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Calling You to Serve with Your Interfaith Community

ICARE is a spiritually pragmatic, interfaith program of 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 faith communities co-sponsor a project using Sign Up Genius.  Once a project has two co-sponsors, those communities' members select a date to work on a project.  

To get a quick idea of what ICARE is all about and what it’s like to volunteer, check out this 3 minute video summarizing our work in 2023.  We hope you will join us!

ICARE - 2023 Annual Review

This video introduces ICARE and celebrates the many interfaith service projects completed in Contra Costa County in 2023.

Ongoing ICARE Projects

Back Pack Drive

Send a child to school this year with a new backpack filled with supplies!

This project benefits children who are without homes or from low-income families that are supported by Shelter Inc.  This nonprofit helps families without homes rebuild their lives and regain self-sufficiency by providing them housing and supporting them with education, employment, and counseling.

As a congregational cosponsor, here’s what’s involved:

  • Decide how many and which backpacks you wish to purchase.  

  • You and your congregational cosponsor will fill the backpacks with supplies. 

  • Shelter Inc provides a list of suggested contents, but co-sponsors are free to fill the backpack with their choice supplies – so get creative!

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The CORE (Coordinated, Outreach, Referral, & Engagement)

 

Outreach program consists of 20 Teams of two people each who go to individuals and families who are without homes to build relationships and trust. (From July through September 2023, teams outreached to 2,410 different people, including handing out 4,337 meal kits.) 

An important way they establish rapport is by giving them a small meal kit. Being able to provide this basic need to people helps build trust and eventually aids in being able to motivate people into shelter and or housing opportunities and other services.

 

Your support and participation are truly appreciated and needed. Here’s how you can help:

1.     Volunteer to assemble food kits.   

2.     Deliver food bags to CORE.

 

CORE’s teams could easily hand out 1,500 meal kits per month, but understand this is a stretch for most faith communities. In addition to this project, CORE would appreciate new food kits every quarter or every other month if we have enough interested cosponsors.

     

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 Food for Thought
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Work side-by-side with your new interfaith friends, packing and delivering food boxes to local public schools. (The schools then distribute the food boxes to select families of children attending their school.) 

This project supports the non-profit “Food for Thought,” which was organized by local residents at the request of the West Contra Costa Unified School District. School officials noticed that students from low-income families often struggled when they returned to school after the winter break because they were undernourished. 

Volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Packing food kits

  • Loading food boxes in trucks/vans

  • Bringing trucks and supplying drivers/helpers (who will deliver food baskets to schools)

Honoring Moms

On Mother's Day, we give hope to mothers who are struggling during this challenging time. In 2023, Beth Chaim Congregation, Pleasanton Islamic Center, Hillcrest Church and First Christian Church partnered to provide Monument Crisis Center and Crossroads Continuation High School with hygiene kits for women and their families. In the past, we’ve also conducted diaper drives.

 

Monument Crisis Center provides food, education, assistance and referrals to at-risk and low-income people in Contra Costa County.  Crossroads High School in Concord, serves pregnant and parenting teens and their children, providing an alternative academic program aimed at high school graduation and beyond. 

 

These kits provide basic personal care products and we hope words of encouragement. Items include: full size shampoo/conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, body lotion, deodorant, and razors plus a note of encouragement in a reusable bag.

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How to Use Sign Up Genius

This video gives a brief introduction on how to use our Sign Up Genius to find and select an ICARE Service Project.

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