Holiday Challenge Update

Holiday Challenge Update


Change the World Allen offers children, teens, and adults the opportunity to pay if forward right here in our home community with different ways to serve others. To keep the spirit of CTW alive year round, our members and many of our friends participated in the Change the World Holiday Challenge.

Through these efforts, we fed the hungry, built a home for a deserving family, served those in crisis, provided scholarships for college students, expressed our appreciation to our military personnel, offered comfort to those who are hurting, and so much more.

In February, our MIssions Committee provided the following updates for a majority of the projects in which we were involved. You can read the udpates below in the red italic letters. If you have any questions about any of these projects, contact Rev. Jessica Wright.

SEP 9, OCT 4,  & DEC 2

Along with Methodists around the area, FUMC Allen volunteers built a home for Jenny Campbell, a mother of  five children. Her youngest two boys are Matthew, age 11, and Joseph, age 9, who live with Jenny in McKinney.

Jenny has been an incredible volunteer for Habitat. She first helped build a Habitat home in Rockwall in 2009. In 2015, Jenny was employed by an orthodontist who filed for bankruptcy and immediately closed the doors, leaving Jenny an unemployed single mother. This financial hardship led her to become a Habitat home recipient. It was a joy and blessing to provide affordable housing for her and her boys.

First United Methodist Church of Allen has partnered with North Collin County Habitat for Humanity and other local United Methodist churches to build a home for a deserving family. The 2017 Methodist build in Collin County is already underway as we build on our site in McKinney. Build schedules are tentative due to weather, inspection, and delivery delays, so tasks may change. For more information about our build days, to volunteer to help, or to offer lunch for the team, contact our build chair, Michael Anderson.

OCT 22-NOV 12

Volunteers stuffed stockings for our annual Stockings for Soldiers campaign. With lots of helping hands, we were able to assemble 500 stockings, which were sent to men and women who were deployed overseas during the holidays. In early November, we shipped 27 boxes that weighed 729 pounds; the postage cost alone was $1,400.

Here’s just one of the many thank you letters we’ve received in return:

Please allow me introduce myself. My name is UT1 Anderson, J. Andy. I’m a Navy Seabee on deployment. I am responsible for getting all the Troops their mail here in theater. The “Care Package” that your organization put together and sent via our Chaplin Ministries, it was my honor to disburse with the Troops here. It was so heartwarming to see how you would take the time and put this together.
Once again I would like to give you my deepest Thank You and God Bless.
Camp Pratt / Stevenson Commandant Assistant

Volunteers collect items for our annual Stockings for Soldiers campaign. On Sunday, November 12, 12:15pm, we assemble and package those stockings in the FUMC Allen gym and prepare them for shipment. We can send stockings to your military loved one if we receive their name and address by November 9. For more information, contact project coördinator Debbie Wilson. Drop your donations at the church through November 5 and sign up to serve on November 12 at

NOV 5-NOV 26

Through the Boyd Holiday Store, we are able to extend a shopping experience for our students. Each student worked to receive a ticket and exchanged the ticket for a gift for a special someone. Our goal was for each student to go to the store three times, and if we had enough items, we allowed  a fourth visit to the store. This year, we were able to allow students to go shopping in the holiday store FOUR times!

Once the Holiday Store is over, our staff is able to “shop” (for a reasonable donation) for a period of two hours. The money collected from this shopping session is put into our Sky Ranch Scholarship Fund, which allows for students who are homeless or facing financial difficulties to attend Sky Ranch. Our motto is that every fifth grader that wants to go to Sky Ranch will go even if they cannot afford it.

Once the staff shopping hours are over, we take the leftover items and donate them to ACO. We love doing this because the ACO will give shopping vouchers to the families in need and they can buy anything that the store has. So basically it is a full circle of giving.

Some years, like this year, we may have a family that comes in at the last minute looking for holiday gifts or a middle school or high school teacher contacts the Boyd staff to see if the school has anything to give a teenager in need. The school can select a few things from the store that are age-appropriate and the family or student in turn receives a little gift bag.

It is by the mercy of God that we are always able to provide and take care of all these needs without having to refuse anyone who seeks out help.

FUMC Allen’s H.I.S. has partnered with Boyd Elementary to provide gifts in their holiday store where students can shop for presents for their adult family members. Last year, the Holiday Store provided more than 2,000 wrapped gifts. You can help by donating new or gently used gifts* or signing up to work a shift in the store. You can leave items in baskets found at church entrances through November 26. Contact Trish Morehead, 972.727.8261, x313, for more information on donations or volunteering at the Holiday Store.

Women’s Gifts
Lotions, purses, perfume, makeup, scarves, gloves, jewelry, picture frames, books
Men’s Gifts
Books, watches, ties, gloves, scarves, office trinkets, key chains, tools
Household Items
Pictures, knick-knacks, towels, small kitchen items (no sharp objects please)
Store Supplies
Tissue paper,  tape (need at least 50 yards), small boxes, generic gift bags, gift tags, gift bows, wrapping paper

NOV 5-NOV 23

Our church led the way to make Thanksgiving meals for the clients served by Collin County Meals on Wheels. At FUMC Allen, we prepared 750 meals for 277 households. One of the most moving parts of this effort is our collaboration with law enforcement across Collin County. These officers are amazed by the scale of our work and appreciative of the opportunity to connect with the community they serve and protect.

On Thanksgiving Day, FUMC Allen packages more than 1,000 meals to be delivered by area police officers to Collin County Meals on Wheels clients. We need your help in preparing mashed potatoes, dressing, pie and cranberry sauce or cooking and carving turkeys. Register at the church on Sundays, November 5-November 19. You can also sign up to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, to assemble meals, work in the kitchen, and carry meals to officers outside the gym for delivery. Three shifts are available: 6:45am, 9:00am, and 11:00am. Contact Teresa Gray, or register online.


NOV 5-NOV 17

For the holidays, ACO-organized efforts resulted in the distribution of close to 1,100 food bags at FUMC Allen. The abundance allowed us to stock the pantry.  At Thanksgiving, we distributed 362 food bags (~16.3 pounds each) and 301 $15 gift cards to 245 households (1,030 people).

At Christmas, we distributed 736 Christmas food bags (~ 12.8 pounds each) in Allen and to residents of Branch. In Allen, we gave out 305 $15 gift cards to 247 households, benefitting 1,039 persons, along with clothing, shoes, and other personal items for 580 adopted children within those households.

At Branch, we offered adult socks and underwear, a limited amount of clothing and shoes, CoServ heaters and blankets. ACO helped local volunteers distribute Toys for Tots – along with holiday and additional pantry food. You can see pictures of our distribution at Branch at

Again this year, Allen Community Outreach is planning to make the holidays a little happier for the families facing hardships with their Holiday Food Drive and Christmas Adoption Program, but they need our help! For the Holiday Food Drive, ACO is collecting food items through November 10 to donate to families during Thanksgiving and Christmas times. Please drop your food donations at the ACO office.

If you’d like to volunteer on November 15-17 to sort and bag food items for Thanksgiving distribution to our neighbors in need, please sign up by completing a volunteer form at, or if you are a current ACO volunteer, email Janis Christie at

NOV 9-Dec 11

In Allen, we gave out 305 $15 gift cards to 247 households, benefitting 1,039 persons, along with clothing, shoes, and other personal items for 580 adopted children within those households.

You can make the holidays brighter for a child or teen through ACO’s Christmas Adoption Program by donating new clothes and shoes. Visit the Christmas Adoption Program link to complete an online Donor Adopt Form. Once you submit your online form, ACO staff will contact you to provide all the information you need to shop for a child/teen’s clothing needs. Your donations will help a child feel special and warm this Christmas!


NOV 12

On Sunday, November 12, Kids Against Hunger welcomed nearly 200 volunteers who served for over 400 hours and were able to package 19,324 domestic meals and 23,976 international meals. Volunteers of all ages assembled packages of highly nutritious vitamin-fortified meals for children in Honduras as well as “Latin rice” packages to feed local families served by food banks as well as those living in areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey. That’s a total of 43,300 meals.

Volunteer to serve when First United Methodist Church of Allen hosts a packaging event in the gym from 12:00pm-3:30 pm for Kids Against Hunger. Volunteers of all ages assemble packages of highly nutritious vitamin-fortified meals for children in Honduras as well as “Latin rice” packages to feed local families as well as those living in areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey. We need volunteers of all ages to help package. You can also donate money to help feed the hungry. A $10 donation feeds 40 children while $50 buys a box of food. For more information, contact Sharon Brian, or sign up to serve at

NOV 20-DEC 10

The men smoked 750 pounds of meat and raised close to $2,500 for college scholarships.

The United Methodist Men are smoking meat just in time for your Christmas celebrations. Choose from sausage, pork shoulder, chicken, and brisket. Request your items warm off the smoker or frozen. All proceeds benefit the UMM college scholarship fund. Place your order Sundays, November 26, December 3, and December 10 or purchase online at beginning November 20. Pickup is Sunday, December 17, from 8:00am-12:00pm. To learn more, email

NOV 24-DEC 10

ACO helped local volunteers distribute Toys for Tots, along with holiday and additional pantry food, to underserved families in Branch, which is east of Lucas. For pictures of our distribution at Branch, visit

NEW this year is ACO’s partnership with the Collin County TOYS FOR TOTS. Toys for Tots will be the main distributor of toys in our community, allowing ACO to concentrate on providing families in need with vital, basic services during the holidays, such as food and clothing for children ages 0-18. All toys that the Allen fire stations and ACO collect from the community will be passed on to Toys for Tots of Collin County and their distribution program.

A major event is the TOYS FOR TOTS DONATION DRIVE on Thursday, December 7, from 5:00pm-10:00pm, at the Allen Event Center. This event is in partnership with the Allen Event Center, Allen Community Outreach, Allen Economic Development Corporation, Allen Fairview Chamber of Commerce, Allen ISD, and the City of Allen. Members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will be onsite to collect the donations. For more information, visit You may also drop off new, unwrapped toys at all Allen fire stations from November 24 through December 10.

DEC 3, DEC 10, DEC 17

Only one person came upstairs to purchase an item from the Heifer Mission Market. In 2018, we’ll reconsider moving the market back downstairs.

Would you like to buy a gift for family or friends that helps to change the world? Consider shopping our Mission Market on Sundays, December 3, 10, and 17, 10:30-11:00am in Base Camp on the second floor at FUMC Allen. You can make a local impact by supporting the work of North Collin County Habitat for Humanity to put God’s love into action by building homes and communities. Or you can make a global impact by buying animals or making other donations to Heifer International, whose mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. We’ll have gift cards available to share your donation with loved ones.

NOV 26-DEC 17

We collected 130 Christmas bags filled with Christmas gifts for the children of Honduras, which is consistent with the last couple of years. The bags will probably be shipped out sometime in February 2018.

Pick up a Ziploc bag from a Christmas box at church entrances and fill with Christmas gifts for the children of Honduras. Return your full bag under the Christmas tree in the North hallway by the Playday office by Sunday, December 17. For more information, contact Tom Brian, 972.965.6534 or Marilyn Tucker, 214.734.4675.

NOV 26-DEC 31

We collected 94 blankets at FUMC Allen. These will be delivered by our friends from Custer Road UMC.

Help our neighbors in Mexico by giving the gift of a new or gently used blanket for Juntos Servimos (We Serve Together). For more than 10 years, this project has provided more than 100 blankets each year to give warmth on cold winter nights. Collection runs Sunday, November 26 until Sunday, December 31.  Juntos Servimos supports poor families by providing health care, education, and shelter to those served by the Casa Bugambilia community center in Matamoros, Mexico, as well as those living in nearby fishing villages. To learn more, visit or contact Margie Rozelle, 972.370.6542.

DEC 3-17

Help us adorn our sanctuary with poinsettias on Christmas Eve with a dedication in honor or memory of a loved one. Proceeds benefit Allen Community Outreach Food Pantry. Dedications taken December 3-17. Envelopes provided in pew backs and Sunday bulletins.

DEC 3-24

During the Advent season, bring a new 6″-18″ stuffed non-musical teddy bear with you to worship and leave it in the pew. Our congregation fills the bears with love during Advent worship. They’ll be shared with our sponsored school, Boyd Elementary, at a special pajama story time in the spring. We also need volunteers to help make pajamas for this special event. If you would like to help with or learn more about the Boyd pajama project, contact Mary Freeman, 972.727.8261, x311.