Local Organizations We Support
Westminster Presbyterian Church is a committed member of the community. When we partner with other ministries and organizations, we can bring humanitarian relief and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to thousands each month.
We support a wide variety of local non-profit and community organizations on a regular basis including:
Delaware Futures helps at-risk, economically disadvantaged youth develop the social, academic and problem-solving skills they need to qualify for college and expand their opportunities. Students begin in the program the summer after eighth grade. Volunteers are needed for mentoring, providing internships, assisting with service projects and outdoor activities.
Earth Care Congregation is a PC(USA) program to encourage being good stewards of God’s earth. To become certified as Earth Care Congregations, churches take the “Earth Care Pledge” and complete activities and projects in the fields of worship, education, facilities and outreach, renewing the pledge each year. WPC projects include the Clayton Street Community Garden and working with the Delaware Nature Society (www.delawarenaturesociety.org).
EastSide Charter School is a public school serving pre-kindergarten to eighth grade students, largely from low income families. It has a very strong, structured, in-school mentoring program in which WPC volunteers participate. It is also a recipient of WPC filled backpacks at the start of each school year.
As part of the larger Ministry of Caring, three EDR programs help to alleviate the immediate needs of some of Delaware's hungry homeless and working poor, including children. Nutritious meals are served to the guests with no cost and no questions asked. Every day of the year, breakfast and lunch are provided in a clean, cheerful dining room. Once a month WPC sends teams of four volunteers to both Emmanuel Dining Room East and West.
Family Promise is a partnership of congregations in New Castle County helping families facing homelessness. It is unique in that the homeless families are kept together as whole units. On a rotating schedule, churches provide “bedrooms” and meals for up to 14 people. During the day, the children attend school and the parents work with community resources to re-establish employment and/or housing. WPC hosts four times a year for one week at a time.
This organization is dedicated to helping transport our members and neighbors to hospital and doctor appointments. WPC members serve as volunteer schedulers and drivers.
The Food Bank of Delaware provides food for the hungry throughout Delaware and is headquartered in Newark, Delaware (14 Garfield Way, Delaware Industrial Park). It solicits, collects, purchases and stores food from farmers, manufacturers, brokers, wholesalers, retailers and others in the food industry and redistribute it to nonprofit agencies that provide free food to the hungry. WPC volunteers serve on the Board and assist in the warehouse.
Friendship House is a coalition of Christian churches and community organizations committed to making a difference in the lives of Delaware’s homeless men, women and children and those in transition. It offers a sanctuary for survival and a pathway from survival to self-sufficiency by providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, food, clothing, counseling, mentoring, a computer job readiness program, as well as men’s and women’s day centers. WPC provides funding and donations as well as volunteers to serve on the board and many, many other capacities. Volunteer opportunities for both group and individual activities include breakfast and evening supper providers, empowerment workshops, driving, child care, mentoring/tutoring, clothing collections and distribution, newsletters, computer mentoring, work days at transitional houses and A.A. ministry. WPC members are active on the Board of Trustees and frequently participate as officers. The Friendship House ministries include:
Burton & Daughtry Houses: These houses, located on Westminster property, shelter formerly homeless men who are in transition to independent living. Residents are mentored by WPC men.
Code Purple: Westminster, in partnership with Saints Andrew & Matthew Episcopal Church (SsAM), six other churches/schools and Friendship House, operates a sanctuary program activated each day that a “Code Purple” is declared (i.e., the temperature drops below 20?). Housed at SsAM, volunteers provide sandwiches, hot soup and beverages and fellowship to Wilmington homeless people seeking shelter from life-threatening cold during late afternoon and early evening hours.
Sunday Morning Breakfast at SsAM: On Saturday afternoon, volunteers prepare quiches for Sunday breakfast; the next morning, they serve breakfast to an average of 90 men, women and children from the homeless and low-income population of Wilmington.
Women’s Center: Every Monday morning, a moderate supply of coffee, tea, sugar, bread, peanut butter and jelly are delivered to the Women’s Shelter at SsAM. These “drops” are made by four groups of individuals who share in buying the food and making the delivery.
Epiphany House Dinners: Epiphany House, located nearby on North Union Street, provides both transitional housing for women who have successfully completed a residential recovery program or incarceration and case management to help them find employment and move into a long-term recovery program. WPC members have the opportunity to prepare and share dinner with the residents on the second Wednesday of each month.
Clothing Bank of Delaware: Gently used clothing is periodically collected from church members and donated for distribution to the less fortunate. Members are also encouraged to make individual contributions directly to the Clothing Bank located at 1603 Jessup Street. Many WPC members function as drivers delivering the clothing to 50+ agencies.
Andrew’s Place: Long-term housing program for elderly men
Corner House and Criswell House: Additional men’s transitional houses
Epiphany House, Jane Ashford House, Patterson House, Palmer Houses(2): Women’s transitional houses
Men & Women Day Centers
Newark Empowerment Center
Habitat for Humanity provides affordable housing for low-income families and individuals. Volunteers work with the future homeowners in constructing their houses. WPC volunteers help raise money through the annual June fundraising event (currently ‘Habitat in Motion’) and have done major framing projects on our front lawn.
This food closet at Hanover Presbyterian Church (18th and Jefferson Streets) serves needy folks in Wilmington. On the first Sunday of each month, WPC gathers non-perishable food items donated by our members and delivers them to the food closet.
Lutheran Community Services (LCS) operates the LCS Faith Center at Old Asbury Church. It is an organization created to help meet the emergency needs of the working poor by providing food, housing and other assistance. Assistance is given for back rent, security deposits, back mortgages, utilities, etc. Counseling is provided for financial literacy and nutrition. Those seeking assistance from WPC are often referred to LCS FAITH Center. WPC volunteers serve on the Board, interview applicants for assistance, help distribute food and provide financial counseling. Food pantries are operated at 12 locations including St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church.
West End Neighborhood House operates its “Life Lines” program in support of teenagers and young adults who have “aged out” of the Delaware foster care system. There are ample opportunities for individuals and/or couples to serve as mentors/confidants/role models to young people seeking to establish themselves as independent adults.
Meals On Wheels provides hot, nutritious meals to homebound senior citizens. Volunteer drivers pick up meals at the Absalom Jones Senior Center on Kiamensi Road and deliver them to members of the Wilmington community.
Meeting Ground operates three facilities (including Wayfarers House) for homeless people in nearby Maryland communities. It provides shelter, food, clothing, counseling and more. Meeting Ground hosts work groups all summer long. WPC provides funding as well as volunteers to serve on the Board, refurbish residences, plant the Clairvaux Farms garden and more.
A hot nutritious breakfast is served to an average of 200 men, women and children from Wilmington’s homeless and low-income population each Saturday morning. WPC funds the program, coordinates volunteers and provides many of the weekly volunteers.
Sojourners’ Place offers chronically homeless men and women safe housing and a full range of services to help them become independent. It is more than temporary shelter. Once accepted by Sojourners, a program of renewal is designed for the previously homeless resident. As long as the residents adhere to the program, work toward or in a job, save money through Sojourners, they can remain residents until they reach their goal of becoming totally independent. 80% of residents reach this goal. WPC provides funding as well as volunteers who provide hospitality on a regular basis.
Ulster Project is a program created to foster friendships between Protestants and Catholics from Northern Ireland and the United States. Local families have the opportunity to host a teenager (14-16 years old) from Northern Ireland for four weeks during the summer as part of the program.
The mission of UrbanPromise is to equip children and young adults with the skills necessary for spiritual growth, academic achievement, life management and Christian leadership, focused on Wilmington neighborhoods in the Northeast, EastSide, Hilltop and Southbridge. Volunteer opportunities include aiding after-school programs, summer camps, StreetLeader job training program, internships, the UrbanPromise School (Pre-K – 4th grade), the UrbanPromise Academy (high school) and in the office and elsewhere to support the UrbanPromise staff. WPC is one of the sites for the after-school programs. WPC volunteers work in many capacities including mentoring at our church, reading to students, minor maintenance projects, office support and providing filled backpacks at the beginning of each school year.
UrbanPromise College Retention Fund provides financial assistance for students who have progressed through the UrbanPromise mentoring and youth leadership programs and are now engaged in post-secondary education. The fund was created to help "bridge the gap between costs and other funding sources (scholarships, summer jobs, etc.)" and to help prevent forced interruptions of education because of inability to bear the cost. WPC contributes annually to this scholarship fund.
WPC members prepare and distribute at least 125 Christmas boxes filled with food and gifts to families, the elderly and the disabled in our community. The annual food collection and Christmas tree “star gifts” are part of this program.
This Westminster outreach program aids women graduating from homeless shelters as they move into independent living, either by themselves or with their children. We collect donated furniture and household items and provide them to clients referred by local agencies, help with the physical move, and occasionally provide financial support for security deposits. The items include everything a person needs in an apartment. A garage at the church stores these items between donation and delivery. WPC members and friends help to keep the garage full and also help with pickups and delivery.
An emerging ministry for Westminster, we seek to assist military personnel and their families through a variety of projects. Initial outreach includes “Snowman Soup,” a December project to provide cocoa ingredients to soldiers serving overseas, and “Partners in Care,” a joint effort with the DE National Guard to provide a range of support services to local families of soldiers being deployed and/or returning home.
Nearly every Wednesday morning, Westminster provides referrals to the LCS Food Pantry at neighboring St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church. Working with WPC staff member Susan Alexander, volunteers conduct qualification interviews with prospective clients and provide telephone referrals for those individuals and families who qualify for assistance.