Mission Moments: Assistance Ministry

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Assistance Ministry

On Sunday mornings throughout the summer, we're drawing attention to the various ways First Baptist Church of Decatur engages in mission both locally and globally. Most recently, we highlighted the FBCD Assistance Ministry (AM).

What they do

Kristen Koger sat down with Mai Cavalli, one of our dedicated Assistance Ministry volunteers, to ask about two main ways the AM helps those who come our way. Here is what they said:

Some of the people who come to our church might not have a lunch to eat for the day, so how do the folks in the Assistance Ministry help with that?

Each week we make sack lunches to hand out. We get donations from all of the Sunday School classes so we can prepare the lunches ahead of time. They typically include: a bottle of water, crackers, breakfast bars, a fruit cup, usually some pudding, and tuna or some kind of sausage. We usually make 40-50 sack lunches because it is the general number of people who come to our church who are hungry every week.

We hand them out during Assistance Ministry on Tuesday afternoons or when the clothing room is open on Wednesday mornings. Then during the rest of the week, if there are other sack lunches that are available, people who come to the welcome center can ask for a sack lunch. They just knock on the door and someone will open the door and give them a sack lunch.

One of the other things that Assistance Ministry does is help people get rides places. So what does that look like for someone who needs to go to the doctor or go to work? How do you help them find a ride?

So they come on Tuesday when we have the Assistance Ministry open. We usually have 5-10 people who will come asking for help with rides because they don’t have enough money, they may be homeless, and they might have doctor’s appointments to go to.

We usually have round-trip MARTA passes to give out, so if they can give us evidence that they do have a medical appointment, we’ll give them a round-trip MARTA pass so they can get to the doctor’s appointment and back home wherever they’re living. Unfortunately, some of them are homeless, so they don’t have a place to live. 

And then a really neat part of what we do for the other part of the Assistance Ministry, is that when people  have just received a job and they need a way to get to work until they get their first paycheck, we'll give them a 7-day MARTA pass so they can go back and forth to their new job until they get their first paycheck. And if that’s not enough, they can come back for a second 7-day MARTA pass so they can make it to their actual pay day.

How you can help

If you're interested in helping out with the Assistance Ministry at FBCD, there are a few things you can do:

1. Volunteer your time

First and foremost, if you're interested in helping out with the Assistance Ministry by volunteering your time, contact the Welcome Center at 404-373-1653 and we'll get you connected with Mai.

2. Donate items for sack lunches

Next time you're at the grocery store, consider picking up bottled water, fruit cups, pudding, breakfast bars, or crackers. Drop them off by the church's Welcome Center and mention that they're for sack lunches handed out by the Assistance Ministry.

3. Donate to the Benevolence Fund

During worship on the first Sunday of every month, we collect a special offering that directly benefits the Assistance Ministry. You can also donate online at any time, and under the category and funds menu, designate the gift for the "Benevolence Fund."

The Assistance Ministry is one of the many life-transforming ministries we have at First Baptist Church of Decatur. We are thankful for all of our volunteers and the lives they have touched!