Heritage partners with several local ministries that give our people opportunities to go out into their community and bring the love of Jesus Christ to those in need. We work with a variety of local missions including food pantries, migrant outreaches, the pregnancy center, fostering programs, and many more. For more detail please click on a tab below and look for more of these in the near future.
The Good Samaritan Mission (GSM) in Wimauma, Florida is a charitable, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), Christian ministry established in 1984. The Mission is dedicated to a holistic approach to enhancing the spiritual, emotional and physical quality of life for those living in poverty. We currently serve the community by offering a food pantry through our incentivized Adult Education Program, post-secondary scholarships, and Back to School and Christmas Outreach Events. Their primary clientele are migrant workers and their families living in the area. Reverend Bill Cruz and his wife Teresa are the missionaries we support who run this ministry.
GSM offers several weekly adult education programs as part of their Seeds of Change Program. At the end of class, each student receives a token to turn in at La Tiendita (The Little Store) for a grocery bag that may be filled with food and toiletries. Students may also choose to save their tokens for our Christmas Blessings Outreach event, share them with friends and family or keep them for a time of greater need. Classes vary every week but may include topics such as: Bible, cooking, nutrition, emergency preparedness, finance, health, occupational safety, parenting, sewing, ESL, GED, computer, and hair-cutting. We strive to offer classes that are relevant to the issues that our population faces. Several community agencies (for example, the Red Cross) are generous enough to present information to our students on a regular basis.
There is a tremendous need for fostering and adoption of local children who are in crisis. And with the spread of opioids and the addictions that are occurring because of it, fostering is really important at this time. Fostering is a way that we can help reunite a family by loving on the children who are caught up through no fault of their own. We work with a local mission, A Door of Hope, located in Pinellas Park, FL. They have a vision to find a home for every child in need and a mission to provide hope by helping to place them in Christian homes. They provide training and support for foster parents and mentors to provide stable environments and lasting relationships that are founded in faith. Heritage is a big supporter of their efforts and we encourage everyone to look into the opportunities that we have to help these precious children.
In addition to fostering, there is also a need for mentoring of foster kids and acting as a Guardian ad-Litem. Guardian ad-Litems are people that are advocates for the children as their cases go through the court system. They are there to protect the child’s interests and to help them understand the process that they and the parents must go through to be reunited. In the mentoring program, you are assigned a child already in a foster home to meet with them one to two hours a week to just spend time with them. This is an extremely important function because a lot of the kids have no adult they can talk to and feel valued.
UMCM Suncoast (United Methodist Cooperative Ministries/Suncoast, Inc.) in Largo, FL was incorporated in 1975 by the United Methodist Church to address the unmet needs of the local community in St. Petersburg. Now a charitable organization serving six counties in the Tampa Bay area, UMCM Suncoast works in collaboration with churches, non-profit organizations and service providers, faith-based organizations, governmental agencies, and volunteers from the community. UMCM Suncoast serves over 15,000 people in its six-county service area each year
UMCM seeks to meet the needs of the local community and make Christ’s love visible and tangible through service, education, and advocacy. Programs that address hunger, finances, rehabilitation, housing, and education are all provided with faithful attention. Literacy programs, early childhood education programs for children of immigrants, housing support services, supplemental food services and paths to citizenship are just some of what UMCM Suncoast offers.
New Life Solutions is a Christian ministry located in Largo, FL whose mission is to glorify God by defending the sanctity of life. Their ministry areas are: The Women’s Place Medical Clinic, a post-abortion support group, an abstinence advocacy program and a women’s health and birthing center. They offer pregnancy support, single mother housing, prenatal care and childbirth, prenatal loss help, and abstinence education. And once a year they sponsor the Walk for Life in Pinellas County, a fundraising event to benefit New Life Solutions and their ministry.
The CCO Food Pantry, located on South McMullen-Booth Road in Clearwater, FL, main function is to exhibit the love of the Lord, Jesus Christ, through the operation of a food pantry. CCO helps provide food and financial assistance for all those in East Clearwater and Safety Harbor that find themselves in unexpected crises that leave them unable to deal with everyday living expenses. The pantry is open Wednesday and Friday and is currently serving approximately 200 families per week. Heritage serves as a donation location for CCO and throughout the year we provide food and funding for this ministry. We also have two special food drives a year, one in the spring known as Souper Bowl soup collection and one at Thanksgiving. There are opportunities to serve. We purchase food each week so shoppers are needed. CCO needs people to help unload trucks, sort the food and help the people coming to get food get around the facility.
Clothes to Kids is based in Clearwater with a mission to provide new and quality used clothing free of charge to low-income, school-age children in Pinellas county. Clothes to Kids envisions a community in which every child has quality clothing so that he or she may attend school with the confidence needed to achieve academic success. They also have a facility in downtown St Petersburg. In 2017 Clothes to Kids provided 10,260 school wardrobes to kids in Pinellas County. Heritage serves as a donation location for new and gently used children’s and teen’ clothes.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County is a part of a global non-profit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Volunteers work on the build sites along side the Habitat for Humanity qualified homeowner to build or renovate their affordable housing. Once complete the home is sold to the homeowner at no profit or interest. The mortgage payments go into a revolving fund to build more homes. Habitat also has a Restore where people can come and get used items including appliances, furniture, doors, ceiling fans, flooring, plumbing fixtures and other building supplies as well as decorative items. They are always looking for volunteers to staff the store.
Located in Enterprise, FL, FLUMCH has been serving the children of Florida who are destitute with no family since 1908. Their vision is to be a place where “children are safe and loved; where youth are given the opportunity to be healthy, self-sufficient adults; where families become strong and where every person is treated as a unique creation of God.” Currently, FLUMCH services about 400 children and families through their various programs. They serve as a true home for about 100 children in their Residential Care Program and ser 25 students who have transitioned into adulthood in their Open Doors Independent Living Program. Their Open Hearts Foster care Program licenses foster homes and serves 180 foster children. Finally they serve the community through their Early Childhood Education Program. They now have two campuses, one in Enterprise, FL and one in Pinetta, FL that serves North Florida.
The Micronesian Mission in Dunedin, FL serves and supports local Micronesian families with a weekly worship service in Pohnpeian, their native language, and provide a religious education and weekly meals for children and teens. This mission has become a vital part of the life of the Micronesian community by facilitating worship and offering a place for fellowship and growth in Christ.