Camp Quixote is a tent city that provides safe haven for people experiencing homelessness. The camp is a member run, democratic community that operates with the aid of a broad-based support committee known as the Panza group.
Camp Quixote was initially created to protest the new sidewalk law passed by the City of Olympia. As the street community watched their access to public space shrink, they gathered to organize and stake their claim to exist – openly and without shame.
Though the camp was born of a confrontation, its goal was full inclusion in the wider community. Moved by the courage -and the need- of the campers, the local Unitarian-Universalist Congregation stepped up and offered to host the camp. Since then, Camp Quixote has been hosted by The United Churches of Olympia, St. John’s Episcopal Church, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the First United Methodist Church.
Community Soup Kitchen
Contact: Barbara Mclean - 360-352-8659 or Bill Edmundson – 360-491-8964
Every second Tuesday of the month, a group of loyal United Church members, including some of our middle school youth, prepare and serve a hearty dinner meal for homeless and less privileged folk who visit the Salvation Army kitchen and dining facility at 5th and Plum Streets in downtown Olympia.
This outreach also involves other churches and groups and is conducted under the auspices of Catholic Community Services.
Costs for these dinners are financed through contributions from the United Churches’ congregation. Our diners are treated respectfully as our “guests” on these occasions, which provide a wonderful opportunity for service and for conversation with these folk.
For persons who would like to participate in preparing and serving these meals or to otherwise assist in this outreach, our sign-up chart is posted on the Mission, Peace and Justice Ministry bulletin board in the church, located in the hallway leading to the Fireside Room.top
Costa Rica Sister Church
Contact: Lee Johnson - 360-866-2972
In the mid-1980s, the Church was privileged to sponsor as an intern at the church a young Costa Rican, Fernando Cascante whose father at that time was pastor of a small church in San Jose, Costa Rica (the Capital city), Iglesia Divino Salvador (at Calle Blancos). Out of that initial contact, our two congregations came together in a sister church relationship. Over the years, members of each congregation have exchanged visits to the others’ church.
Members of our church have provided construction assistance as our sister church reconstructed and enlarged its original building. Through our financial assistance, our sister church was able to engage a full-time pastor thus contributing to its growth. Although not attributable to any particular factor, the relationship between our two congregations in recent years has grown dormant.
In 2012, Both those in our congregation who were involved in developing the relationship and other interested members will, in contact with our San Jose friends, be invited to explore the prospect for a renewed and revitalized relationship between our two churches.top
Food Bank Weekend
The first weekend of the month is staples are collected and donated to the Food Bank. Many of our members assist at the food bank in a variety of ways. Bringing food to supplement the Food Bank’s resources is always appreciated.
Online Donations Sought for CROP Hunger Walk
The 33rd Thurston County CROP Hunger Walk is Sunday, May 5. In each of these years, TUCO has been a leader and contributed greatly to the Walk’s success. TUCO raised nearly $7,200 last year. We are hoping to break $8,000 this year.
You can join the TUCO Team or donate on-line to a team member by clicking: TUCO Team.
We are pushing for online donations because every online dollar raised for our CROP Hunger Walk this year will be increased by the Feinstein Foundation (www.feinsteinfoundation.org ). The Feinstein Foundation will divide $1 million among hunger-fighting agencies that raise funds during March and April. So the more funds we raise by April 30, the more we’ll receive. Donating money with your credit card at this website is fast, easy, very secure, and every dollar counts even more!
CROP Hunger Walk funds supply emergency food and water in disaster areas, but more importantly, your donations can help people in impoverished areas become self-sufficient by promoting sustainable, organic agriculture; developing sources of clean water; clearing land mines; and providing farm animals, equipment, and seed. Twenty-five percent of the funds remain locally to help people within our community.
The Walk is 6.2 miles around Capital Lake. Activities begin at 12:30 and walkers leave the area between the Legislative Building and the Temple of Justice at 1:30. For more information about the Walk and route please see: www.oly-wa.us/interfaith/CropWalk.php.
Beginning Sunday, April 7 there will be a CROP Hunger Walk table in the Narthex to help with your registration, donation, and questions.top
Emergency Overflow Shelter
The Emergency Overflow Shelter provides refuge for homeless women and families with children from the first Friday night of November through the last Thursday night of March. The shelter opens its doors when space at other shelters is exhausted. People in need call the Emergency Shelter Network at 528-8999.
Interfaith Works recruits member faith communities to house and staff the emergency shelter for homeless women and families for two to four week shifts. IW provides mattresses and other bedding, bus passes as needed, and employs Emergency Shelter Network to screen and refer potential clients, and provides training for volunteer shelter staff. This program, begun in 1991, provides about 500 bednights per year.
- 3 committee members to oversee the recruiting scheduling of faith communities and to consult on special financial expenditures. Time commitment about 6 hours per year.
- One Shelter coordinator for each faith community.
- Two or more volunteer staff per night to host. (Training provided.)
Little Red Schoolhouse Project
Our church has supported this project and provided volunteers. In the year 2011. we served 3,100 students
with backpacks, school supplies, used clothing, dental supplies and underwear.
Contact: Karen Watts - 360-456-2526
Peace crafters meet at TUCO every Monday from 1- 3:30 pm in room #106. This group does jewelry making, knitting, and other crafts to be sold at various times of the year. One half of the proceeds go directly to the Pastor’s fund.top
Contact: Lee Johnson - 360-866-2972
Walk together, walk strong
SideWalk is a volunteer driven advocacy organization that aims to end homelessness through coordination of resources. We walk together, walk strong to find everyone a home. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities with SideWalk, such as assisting clients with applications for housing and other services, or becoming a client Advocate. For more information and a volunteer application, please e-mail Emma Margraf, Community Outreach Coordinator, email@example.com.
The Volunteer Connection
The volunteer connection is an on line coordinated effort to involve folks in the community.