Posted by Nicole Flothe. Posted In : Project Outreach News
The happy boy in our feature photo has just been given a bike–one of the unexpected perks for ten lucky children who attended the Back to School Bash sponsored by Project Outreach and Life Christian Church on the afternoon of August 10.
The Bash definitely accomplished what it set out to do–help struggling families deal with the ever rising costs of sending their children “back to school.” But what started out as a simple vision for backpacks filled with supplies grew into a first time community event that, everyone agreed, was a smashing success.
Nearly 300 children received backpacks filled with school supplies, and all the children who wanted new haircuts walked away with “brand new looks.”
Not only that, but the Bash, held at the Project Outreach Warehouse, was a sort of mini-festival for the afternoon. Two colorful bounce houses, courtesy of Neydy’s Party Rentals, offered ongoing entertainment for children who jumped continuously despite the blistering heat. There was dance music, and people weren’t afraid to dance a little bit every now and then, apparently oblivious to the relentless August sun.
There were even free hot dog lunches, donated to the event by the Harry Chapin Food Bank.
Bikes for Tykes donated ten bicycles to the event, which were given away in raffles throughout the day. The organization’s mobile repair truck was at the site to fix up old bikes for free. Bikes for Tykes President Steve Sherman was also the event’s disc jockey (and, if you want to know, the one who cooked the dogs).
Home Depot provided crafts for kids to work on as well as complementary work aprons. The crafts were a big hit with the children, as were the free aprons.
Project Outreach and Life Christian Church had around 100 volunteers for the event, including many hair stylists who provided kids who wanted them with complementary haircuts–just in time for starting back to school. First impressions are important, even–and perhaps especially–in the social world of children at school.
At the end of the day, this is what Director Julie Thomas had to say to the volunteers, which had been organized primarily through the Facebook Project Outreach group, “I am completely OVERWHELMED with the events of this day. So many people to thank. I won’t even try. There were miracles happening all over the place. The love, kindness and compassion of all our volunteers blew me away! Everyone went above and beyond, with unbelievable attitudes to make our kids look great and feel great. People helping People. The hair stylists were even giving haircuts to some of the volunteers. I lost count how many people came up and thanked me for the backpacks, school supplies and haircuts and others thanked me for allowing them to take part in volunteering for this event. It was so HOT out and no one complained. What a cool circle of love. This is how Project Outreach rolls. You ALL are Remarkable Human Beings. I’m thinking God was pretty proud of our Peeps today!”
Interested in joining the Project Outreach network on Facebook? Visit www.facebook.com/group/projectoutreachnaples
Naples Noteworthy picked Julie Thomas, Director of Project Outreach, as the second feature for our July launch issue, and Thomas is also our pick for the Best New Leader in Naples, Florida.
We picked Thomas because of her work in Project Outreach, an organization that is quickly becoming the central hub for matching physical donations with needs in the Naples community. This is an organization you need to know about, if you don’t already. What it’s doing in Collier County is nothing short of astonishing.
It’s heartwarming and encouraging to see the good people can do when they come together.
Project Outreach is a live, ongoing demonstration of people ready and willing to lend a helping hand, fueled by the powerful networks of today’s social media. But it’s more than that. The organization simply has a special anointing on it to bring help–and hope–to people in our community in a way that defies explanation.
Something divinely peculiar is going on.
Here’s how it works. A need is voiced at the network, which is the Project Outreach Group on Facebook.click here to join
For instance, someone may need a refrigerator, or a new bed. Maybe a family needs help because a parent is terminally ill and they need people to step in and help provide meals and other assistance for the family. In one case, a family lost everything in a fire. In another case, a man’s wife died at childbirth, leaving him to care for the newborn baby.
Usually within hours the need is met.
Naples Noteworthy asked how that was possible.
“It’s God,” Thomas explained. “Nothing else could account for how quickly these needs are being met or how fast this network has grown. From the very beginning, God’s hand has been on this.”
Angie Meister, the daughter of Julie Thomas, is the founder of Project Outreach. She knew she wanted to do something to help those in need in the Naples community. The family rallied around Angie and embraced the idea, taking it from a grassroots organization to where it is today.
Project Outreach initially focused on doing events in the community to teach others the selfless sense of serving. For instance, every year, they invite volunteers to the Immokalee Friendship House for Thanksgiving to help clean the house and make and serve dinner. Volunteers who join the network learn what it feels like to serve selflessly helping others.
The Facebook Group has been a key element for communication and rallying support. It’s how Project Outreach has been able to find out about people in need and organize a response to help them. As one need after another began to be met, people started stepping up with donations–beds, furniture, refrigerators–and that’s when a warehouse in which to store items became necessary.
Once again, people stepped in to help. The Hardy family, which owns TollGate Commerce Center, heard about what Project Outreach was doing and generously donated the air-conditioned warehouse space.
The warehouse began to fill up with items even as more needs began to be voiced on the Facebook Group. At the same time, the network was, and is, growing–now 1188 members and counting. Even as we write this article, we keep having to change the number!
Being able to meet physical needs is important in any ministry. The passage that comes to mind here is James 2:15-17: “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Naples Noteworthy believes God has anointed Project Outreach to meet physical needs so that it can accomplish even greater things in the spiritual realms.
Project Outreach begins and ends its days at the warehouse in prayer, and there are people solely devoted to praying for the Facebook group, asking that whatever needs arise may be met.
Thomas, who has been counseling people for the past twenty years, continues to do so at the warehouse, finding that her counseling ministry integrates seamlessly with Project Outreach. She also offers prayer to those willing to accept it.
Thomas knows that she’s running a ministry of hope. “You can see the transformation in the people we serve,” she explains. “In the worst cases, such as women who have suffered domestic violence and are looking to start a new life, they often seem hopeless when we first meet them. After we’ve ministered to them with tangible, physical aid and loved them a little, you can see the change. You can actually see the hope in their eyes. They come alive again.”
How can you get involved?
Project Outreach really needs a few “muscle men” with trucks who can help pick up and sometimes deliver items that people want to donate but have no means of transporting.
Donations from people in the community are another reason Project Outreach is succeeding. It’s people like you, stepping up to donate items like clothing, books, toys, furniture, beds, refrigerators, appliances, dishes, etc. These are then stored in the warehouse.
You can help by donating items in good condition to Project Outreach. Right now they especially need backpacks and school supplies for the Back to School Bash, which will be held at Life Christian Church on August 10 from 2-5 pm.read more
They also are in need of twin beds, dressers, toys, baby items, children’s clothes, tables and chairs, all in good condition. You can help by donating these items to the Project Center Warehouse, which is located near the Cracker Barrel at:
Toll Gate Commercial Center3845 Beck Blvd #806Naples, FL 34114Phone: 239-770-6787
The Warehouse is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 11am – 2pm.
You can also make monetary donations to Project Outreach at their website at www.projectoutreachnaples.com.
We need your Help! Project Outreach will be hosting a Back to School Bash in August! The Bash will be held at:
August 10th, 2pm-5pmWe are offering FREE haircuts, backpacks and school supplies to the Naples community.We are requesting 375 backpacks and School supplies to fill 500 backpacks.
If you are on Facebook please check out our Back to School Bash Event!You can also drop off backpacks and supplies at our Warehouse that is located near the Cracker Barrel:Toll Gate Commercial Center3845 Beck Blvd. #806Naples, Fl 34114Phone: 239-770-6787Thank you to Neydy's party rentals who is donating a bounce house for the event! If you are a business who wants to make a donation please message us. Thank you for giving back to the community!Volunteer Work
If you're interested in volunteering please visit our warehouse location or send us an email!Ways to help
*Make a donation on our website
*Drop off donations to warehouse
*Pray for us and the community
There have been so many more blessings and we are thankful for each and everyone! Please consider donating to our organization to help serve the hurting right in your own community. Thank you all for your continued support!
Please join us on Facebook athttp://on.fb.me/ProjectOutreach to see pictures and hear about the many families and projects we are working with.
WINK News - Homegrown nonprofit reaches out to SWFL neighbors in need!
NAPLES, Fla. - Project Outreach started at the end of 2009, and right now, the Naples-based non-profit has more than 1,000 followers on Facebook and anywhere between 15-60 volunteers at its various charity events.
According to Project Outreach's officers, their goal is to provide awareness on the needs of the community and teach youth the selflessness of serving. The nonprofit helps local families get the help they need, serves Thanksgiving dinners at the Immokalee Friendship House, visits nursing homes at Christmas time, and sends donations of medical supplies to orphanages and clinics in Haiti.
All these service projects are done without any paid employees and strictly with volunteer time.
Right now, Project Outreach is accepting items like cribs, high chairs, baby clothes, furniture.
- See more at: http://www.winknews.com/Local-Florida/2014-05-13/Homegrown-nonprofit-reaches-out-to-SWFL-neighbors-in-need#sthash.nu6E6dtY.dpuf
If you're interested in volunteering please visit our warehouse location or send us an email!
Ways to help
Posted by Project Outreach Team.
Upcoming Event –April 12th Cookout in Immokalee in front of Friendship House at 12:00pm
Will need volunteers to help with feeding the needy in Immokalee and passing out care packages.
Food drive for the event:
Peanut butter, Cereal, Pasta, Spam, Crackers, Bottle Water, Bread, Non perishable items
Ways to help
Posted by Project Outreach Team. Posted In : Warehouse News