Michigan – United Church of Christ
Contact: Bruce Roller, Executive Director or Shawn Keener, Program Director
1311 Chicago Drive SW
Wyoming, MI 49509
Phone: 616.241.4006 ext. 33 or ext. 23
Twitter: @UCOM_GR and @BruceRoller
UCOM provides material and educational assistance to meet basic needs, improve quality of life and promote self-sufficiency.
Project/Focus: Projects for Mission Groups are built around the interests and skills of the volunteer groups. Some typical projects performed by Mission Groups at UCOM incorporate work in one or more of the following areas and are needed on a regular basis: gardening/landscaping, repair, maintenance and painting of the building (inside and/or outside); tutoring elementary and middle school children; warehousing product; rotating inventory; personal shopping; bulk food repackaging; filing; data entry; sorting gently used clothing; artwork; photography; and many other operations and support activities.
Educational Components: UCOM’s executive director is an ordained minister and former adjunct professor for Samaritan College. He will work with group leaders to customize an education/worship experience that involves group leaders and volunteers to whatever extent they wish to be involved. Staff and supportive area clergy are a willing resource to these programs at UCOM. UCOM collaborates with more than 20 service agencies and 16 UCC congregations that are willing to showcase how this work fits into the wider justice picture in great Grand Rapids.
Time: UCOM can utilize groups during any season though summer months make for more diversity of activities. The trip should be scheduled with our program director at least one month prior to arrival time.
Minimum Age: 12 years
Adult to Youth Ratio: 1:7
Conditions: Depending on the size of the group. UCOM can provide on-site comfortable space for 20 people with sleeping bags provided groups don’t mind sleeping on floors. UCOM has four bathrooms and only two showers. Groups staying at UCOM will be asked to make a minimum donation $10 per person per night to help cover costs associated with the trip. UCOM can provide on-site communal meals for $5 per meal. In the event that your group chooses not to stay at UCOM our supporting churches are generally very generous both with “church sleeping spaces” and occasionally, individual congregants will take UCOM volunteers into their homes.
Project/Focus: MACC Development seeks the holistic revitalization of Detroit’s 48214 community. MACC Development focus its efforts in the area of youth education, housing and blight, and economic development.
Educational Components: The program is designed for team members to fully immerse in the community. Your team will be housed in the community and each morning team leaders are asked to lead morning reflection (MACC will provide materials). To help educated the team, there are 1 to 2 teaching sessions/panel discussing per day on topics like: discipleship, what the bible says about poverty, Detroit’s education system compared to Education where the mission team is from, street evangelism, and the history of Detroit.
Community Service Projects: There are a variety of community service opportunities including empty lot clean up, alley clean-up/clearing, canvassing (walking the community and knocking door to door to meet people, give out information for the church and nonprofit), home demolitions and renovations, field set setup and tear-down (youth soccer).
Group Size: Minimum of 10 and maximum of 40
Minimum Age: Summer before 6th Grade
Adult to Youth Ratio: 2 adult leaders to 10 high school/college and 3 adult leaders to 10 middle school youth.
Cost: $60 per person, per night
Accommodation: (room and board arrangement) One mission room is equipped with triple bunk beds, cots & air mattress. We have two large overflow rooms to accommodate additional participants. All breakfast and lunches will be purchased and prepared by mission teams after arrival. MACC Mission will provide them with money to do so. All supplies, i.e. plates, utensil etc., for those meals will be provided. Dinners for the teams will be cooked and served by families from the community. They will join the teams to share a meal and conversation.