We are NJ-based mission teams that have been working to build up communities locally and around the United States for almost 10 years! Our focus has been on helping individuals and families who are recovering from natural and human-caused disasters and the disaster of poverty. The mission teams are supported by the First Presbyterian Church, Washington, NJ in rural Warren County.
Below you'll find:
How We Started, our story
Our expanding mission, "Sent To Serve", our purpose
Current Mission Teams, how we currently serve
How We Fund Mission Work, past funding sources
Why GoFundMe?, why we are reaching out to you
How Your Donation Helps, where your donation will go
Donor Perks, we appreciate your help
Campaign Milestones, we'll celebrate campaign milestones
9 Years of Mission Trips, a timeline
Over 135 different individuals, ranging in age from 10 to 80+,
have participated in mission trip experiences over the past 10 years!
Thank you for your support! Please share this campaign with others who might be interested!
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Learn more about us below!
How We Started:
After Hurricane Katrina hit the southern part of the United States, church member and school psychologist Pauline Albrecht felt called to help. She traveled to Mississippi in November 2005 to provide counseling for those left in the wake of one of the costliest natural disasters in United States history. Upon arrival home, Pauline felt others would love to serve those in need if they were given the opportunity. She spent the next few months organizing First Presbyterian Church of Washington’s first mission team and they prepared to respond to the hurricane devastation in Gulfport, Mississippi.
The following summer, June 2006, 19 people traveled from NJ to Mississippi with the goal of cleaning up and repairing homes and running a Vacation Bible School for children still in the area. The trip was life-changing for each member. No one had any idea just how impactful the trip would be or what this mission effort would turn into during the following years.
Our expanding mission, “Sent To Serve”:
Every year since, not only has the size of the main mission team grown, but now multiple teams head out to rebuild homes, repaint a room, or install flooring, but also to share a message of hope and love with those people we encounter. We go because we are “Sent To Serve”. While we work with a variety of community-based organizations and disaster response groups, we are a Christian-based mission outreach who feel called to love and serve others, basing our response on Matthew 22: 36-39: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Current Mission Teams:
Adult & High School Mission Trips: Our longest running trip, a team of 20-30 people between the ages of 14 and 80+ travel outside of the local area to serve those in need. Typically, this team completes light and moderate home restoration tasks such as muck outs, mold removal, roofing, flooring, painting, and installing wheelchair ramps. These teams serve for 7-10 days and typically travel out of state.
Youth Mission Trip: After a time, our younger youth showed great enthusiasm to attend mission trips and to serve. Specialized trips were designed for youth ages 10 and up. While some experiences were local, such as spreading mulch or painting for a senior citizen in our own county, several trips included serving in urban areas of poverty in a soup kitchen or cleaning up homes devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Hope in the Hills of Warren: In 2010, HHW began as an ecumenical response to improve the living conditions of the elderly and low-income and disabled persons in the local community. In 2010, HHW sponsored two week-long mission experiences. Currently, HHW sponsor two Weekends of Hope per year, where volunteers perform yard clean-up, room painting, or small construction projects in the immediate community. Both labor and materials are free to qualifying households. Work is done by teams of teenagers and adults, representing many Christian denominations and different community organizations; our own mission teams and individual mission team members have participated in every HHW event since its inception. Over time, HHW has become a community extension of Warren County Habitat for Humanity and has garnered several local and state awards. First Presbyterian mission teams currently support our own team members as well as provide leadership through participation on the Steering Committee and in specialized roles as HHW Coordinator, HHW Materials Coordinator, HHW photographer, and HHW Site Advisor Coordinator.
Special Operations Task Force: While most of our trips are planned well in advance in response to a need, at times, needs in the community arise quickly and a rapid response is desperately required. When a community member is in need of help, this task force takes action to assist with yard clean-up, painting, porch repairs, barn roof renovation and more. We seek to meet the immediate needs of someone who cannot complete the repair himself/herself. Our labor is free and we often donate the cost of materials when necessary. This team membership varies based on the timing and the need; it is the most fluid of our mission teams and enables those volunteers to participate who can donate short periods of time while serving close to home. Special Operations work can last a day, a weekend or multiple weekends. One of our most meaningful task force activities was to respond to Hurricane Sandy and to make multiple trips to the Toms River/South Jersey area to muck out and renovate homes.
How We Fund Mission Work:
Most of our funding comes from sign-up donations made by mission team members, small fundraisers and the generosity of the local congregation of the First Presbyterian Church, Washington, NJ. We have received two small grants from the Presbytery of Newton as well as from PCUSA. Mission funds are used throughout the year for the mission trips and outreach mentioned above. All funds are maintained by the office staff of First Presbyterian Church and are subject to an annual audit.
Why We Seek YOUR Help Through GoFundMe:
We are proud to announce that 2015 will commemorate 10 years of trips! As our outreach expands, the number of individuals who participate, the number of homeowners we seek to assist and the number of mission experiences we coordinate continue to increase dramatically. The need for volunteers to serve and the rising cost of materials are outpacing our ability to raise the funds. Our funds are dwindling. We are seeking YOU, community partners, to stand alongside as we continue the work we are doing and the impact we are making in our New Jersey and around the country for those in need of hope and help.
Your donation will help us continue trips to communities such as these as well as our efforts to build up our own community locally!
Specifically, here is how your donations will help:
Donate on this site... Or mail a check!
If you prefer to donate by check rather than use this site's online payment system, send your check with a note that it is for the mission teams to 40 E. Church Street, Washington, NJ 07882.
Donor Perks (See reward levels at bottom of page)
Every donor will receive
-A thank you note with a personalized message from a mission team or special operations task force member
-A link to a full montage of mission trip and special operations photos at the end of our campaign in June 2015
-Your name, if provided, listed under GoFundMe donors in the church bulletin on the day of the mission luncheon in September 2015 and in the September 2015 edition of First Impressions, the church newsletter. No amounts will be listed.
A single donation of $50 will send a team member out to serve for a weekend locally. Donors at this level will receive:
-An additional personalized thank you message from the trip coordinators, Pauline Albrecht or Jolene Foley. Pauline or Jolene will include pictures and a description of her last mission experience in West Virginia.
A single donation of $450 or more will send a team member out to serve for a week out of state. Donors at this level will receive:
-An invitation for two to attend the 2015 Mission Sunday service and luncheon featuring stories from team members and a slide show. The donor will be seated with mission team members. The service and luncheon are held at the First Presbyterian Church in Washington, NJ in September 2015. Travel accommodations and other expenses are the responsibility of the donor. If donor cannot attend, we will provide a copy of the slideshow and offer a SKYPE discussion with the coordinator to the donor at an agreeable time in September/October 2015.
Mission Trip Timeline: 9 Years of Spreading Hope & Love
Mission Mississippi: Rebuild homes and run Vacation Bible School after Hurricane Katrina. 19 adults & teens for 10 days
Mission Appalachia: Repair homes and perform small construction projects in a poverty-stricken coal-mining community in Kentucky. 25 adults & teens on eight day trip.
Mission Rochester: Repair and paint homes in urban community. 25 adults & teens on a week-long trip.
Mission York: Assist local residents with small clean up and light construction projects in an urban community. 12 youth &adults on a week-long trip.
Mission Iowa: Assist in rebuilding Cedar Rapids area after devastating floods. 26 adults & teens for nine days.
Hope in the Hills of Warren: Working in our own community for a week, repairing and painting homes for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. 29 adults and teens served for a week.
Hope in the Hills of Warren: A second team of youth and adults served as well. They painted and landscaped for senior citizens. 20 youth and adults served for a week.
Mission DC: Serve those who live in shelters and are homeless. 16 youth and adults served for a week.
Hope in the Hills of Warren, Two Weekends of Hope: Completing home repairs for those in need in our community. 23 adults and teens served for one or both weekends.
Mission Nashville: Assist in rebuilding the Nashville area after devastating floods. 24 adults and teens for 8 days.
Hope in the Hills of Warren, Two Weekends of Hope: Completing home repairs for those in need in our community. 16 adults and teens served for one or both weekends.
Mission Irene: Assist in rebuilding the Endicott, NY area after devastating flooding from Hurricane Irene. 26 adult and teen volunteers served for a week.
Mission Washington: Assist local Eagle Scout project in cleaning up a historic cemetery which was overrun with weeds and debris from neglect and hurricane damage. 19 youth and adult volunteers served for a week.
Special Operations Task Force, Washington, NJ: Rebuilt a barn roof, installed fencing and cleaned yard for a local family. 18 adult and teen volunteers served for a weekend.
Special Operations Task Force, Toms River/South Jersey: Home clean out and repairs following Hurricane Sandy. 20 adult and teen volunteers served over the course of many weekends.
Hope in the Hills of Warren, Two Weekends of Hope: Come repairs for those in need in our community.20 adults and teens served for one or both weekends.
Mission Sandy, Toms River/South Jersey: Assist those affected by Hurricane Sandy with cleaning out and restoring homes. 17 youth and adults for a week.
Mission Sandy, Jamaica Queens, NY: Assist in rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. 21 adults & teens for a week.
Special Operations Task Force, Washington, NJ: Repair a porch. 9 adult volunteers over two weekends.
Hope in the Hills of Warren, Two Weekends of Hope: Completing home repairs for those in need in our community. 36 adults, youth, and teens served for one or both weekends.
Mission West Virginia: Serve those affected by poverty in Colcord, WV, a coal-mining region. 27 adult and teen volunteers served for eight days.
Special Operations Task Force, Dover area: Repairing a garage for a senior citizen. 2 adult volunteers for a day.
Special Operations Task Force, Colonia, NJ: Painting a home interior. 6 adult volunteers over several weekends.
Mission Myrtle Beach, SC: Painting, ice storm repairs, general home repair for seniors & those with low income. 45 people over two weeks.
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