that believes Christian principles can lead individuals and families from dependency toward financial and personal independence. PIN envisions generational brokenness healed and lives changed by a God who loves and heals people completely.
Volunteer opportunities. There are a number of volunteer opportunities available to individuals and groups.

PIN provides dinner and Bible study every Thursday evening at six o’clock. Volunteer groups are needed to cook and serve the meals.
PIN provides health care through volunteer medical professionals on Sunday afternoons including dental care.
Lunch is provided and served on Sunday afternoons followed by worship and help is needed with these events.
Breakfast is served every Saturday morning from seven to nine-thirty and help is needed to serve this meal.
PIN has warehouse space on 17th Street that it uses to house donations of clothing and other items that are given to people who are homeless or extremely poor and needs help to organize these donations.
PIN provides transitional housing for families that are homeless. It currently has three mobile homes and two houses. Volunteer opportunities exist to maintain these properties.

First Presbyterian point of contact: Jim Vanderhill, vanderhill@cox.net

RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE  About the Blood Drive. Partnering with the local branch of the American Red Cross, First Presbyterian hosts, sets up and conducts a blood collection center four times annually. The blood collection center is conducted in Stanton Hall. The blood collected by the Red Cross is used in local health care facilities to meet the blood needs of the local community. Red Cross personnel do the actual collection and safekeeping of the blood through their highly trained professionals.
Volunteer opportunities. Volunteers staff the check-in tables. Volunteers serve as greeters. Volunteers complete needed paperwork thereby freeing up Red Cross personnel to concentrate on technical aspects of the blood drive. There is also opportunity for food preparation to feed blood donors a snack after they have donated blood.

First Presbyterian point of contact: Kitty Bosher, blackbirdswing@gmail.com

SAMARITAN HOUSE About Samaritan House. Samaritan House is a §501(c)(3) organization in Virginia Beach. Its mission is to foster personal safety, self-sufficiency and personal growth in adults and their children through freedom from domestic abuse and homelessness. It operates a number of emergency shelters in Virginia Beach that temporarily house more than one hundred victims of domestic violence nightly. More than half of the people in emergency shelter are under eighteen years old. It also operates a number of transitional housing units. Samaritan House conducts a victim advocate program providing crisis intervention, safety planning and court accompaniment. It conducts a family empowerment program providing skills training through education, employment externships and job preparation. Its family advocate program works with families toward self-sufficiency and helps residents transition from emergency shelter to permanent housing. The aftercare program helps provide ongoing advocacy and financial assistance for six months after emergency shelter and transitional housing. Samaritan House is available twenty-four hours every day. All services are free and confidential. “Hope, healing and change” define its mission in Virginia Beach.
Volunteer opportunities. Samaritan House offers quarterly training for skill-based volunteers to serve as advocates in its various programs. People with skills in social service areas are always required to conduct the programs of Samaritan House. There are also abundant opportunities for people willing to help clean and maintain the numerous properties in its inventory of emergency shelter housing. Periodic cleaning of these units lends itself to excellent group service opportunities. Finally, Samaritan House is always in need of donations of food, clothing and cleaning supplies.

SETON YOUTH SHELTERS About Seton Youth Shelters. Serving all of Hampton Roads, Seton Youth Shelters provides 24-hour emergency shelter for youth ages 9-17 years old and in special cases for 18 year olds. This program serves runaway/homeless youth and youth in crisis within their family, school and/or community. Seton Youth Shelters operates two shelters in Virginia Beach, one for boys and the other for girls. In its shelters, residents are provided youth advocacy and individual/family crisis counseling. Case management activities facilitate coordination of services, community referrals and aftercare follow-up. Youth who enter the shelter program attend local public schools unless parents provide transportation to their home school. Its shelters provide counseling that address a variety of topics and serve to increase youth awareness of community resources. Seton Youth Shelters has operated its Street Outreach Program since January 1999. It all began with collaboration between Seton Youth Shelters, Stand Up For Kids, and the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church, which continues to this day. Working together, they were able to provide trained professionals and volunteers to open a weekly teen drop-in center named The Crow’s Nest at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Since that time Seton Youth Shelters’ Street Outreach Program has developed a diverse, multi-faceted positive youth development approach to filling the service gap to ensure accessibility of crisis services to the youth of Hampton Roads and their families. Today, its Street Outreach Program assists youth up to the age of 21 years of age. Each week, staff and volunteers open the 2nd story doors of “The Potter’s House” on Tuesday Evening from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. At The Crow’s Nest, youth up to the age of 21 years old can find a “safe haven” with caring adults that offer crisis counseling, food and drink, access to emergency shelter, clothing, hygiene items, substance abuse education, community referrals, written educational information, a G.E.D. study hall, employment posting board and Family/Runaway Message Board.

Volunteer opportunities. Currently First Presbyterian is preparing meals one weekend every month to deliver to the youth shelters under the supervision of Presbyterian Women’s Circle Rachel. Circle Rachel welcomes other members of the congregation to help with this ministry. Mentors, counselors and other skill-based persons are needed to fulfill the lofty goals outlines above.

UNTAMED SPIRIT THERAPEUTIC AND EDUCATION PROGRAM About Untamed Spirit. Untamed Spirit is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2010 that provides therapeutic riding and educational programs for children and adults in the Hampton Roads area with special needs and challenges. It operates at Forward Motion Farm in the Pungo area of Virginia Beach. Director Barbe Ford has been providing therapeutic riding services for people with special needs since the 1980s in Virginia Beach. In the works for Untamed Spirit is the introduction of an integrative approach to wellness combining a multi-disciplinary approach to better health. The concept of moving forward is the basis for this ministry. The program provides a blended equine community, bringing both able-bodied and special needs individuals together in a positive and encouraging outdoor farm environment. The farm encompasses almost 25 acres of farmland, surrounded by aged trees in an idyllic and tranquil setting.
Facilities include a 28 stall barn, Indoor Riding Arena, outdoor jumping ring, outdoor Dressage ring, round pen and numerous pastures. Benefits derived from the therapeutic approach employed include one-on-one interaction with staff and volunteers, increase in self-confidence and self-awareness, increase in gross and fine motor skills and muscle tone and enhancement of verbalization and awareness. All instructors are professionals with combined instructional experience of over 45 years and are PATH, International certified and members of the Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia (TRAV).
Volunteer opportunities. Horse side walkers. Gardeners. Landscaping workers to keep the grounds looking nice. Volunteers needed to work at periodic fundraising events.

WEST NECK FACILITY GARDEN (CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH) About West Neck Facility (also known as BizNet Village). BizNet Village consists of two group residential homes on West Neck Road near the new Kellam High School. It is an “intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded.” It is a residentially-styled facility for fragile and severely disabled adults and includes some residents with intellectual disabilities. The facility was conceived, designed and built through a public/private/City of Virginia Beach partnership of several organizations. The Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation (the non-profit organization of the City) and Hearts and Homes, Inc. (aka BizNet) are the primary operators of the facility. The residents require twenty-four hour a day care to manage the activities of daily living.
Volunteer opportunities. Gardeners needed to maintain the outdoor vegetable and flower garden visited by the residents of the facility during warn weather months. Volunteer gardeners generally work on Thursday mornings.

First Presbyterian point of contact: Sandy Cowden, smcowden@aol.com