Community Ministries

Our Community Ministries

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, I tell you whatever you did for one of he least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:35-40 

Community Ministry History

In keeping with the commission of the scriptures, FCC has long been committed to the service of others. For more than 50 years the Helping Hand Room has shared clothing and light household goods to those in our community who needed them. We have hosted St. Vincent’s Interfaith Family Shelter annually for the past 30 years. For nearly 15 years, FCC’s Good Samaritan Ministry volunteers have provided one-on-one support and guidance to our homeless neighbors who come to the Church seeking help. The Sunday Breakfast served hot breakfasts to the hungry each week for over 10 years. A trailer ministry served a number of individuals until they were able to find alternative housing, and for a number of years we opened our doors to the community-based Egan Warming Center during sub-freezing nighttime temperatures.  While our community ministries continue to take on new directions as circumstances change, we continue our commitment to service.

Each of the following programs run through volunteer efforts. If you are interested in becoming involved in our outreach ministries, read the information below for who to contact, or contact the church office at


The Community Ministry Team

The Community Ministry Team was formed in 2018 to help guide the ministries in their work. Comprised of representatives from each designated ministry and from the congregation at large, as well as a FCC Minister, this team works diligently to plan, coordinate, problem solve, make decisions, and set direction. Nancy Hayner serves as Chair of this team.

As of 2022, those community ministries are as follows:

Helping Hearts Room

“John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”” Luke 3:11

We are delighted to announce the Reitz/Burkhalter Helping Hearts Room is now open on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons 12-2pm.

Helping Hearts Greeters will meet you in the back parking lot. Be sure to bring a mask for every person in your party. We will practice social distancing and be wearing masks at all times. Helping Hearts provides clothing, light bedding and protective outdoor gear, and personal hygiene items to those who come seeking such assistance. A light snack is typically available, as well.

What our volunteers do:

  • We provide compassion, a listening ear, and a non-judgmental attitude.
  • We offer resource information to community services. We also coach our guests on navigating the social services network.
  • We pray with our guests when requested.
  • We offer limited financial assistance when appropriate.
  • When the Resource Room is open, we provide, in limited supply, donated goods such as clothing, sleeping materials and some household utensils as well as snacks and bus passes.

What we do not do:

  • We do not pay rent, rent deposits, utilities, provide gasoline vouchers, or give cash.
  • Our volunteers are not social workers or crisis counselors.

Calls are returned Tuesdays & Thursdays during regular business hours. (10-2 pm)

  • Sack Lunches are made at FCC 6 days a week and delivered around the community.
  • White Bird is the best place to get a sack lunch from FCC (12th & High).
    Helping Hearts is open Tuesday and Thursday from 12 pm – 2pm in the back of the church. To apply for Square One Villages, please call 541-525-0501 or apply online at
  • For a crisis counselor please call Whitebird at 541-687-4000 / 1-800-422-7558.

How to Donate:

Though we depend primarily on donations of materials for this ministry, it is necessary to purchase some items. We serve over 3,500 people a year for less than $7,000. 

To donate money, click here.  Or send a check designated for Helping Hearts to First Christian Church at 1166 Oak Street, Eugene, OR 97402.  

Other donations are welcomed and include the following items. Clean and gently used or new items should be bagged up and brought to the church during regular working hours.

  • Clothing, particularly items appropriate for unhoused individuals
  • Light blankets and bedding items
  • Sleeping bags, tarps, and tents
  • Personal hygiene items

How to volunteer:

To volunteer, contact Sharon Warner directly or call the church at 541-344-1425.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Sorting – 3-6 people, Tuesday mornings 10:00-noon, to sort through new donations, put items out for display in the store, and generally organize and maintain the store
  • Guest Services: 2-3 people each Tuesday & Thursday from Noon until 2:00 p.m. At least one mail and one female volunteer while the store is open to help guests. One person runs the computer and checks guests in & out. The other person assists with bagging and obtaining special items that are kept in storage.
  • Special Projects: 10-15 people on occasional basis. In November & December we collect and distribute toys and children’s items or needy children.

Interfaith Food Hub

Together with other communities of faith, we have helped feed about 350 people each week for the past ten years as the Interfaith Sunday Breakfast. This became the Interfaith Food Hub (IFH) in 2020 as we adapted to changes brought on by COVID-19 and sought to continue to respond to community’s food needs.

The Interfaith Food Hub, which includes participation by Jewish, Christian, Sikh faith communities in partnership with Food for Lane County, prepares and distributes about 550-650 sandwich lunches a week to the unhoused. In 2021 FCC became a partner of the Interfaith Food Hub rather than the hosting and sponsoring church.

It continues to operate under leadership of the Interfaith partners, of which FCC is an active participant. Glenn McKerrow represents FCC on the IFH Partner Team.

How to Donate:

Donations to help offset the costs of providing food to our unhoused community are welcomed. To donate, click here, or send a check to First Christian Church, 1166 Oak Street, Eugene, OR 97402, and indicate that it is for the Interfaith Food Hub.

How to volunteer:

Volunteers are needed several times a week to help prepare the sandwich meals that are distributed in our community. To volunteer, email .  Religious affiliation is not required.

Lastest Interfaith Shelter Efforts

First Christian Church has completed our week of providing meals for the St. Vincent DePaul Family shelter again this year, our tradition for over 30 years now. Due to COVID we had to change to “delivery only” of dinners, not serving the families or interacting with them. We were able, with the help of local vendors, Albertsons, Burrito Amigos, and Papa’s Pizza to deliver five dinners that included a Hawaiian dinner, lasagna, fried chicken picnic, burrito dinner, and a pizza party. In addition, congregation members Janet Anderson and Evelyn Anderton, Adeline Robertson, John and Cheryl Moore, Glenn McKerrow, Jamie McComack, Judith Ivy, and Patty Osborne furnished milk, juice, fruit, and desserts—extras the families don’t often get. Thanks to all those who made the week special!

Our “Shelter Team” was able to take a tour of the shelter building while the residents were not there. We were amazed at the wonderful changes to the inside of the Annex building—so much more privacy, room, and comfort! The program has come so far from the days when residents moved to different churches weekly, and lived in areas defined by room dividers in our downstairs. We’re looking forward to seeing what the future looks like when we can serve the families’ meals directly instead of just delivering their food.

Please keep the Family Shelter program in your prayers.

The Family Shelter Team: Connie and Michael Kennedy and Tom and Jean Kozlowski

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