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954.462.6200
401 SE 15th Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
MISSION PARTNERSHIPS
God calls us to serve one another. Engaging in service leads to a life changed, forever.

Missions

Who Can Participate: Adults of All Ages
Contact Person: mission@firstpres.cc  (954) 462-6200

About Mission Partnerships

As believers, we are called to make a positive difference in the world, through actively spreading the Lord’s words and love. At First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale, we partner with local and global organizations to meet the physical and spiritual needs of other communities. If you desire to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus by serving in mission, we would love for you to join us.

Thanksgiving Baskets
We began working on sorting, packing, distributing, and delivering baskets during the week of November 16th through November 21st. Due to COVID-19, we practiced social distancing and worked in groups of 20 on 3 different nights. On November 21st we distributed and delivered baskets to nearly 800 families this year. Many thanks to our generous congregation!

Habitat for Humanity
This year we built our 20th House in 2020! Through generous donors and our annual Bike-to-Build fundraiser, we were able to raise the $80,000 Habitat Sponsorship for our 20th House. This has been a dream of the church, the mission team, individuals, and volunteers ever since we became involved with Habitat Broward after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Even COVID-19 did not slow us down. As soon as Habitat sites re-opened to certain groups, First Pres was right there to work on our house and we finished with the help of our 20th First Pres homeowner, Ruthie Sufra. Our new challenge is to reach our 21st home as soon as possible!

Church United
In cooperation with our ministry partners at Village Growth working with Mt. Bethel Human Services (MBHS) we have completed a revisioning and restructuring process with MBHS which going forward will be called Prevention Central. The focus of the organization will now foster care prevention by walking alongside at-risk families. Some of the accomplishments of the last year include:

  • Completed a rightsizing of the organization and overhead – rent down from 8k/month to under 3k by reducing space and renegotiating lease.
  • Ended 1/3 of grants/programs that weren’t acutely focused on foster care prevention and had upside-down reimbursements.
  • Cleaned up all IRS payroll tax liabilities for 2017 and 2019 – in some cases paid them outright and in other cases structured long term settlements w/ IRS to keep monthly overhead manageable.
  • Engaged a CPA firm to manage all finances/accounting for nominal $2K monthly fee, so that the ministry is entirely out of the accounting business. Monies do not leave the Village Growth/Mt. Bethel account without approval from the Village Growth team.
  • Rebranded ministry as “Prevention Central” to support hyper focus on foster care prevention.
  • Refurnished the office with new workstations to build morale and culture around the vision going forward.

Angel Tree
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who bought Angel Tree gifts. We served 101 families and provided 252 kids with 504 gifts!  You are all amazing! Another huge THANK YOU to the volunteers who worked throughout the project, especially Wednesday and Friday evenings, and during the drive-thru on Saturday and Sunday. Your enthusiasm and friendliness made our guests feel welcomed and special in spite of the distancing required.

HOPE South Florida
Covid-19 Relief Update
March-September 2020

Our sincere thanks to our faith, community and business partners, donors, local restaurants and volunteers. Together, we have accomplished the following since March 2020:

  • 55,255 Hot meals provided to the homeless and local residents.
  • 5,902 Mobile showers provided.
  • 176 homeless veterans and families with children are receiving housing, case management and employment support services.
  • Partnered with the City of Hollywood to assist 105 eligible residents (households) with eviction prevention assistance.
  • Over $225,000 of IRS $1200.00 stimulus check claims submitted by CARES checks for the homeless team.
  • Tremendous in-kind support from our local places of worship.
  • Strong partnerships with local restaurants to help provide meals.
  • In-kind support from more than 75 individuals, community groups and local government.
  • Received financial support from faith partners, local and national foundations, United Way and local government.

Sister Robin’s Street Market
First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale has been supporting and partnering with Sister Robin’s Street Market since the end of March 2020.  Rev. Nic Merchant received a call from Robin Haines Merrill letting him know that she and a small team were gathering on the corner of Tarpon Drive several times a week to give free fresh vegetables and fruit to those in need with a drive-by market.  The original target community to assist was all the restaurant and entertainment workers from Las Olas who suddenly found themselves with no jobs or income. These were our neighbors who have never suffered from food insecurity. As Sister Robin continued to serve and develop community, she reached out to Nic to partner.  First Pres has been supporting Sister Robin by opening the use of our facilities and providing volunteer leadership throughout the summer, holding 2-3 Street Markets a week!  The church received a $5000 gift from the Entrata Connect Team to continue work in the community, for the Sister Robin’s Street Market.

In September, we were offered USDA Farms to Family food boxes from the Society of Saint Andrews.  As of November 15th together we have shared over 7,000 food boxes during weekly distribution to sister churches and community partnerships. Sister Robin’s Street Market and First Presbyterian Church have a commitment to continue this ministry through the end of 2020 and are looking for ways to grow and develop assisting our community in 2021 through Food and Faith.

SERVV Ministry
SERRV International endeavors to eradicate poverty by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers in 25 countries including the USA. The SERRV ministry at First Presbyterian Church raises funds for SERRV International through the sale of the farmers and artisan’s food and crafts.

In 2020, the FPC SERRV ministry generated over $700 through the support of congregation and staff.  In 2020, the FPC mission donated $1,500 to SERRV International.  These funds will help create recovery and employment for basket weavers in Uganda where domestic abuse has increased during quarantines, for handcrafters in Bangladesh whose suffering through COVID-19 was compounded with a cyclone on May 26th, and for young moms in Chicago who are exchanging poverty for opportunity as they make beautiful candles and for many others. 100% of the funds from FPC SERRV ministry are used for purchases and donations to SERRV International.  The 10 volunteers donated only one Sunday this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions and safety concerns. The SERRV ministry requires no additional funding from FPC. SERRV volunteers experience Christian fellowship while using their time to serve others.

Facemask Project
In addition to the Presbyterian Mission article, a few other notes about the Facemask project:

  • The Facemask Project gave out over 1,000 hours of community service to the church’s middle and high school students.
  • An individual in the community (not a church member) single handedly made over 440 masks, which were sent to all the seniors in our church.
  • Our first responders and medical workers thought these were one of their best gifts ever. At the time, PPE was scarce and people were reusing masks and gowns. Our masks made them feel so loved and appreciated. And for the people who worked on this project—it gave them purpose and allowed them to serve others which filled them up and gave them comfort during a scary and sad time.

The Craft Ministry
We have made over 2,530 pillows this year. We are still working, so we are still counting. We are happy because we beat last year’s count!

Quilt Ministry
The quilt ministry continued working from home throughout 2020, providing quilts for all the children baptized in the church.

Pillow Ministry
At the start of the pandemic, the pillow ministry transitioned to working from home, from which they have continued making pillows for local hospitals.

Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. ~ Matthew 16:15

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