Holiday Challenge 2018

Holiday Challenge 2018

Serving is an integral part of living as a follower of Jesus Christ. Our Holiday Challenge invites us to be the hands and heart of God in the world even when our folks around us are focused on self-indulgence.

Check out the information below to find the right opportunity for you to serve. The events are listed alphabetically, but dates range from October 21 to December 23.

We are a community that puts faith into action.

Allen Community Outreach

Donations through November 13
Sorting & Bagging November 14-16
During the holiday months, the need for emergency assistance to families tends to increase. Thanks to donations and volunteer time, ACO provides more than 1,100 Holiday bags of groceries for family holiday meals to fight hunger during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The 2018 Holiday Food list can be found at

Join us November 14-16 if you can help with sorting and bagging food, or if you would like to donate food items, they will be accepted at ACO through November 13. If you are interested in volunteer, current ACO volunteers can contact Janis Christie to sign up. New volunteers should complete an Online Volunteer Application at

Through December 15

ACO has opened the donor/adopter application process for their Holiday Program! Simply go to and look under the menus Get Involved and Ways to Give to complete the short application. ACO will match you with the next child or teen needing support. Due to the size of the program, they are unable to accommodate specific adoption requests.

You will be contacted to pick up your donor packet at the ACO office, which will include program information and the adoptee’s clothing and shoe sizes on a labeled bag into which you will place your gifts. Please provide new clothing items, such as shirts, sweaters, pants, coats, and shoes. ACO’s goal is to have all adoptions arranged before Thanksgiving Day. The earlier you sign up, the earlier they can get your adoptee info to you.

The one day drop off for all gift bags is 10:00am-6:00pm on Saturday, December 15, at our church. All gifts must be received on that day in order for adoptees to receive them on distribution day.

If you have any questions, please contact Jayme Gowins. For many, the opportunity to receive something new is rare. Thank you for working with us in providing for important needs – and spreading holiday cheer this year.

Bears for Boyd
December 2-23 2018

During the Advent season, our church collects teddy bears for the children at Boyd Elementary. Please bring a new 6”-18” non-musical teddy bear with you to worship on Sunday and leave the bear in the pew where you sit. If you find a bear already in your spot, take a moment to give it a hug and say a prayer for the recipient.

These bears will be distributed to the students at Boyd Elementary later in the school year at Boyd’s annual Bedtime at Boyd event. If you would like more information about Bedtime at Boyd or would like to help with the event, please contact Mary Freeman.

November 16-19

The Gulf Coast area impacted by Hurricane Harvey is one of our mission focuses for the next two years. We’re headed back to the Gulf Coast on November 16 to keep rebuilding with Ed Whipple leading the trip. Our workers will return to Allen on November 19.

As we establish real and lasting relationships with this community, we will be able to see things to which we might otherwise be blind. We’ll experience what it is really like for an entire community to recover from a devastating storm. We can witness justice issues that lie under the surface. But we’ll have a way of influencing the impact of a storm and the pace of recovery. Finally, our trips serve as avenues for deeper partnership between people, churches, and communities.

We’ll have work to be done for all ages and skill levels:

  • Roofing
  • Tape-and-bedding
  • Flooring
  • Painting
  • Clean-up

We’ll be better able to define the exact work we will be doing as we get closer to the trip and know what other groups have been able to accomplish.

All participants must submit a Release of Liability form and a Medical Emergency Information form. You will also need to complete MinistrySafe training and a background check.

The exact cost of the trip is still pending as we wait to hear the fee for lodging, supply cost, and food expenses, but we expect that the trip will be no more than $100.

To register, please contact Rev. Jessica Wright. Your completed paperwork and a deposit of $25 will hold your spot.

Habitat for Humanity
November 3, December 1, and December 15

Once again, we have partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Collin County and other local United Methodist churches to build a home for a deserving family. The 2018 Methodist build in Collin County is already underway as we build for Ede Tutt’s family in McKinney! If you are interested in helping, but are unable to perform construction tasks, consider feeding the crew on a build day. A good meal goes a long way!

Build schedules are tentative due to weather, inspection, and delivery delays, so tasks may change. For more information about our build days, contact our Build Chair, Michael Anderson.

Hearts for Hope dinner
For The Hosacks in Honduras
December 2 2018

Steven and Lauren Hosack, our homegrown missionaries from FUMC Allen, serve as volunteer directors of the House of Hope in Honduras. The House of Hope, a children’s home in Puerto Lempira, houses partially disabled children while they continue their education at the School of Hope as well as malnourished babies and their families. While the number of residents varies as babies are able to return to their home villages, approximately 35-45 people live in the House of Hope.

The Hosacks are responsible for raising their own operating funds. This year’s goal is $50,000 to cover food, insurance, travel, and other living expenses. With their birth of their daughter, the Hosacks have outgrown their 9′ x 12′ living space. They have purchased land and are in the process of building a home. They only need $30,000 to complete it.

We will host the second annual Hearts for Hope dinner to help support the Hosacks as they serve. This sit-down dinner is catered by Fed by Faith. Tickets are $25 in advance ($300 for a table of 8) or $30 at the door. You can buy your tickets online HERE or on Sunday mornings, November 11-25.

Helpers in Schools (H.I.S.)
Boyd Elementary Holiday Shop
December 2

Help our Boyd students make the holidays special for their families by donating gifts to the Holiday Shop. Boyd students are able to earn shopping tickets; students are then taken through the store to shop for their parent or another adult, each student is able to attend the store 3 times. Last year we were able to provide over 2,000 wrapped gifts. We are asking for donations of new or gently used gifts suitable for our children to give their parents or another adult family member.

Possible donations:

  • Women: lotions, purses, perfume, makeup, scarfs, gloves, picture frames, books, and jewelry
  • Men: books, watches, ties, gloves, scarfs, office trinkets, keychains, tools, etc.
    Household – pictures, knick-knacks, towels, and small kitchen items (no sharp objects please)
  • Shop supplies: tissue paper, tape, small boxes, generic gift bags, gift tags, bows, wrapping paper

We do not accept clothing or toys for the Holiday Shop.

If you have questions, you can contact our H.I.S. coordinator, Trish Morehead.

Kids Against Hunger
November 11

We will assemble packages of highly nutritious vitamin-fortified meals that will be sent to children in Honduras as well as “Latin rice” packages that will feed folks locally as well as in areas impacted by hurricanes or other disasters. We need volunteers of all ages to help package.

Or you can make a donation 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 HERE.

Packing Food for Kids Against Hunger
Military Support Group
Stockings for Soldiers
October 21-November 11

Volunteers collect items for our annual Stockings for Soldiers campaign and on Sunday, November 11, at 12:00pm, they will be assembled and packaged in our gym. We also welcome Christmas cards for our military members created by our children. We can send stockings to your military loved one if you provide the name and address by November 8. For more information, visit our event page here. Contact project coordinator Debbie Wilson.

Send Hope
Children’s Christmas Gifts
December 2-23

Founded by church member Dr. Tom Brian to serve the people of the Moskito Coast of Honduras, Send Hope built the House of Hope which is home to partially disabled, abused, neglected, and/or malnourished children. We need your help to shop for Christmas presents for the children served by Send Hope. Pick up a Ziploc bag from a Christmas box at church entrances and fill with the Christmas gifts suggested. Return your full bag under the Christmas tree by the Playday office by Sunday, December 23.

For more information contact Tom Brian or Marilyn Tucker.

Thanksgiving Day Meal
November 22

On Thanksgiving Day, we prepare more than 1,000 packaged meals, which are delivered to Collin County Meals on Wheels clients by area law enforcement officers. Register HERE to sign up and indicate your plans to prepare mashed potatoes, dressing, pie, and/or cranberry sauce and help cook and carve turkeys.

We need more than 100 volunteers of all ages to package meals, work in the kitchen, or hand off meals to officers for delivery to the MOW client’s homes.

Register HERE to bring food and/or volunteer on Thanksgiving Day, November 22. You can also visit our table in the labyrinth on Sundays, November 4, 11, and 18. Questions? Contact Teresa Gray.