Outreach & Missions

Ecuador 2018


 Most consider an “UMVIM team” to be a volunteer team of United Methodists that go to serve out-of-state or abroad for a short period of time.  However, an “UMVIM team” is so much more than that.  If you are an United Methodist and you are engaged in outreach as a member of an United Methodist Church, then you are an UMVIM volunteer. 


Habitat for Humanity


A century ago, one out of every five people lived in urban areas; now, for the first time in human history, more than half of us do. In these circumstances — and in many others brought about by various policies, laws and systems — one of the biggest obstacles to a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to live can be access to land for shelter in the first place.


Community Service Council


The true strength of the community of Woodbury takes many forms—from the vibrancy of our local businesses, to the commitment of our civic and faith organizations and the dedication of citizen volunteers in local government. The purest reflection of our community’s vitality can be found in the simple act of extending a helping hand and open heart to a neighbor in need. That act is the gift we bring to life every day through the work of the Community Services Council of Woodbury, Inc.


Operation Christmas Child


The Samaritan's Purse project Operation Christmas Child collects shoebox gifts—filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—and delivers them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.


Naugatuck Valley Project


 The Naugatuck Valley Project is a regional organization of religious congregations and labor, tenant and small business organizations organized in 1983 to save and create jobs, affordable housing, critical public and private services in the Valley, one of the oldest and poorest industrial areas in the nation. 

Operation Footlocker


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Mission to Ecuador a Journey of the Whole Church

By Rev. Paul Hibbard

Ecuador Mission Travel Team Member

Twelve individuals associated with the Woodbury (CT) UMC traveled to Ecuador May 2nd to 10th to minister with churches in El Prado and Atucucho. Twelve individuals got on a plane, but the whole church was there from the youngest to the oldest. In Ecuador the travel team helped provide health assessments for children and adults and provide some basic vitamins and medications to meet immediate needs, they helped with some renovations of a “stable-turned-school” in which a local Methodist Church provides after school programs, helped with some improvements at a church in a hillside barrio in Quito, and, perhaps most importantly, engaged in Christian fellowship with their new brothers and sisters of all ages.

But the whole church was there through their prayers, the medication, vitamins, and school supplies that they collected. The church was also there in the financial support they provided for the work of the travel team. This support came from all ages and especially meaningful were the ways some of the youngest members of the congregation responded to the call for support.

Several of the children set up an egg stand after worship on Sunday mornings and sold eggs from their own chickens. They later added maple syrup, maple butter, and handmade potholders to their “marketplace.” With a sign “Eggs for Ecuador” on their table this “eggselent” effort raised several hundred dollars for the team’s work.

When the call went out for the congregation to be in prayer for the travel team and the people of Ecuador it didn’t fall on deaf ears. Many people picked up prayer cards that were provided to give some direction for people’s prayers. There was one young man who had his own idea about how he might best be in prayer for the team. He went home and by the following Sunday after the initial call for prayer he had made a prayer booklet with some of his favorite prayers for each member of the travel team.

The church decided to travel to Ecuador after entering into a Covenant Relationship with missionary Sara Flores who has been ministering in Ecuador since 2011. Sara is serving in church development and community ministries with the Evangelical United Methodist Church of Ecuador. Sara and her husband, Dakin (a retired GBGM missionary), were instrumental in guiding the travel team in Ecuador and in encouraging local churches there in their ministry of sharing the good news of the Risen Christ.

Twelve people got on a plane, but an entire congregation was present and a part of what they hope is just the beginning of a growing relationship with the people of Ecuador.


Habitat For Humanity

 Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses, so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which every person can live and grow into. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Waterbury is a non-profit that builds and rehabilitates low-cost homes in partnership with very low-income families and with the support of people and organizations in the towns of Waterbury, Southbury, Oxford, Prospect, Woodbury, Watertown, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Oakville and Wolcott.  We are a growing affiliate that is part of a much larger international organization.  Worldwide, Habitat for Humanity is approaching 10 million families served since 1978.  5 million since 2010.  In the local Waterbury area,  we will have provided 7 families with permanent affordable housing solutions by the end of 2018.  Additional partner families are in the application stage for two more homes in 2019! 

In 2014, we completed a Thrivent Build and Repairs program  on Scott Road. We have also spruced up playgrounds, senior citizens’ homes, persons with challenging disabilities’ homes , installed wheelchair ramps, painted and cleared brush for countless families - all through our Brush of Kindness program.  All of these acts of love help us celebrate our first 10 years since a total reorganization in 2007. 

We accomplish these generous acts of love through a network of community partners. Working with our Bank Partners, Corporate supporters, faith based groups, local high schools and colleges, our all-volunteer led construction crew supervises hundreds of hard working volunteers to complete each Build!

We are giving a Hands Up, not a hand out! We empower families to build equity through homeownership versus being subject to rent!  Habitat children enjoy a safe comfortable living environment to excel in school and community!

Our HOST Team, homeowner support team, selects partner families that are looking to become homeowners, but cannot get there through normal means.  To qualify for a new home, these folks have to have income that falls within 30%-70% of average household income set by HUD guidelines, be willing to partner with our organization by providing 250 sweat equity hours and attend 50 hours of financial awareness and homeownership classes.   A 25 - 30-year interest free mortgage is paid by the homeowners to our affiliate.  We use these payments to support the construction of additional homes!  For a new build, over 150 volunteers will engage their services in work-days, typically two days per week, from  8a.m.- 3 p.m.

To qualify for A Brush of Kindness project, homeowners are picked by project need, ability to make a small monthly payment, interest free loan that is affordable, and willingness to partner with our affiliate.  Without this service, property values might decline or the properties may become inhabitable, leading to loss of the home.  Volunteers usually gather for a day or two to accomplish the task at hand.

We will continue to Celebrate our next 10 years with your support!  We can only accomplish this with your generosity!  Make your gift today!

To support the construction of our next three homes we will need to raise an additional $300,000.  Your support will help!  Please consider donating online by clicking here.


Community Services Council of Woodbury

The true strength of the community of Woodbury takes many forms—from the vibrancy of our local businesses, to the commitment of our civic and faith organizations and the dedication of citizen volunteers in local government. The purest reflection of our community’s vitality can be found in the simple act of extending a helping hand and open heart to a neighbor in need. That act is the gift we bring to life every day through the work of the Community Services Council of Woodbury, Inc.

Over the past three decades since its founding by the faith communities of Woodbury, the Community Services Council has become the catalyst and tangible expression of our community’s financial generosity and personal compassion for its most vulnerable members. Our goal is to provide the necessary bridge that enables our clients to preserve the well-being of their families and restore their financial security through access to food, fuel and crisis assistance.

Your generosity and the selfless dedication of our many volunteers have ensured that low-income households in our community will always have a place to turn for help in meeting their fundamental necessities. We provide families headed by parents working long hours to make ends meet with a critical safety net that allows them to give their children a good home and education. We offer senior citizens on fixed incomes the supplementary fuel assistance they need to cope with the rising cost of maintaining their homes. We reach out to neighbors who face illness, disability and personal tragedy, providing support to help them on the road to healing and recovery. We come to the aid of individuals and families who face the sudden loss of income from unemployment, extending short-term assistance that enables them to get back on their feet and return to the workforce.

The Community Services Council of Woodbury operates as an independent 501 (c) (3) nonprofit agency governed by a board of directors that includes clergy from participating faith communities, four elected officers, and representatives of the town government and community. The Council and its programs receive no public funding. Current officers are: Robert Taylor, president; Janice Scruggs, vice president; Donald Maclean, treasurer; and Ann Marie Galus, secretary.


Samaritan's Purse - Operation Christmas Child

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