We believe that faith is lived out in caring for all of God's children, especially those who are in need and marginalized.
Ashton UMC operates a food pantry, giving away bags of groceries to families in need. In 2016, we gave away almost 600 bags of food! By partnering with Manna through the Smart Sacks program, we also help to ensure that 30 children at a local elementary school have food at home over the weekend, when they don't receive free school meals. On months with a 5th Saturday, volunteers from Ashton serve a meal at The Lord's Table in Gaithersburg.
Each fall, we provide bookbags and school supplies to families who can't afford to purchase them- we gave away 88 loaded backpacks in 2016. In December, we work with local schools and hospice to adopt families in need, providing Christmas gifts and meals (for 68 people in 2016). In spring, volunteers from Ashton participate in a local Rebuilding Together project. In 2017, volunteers will also be heading to New Orleans for a build! Every summer, children and youth participate in a weeklong mission camp, during which they volunteer with local agencies such as Nourish Now, Interfaith Works, Central Union Mission, CALMRA, etc.
The AUMC missions teams also designates funds towards organizations which we believe are caring for the least of these. 2017 donations include: United Methodist Committee on Relief (designated for refugee aid), Flint Child Health and Development Fund, Olney Help, Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, CALMRA, and Our House.