ICCCC launches ICARE! (Interfaith Community Action REvitalization)
ICARE is a new program of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County (I4C) that creates opportunities for people of diverse religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions to work together to improve the lives of people in our county who are in need. By linking volunteers with projects across the county, we work together to provide resources such as food, shelter, supplies and other forms of support for people in our community. We do this by partnering with selected, local nonprofit organizations (see below the video).
To participate in ICARE, two of our faith communities are invited to co-sponsor a project using Sign Up Genius. Once a project has two co-sponsors, everyone from all faith communities can select a date and project to work on together.
Does your congregation have a food ministry of any kind? Food Bank? Feeding ministry? Participate in our World Harmony Week by helping. If you and your congregation aren’t ready yet, please join these training programs on Feb. 3rd and March 3rd.
Before volunteering, you’re encouraged to attend our online orientation workshop below. Please watch this updated video.
Join us in helping to measurably improve the lives of people in need in our community while building relationships and deepening your knowledge of people of other beliefs.
ICARE: Your Call to Action – Time to Serve Calendar
Here is an update on ICARE projects needing cosponsors and volunteers. For current projects and updates and to sign up to volunteer, go to this link:
ICARE is a program of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County (I4C) that creates opportunities for people of diverse religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions to work together to improve the lives of people in our county who are in need. By linking volunteers with projects across the county, we work together to provide resources such as food, shelter, supplies and other forms of support for people in our community. We do this by partnering with selected, local nonprofit organizations.
To participate in ICARE, two of our faith communities are invited to co-sponsor a project using Sign Up Genius. Once a project has two co-sponsors, everyone from all faith communities can select a date and project to work on together. Go to https://www.signupgenius.com/tabs/43073dc0fa2c8e5c42-icare for details.
Current ICARE Service Projects Needing Cosponsors or Volunteers
- Trinity Center Breakfast Bags donations.. Thanks to the Interfaith Women’s Circles for providing these!
- Monument Crisis Center Thanksgiving Fixings food donations. Thanks to the Walnut Creek Islamic Center and Unity Walnut Creek for providing these donations!
Future Projects Needing Volunteers:
January & February
- Opportunity Junction—There are two projects in January/February:
- Interviewing skills practice
- Informational interview fair
This project just received two congregational cosponsors, thanks to the diligent, committed and generous efforts of Dave Longhurst, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who sought out and found a cosponsor in Pat Black with St. Isadore Catholic Church in Danville. Volunteers are needed. Look at the opportunities on Sign Up Genius: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084ea5ab28abff2-operation
- Red Cross Blood Drive 2/13 cosponsors: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church.
- Contra Costa County Health, Housing and Homeless (CCCH3) Food Kits—This is a NEW project and we are looking for congregational cosponsors and volunteers and donations. Here’s a summary of the project:
- Total number of kits: 250 consisting of nonperishable food items and large plastic bags to hold items
- One or both congregational co-sponsors buy all items and then ask for donations to reimburse. ICARE will also have a “donate” button for reimbursement.
- Cosponsors can determine date of project but hoping for end of January/early February
- Given number of items and smaller number of final kits, suggest bulk purchase of items and designate a day for outdoor assembly: six long, double wide tables/assembly lines; 4 people opposite each other assembling items. Doing this in Jan/Feb could present weather issues, so other possibility is individuals assembling in homes but this could be more cumbersome.
- Habitat for Humanity coming in March—This is an exciting project involving the building of low and moderate income housing in Walnut Creek. We need two congregational cosponsors. Please go to Sign Up Genius and consider sponsoring this exciting and much needed project. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084ea5ab28abff2-habitat
Future projects you may wish to join:
- Monument Crisis Center 4/13/21 Mother’s Day/Women’s hygiene kits plus diapers/wipes and financial donations for food. Want to give to this project? If anyone donating via check, website, or text to MCC puts “ICARE Mom’s Day” in the comment or memo line we are happy to keep track.
- Trinity Center: waiting for details but will probably be a food drive.
Other Important News:
We are extremely grateful to Carolyn McKenzie who applied for and received a $10,000 grant for ICARE from the San Francisco Foundation! Thanks to this grant, we will be able to continue to employ Greg Kremenliev, who is doing some wonderful outreach work to let our members know about these wonderful opportunities to serve.
A message to our volunteers from Opportunity Junction:
Hello Volunteers!I wanted to say thank you again to everyone for your willingness to volunteer your time, effort, and talent.The Mock Interview event was truly an amazing opportunity for our interns to be prepared, gain the skills and confidence they need.Attached and below is the picture I took (my apologies for missing a few of the volunteers).Again, WE THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL THAT YOU DO AND FOR YOUR SUPPORT JAnnabelle Villanueva (she/her)Outreach and Volunteer CoordinatorPhone: 925.776.1133
Below is an example of an event we did in the past so you can see how ICARE works to bring us together in service.
However, they have current needs for these meals, so if we can get two congregations who are willing to cosponsor this project, we can open it up to all, Interfaith volunteers to do starting in September.
Download the flyer: Reimagine Mental Health Care InvitationFinal8.8.20
Trinity Center and St. Paul’s Commons are ICARE partners where Interfaith Service Teams are able to serve and help provide the needs of our friends who are living without shelter, or staying in St. Paul’s Commons. There is a need for Breakfast Packs now, even during COVID-19. Please consider if you, a team from your congregation or friends can join an ICARE team to help provide these meals safely.
Successful Pilot Project information from Aug. 16th.
We recently ran a pilot project creating 530 hygiene kits for people living without shelter in our county.
We included WeCare messages like these in the kits we sent, to share some encouragement to those receiving them.
ICARE NonProfit Partners
Our nonprofit partners will be offering service opportunities for the Interfaith teams that sign up. Please note that some won’t be available for in person volunteering until the health department precautions are lifted and project specifics may slightly change as the date approaches for planning the project. In general, here are our nonprofit partners, the clients they serve and their general project needs:
- Contra Costa County Health Services – They have asked for our support in donating personal hygiene kits for distribution throughout the county. This will be done as a pilot project and they have enough volunteers already. We will continue to offer this project as long as the need is there.
- ICHANGE: Interfaith Chaplaincy Affirming a New Generation of Excellence – We are working with Rev. Julius Van Hook, Interfaith Juvenile Chaplain at the Martinez Detention Facility and Orin Allen Boy’s Ranch in Byron to find new ways to support our county’s youth both while in detention and with after-care assistance and mentorship. As the needs and ways to support ICHANGE become better defined, we will provide updates here.*
- Mt. View Family Shelter (run by Shelter, Inc.) – This is a homeless shelter for families with children. We are seeking to meet their needs for meals and supplies to support families in transition to permanent housing. There may be ways for Interfaith teams to help collect needed items for the current participants, who have been there for the entire Shelter In Place. Once the SIP order is lifted, we will need teams to provide food every day, or your group can take a week to provide food. Check back for details as they develop.
- Trinity Center Walnut Creek – This is a well-established day shelter and advocacy for the homeless in Walnut Creek. We seek to support their needs in their mission. As the project date approaches, they will give details of their needs at that time.
- Monument Crisis Center – A well-known and established nonprofit, they have asked for support with food drives including helping with the distribution of food to those in need in our county, and perhaps helping them expand their operations into East County.
Go to Sign Up Genius to cosponsor or sign up fo ra project. Thank you for helping to improve the lives of people in need in our community while building relationships between our diverse communities of faith.
* (If you are interested in joining this team, the first meeting of ICHANGE is Wednesday, August 26th at 5:00 pm online. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)