Northside Mission Ministry
Sign up to help at the food pantry
Second has numerous mission and outreach programs that serve the Indianapolis community.
Northside Mission Ministry
Northside Food Pantry is open to Washington Township residents on the following days:
- Tuesdays, 12:30-3 p.m.
- Wednesdays, 4-6:30 p.m.
- Saturdays, 10 a.m.-Noon
Northside Ministry cares for the poor and those experiencing hardship in Washington Township by building relationships to develop food security, to work toward economic stability, and to participate fully in the life of the community.
Check out this profile of Northside Mission Ministries in Responsive Congregations, a publication of the Project on Religion and Urban Culture 2.0, a joint initiative of the Polis Center and IU School of Liberal Arts. You'll see how the Holy Spirit has moved within our congregation to shape this vital ministry "To create transformational change in the place that Second Church has called home for nearly two centuries, among people who—members or not—belong to its community."
Northside Food Pantry
Located on the northeast corner of the church, the food pantry is a tangible witness to our church in action.
Recently, as the need has increased, our pantry has responded with stocked shelves and no-contact service. Before each shift begins, a long line of cars winds through the church parking lot. Volunteers gather family information through car windows, fill bags of groceries, and then load them into the back of waiting vehicles.
If you are able to help at the pantry, please sign up online. We are limited to 12 volunteers per shift, so we are managing our volunteers closely with SignUpGenius. In addition to food pantry hours, volunteers are needed to unload deliveries and stock shelves.
Northside Food Pantry sources most of its food through Gleaners. If you would like to help keep the pantry shelves stocked, you can donate online and select "Northside Food Pantry" in the drop-down menu.
For more information or to volunteer, contact Lisa Enright.
Pantry Volunteer Opportunities
We encourage you to consider all volunteer opportunities described below and then sign up online.
Client Intake - Working outside, you interact with the client at their vehicle to gather information, so volunteers can shop for their needs. This position requires some training.
Client Liason - This job involves shopping for clients off their shopping lists. Plan to be on your feet 3-4 hours. You will receive on the job training during your first shift.
Data Entry - This job requires special training and is a sit-down job. It involves the use of a computer and the ability to multi-task. If you are interested in this position, please reach out to Lisa Enright to set up training.
Car Loader - This is an outside job where you take the groceries gathered and place them into the client's vehicle with little to no contact.
Food Delivery Processing - This job involves unpacking, sorting and storing food from our various vendors. Food delivery takes place when the pantry is closed to the public. This is a behind-the-scenes job with no food pantry client interaction. You will receive on-the-job training.
Nora Off Loading - This sign up entails helping process our Nora donations. You will weigh, sort, and put away donations. You will receive on the job training.
The three-quarter acre plot south of the church provides fresh vegetables to the Northside Food Pantry. Dedicated volunteers tend the garden, which is not only productive, but also beautiful, featuring flower beds, a seating area, and a prayer garden.
Greenbriar Elementary School
Northside works collaboratively with Women@Second and other friends of Greenbriar to provide volunteer support for classrooms and school events, snacks for after-school tutoring, teacher appreciation events, and the donation of school supplies and other specially requested items.
Greenbriar students need school supplies throughout the year. Download the supply list (link: https://www.secondchurch.org/attachments/greenbriar school supply list.pdf) and bring donations to Second in a bag marked “Greenbriar.”
Utility and Rent Assistance
The Utility and Rent Assistance Program (URAP) partners with the Fay Bicard Glick Community Center and the Washington Township Trustee Office to offer emergency financial intervention. In these “gap” situations, a little assistance goes a long way, often preventing a family from losing their housing or having their power shut off. Our partners provide vital case management with URAP families to ensure long term stability.
As in years past, our mission work supporting local Washington Township students goes on! Working with other congregations, our Deacons continue this tradition and provided much needed supplies for middle school students this fall.
Your financial support is also appreciated. You can make a donation online. Any donation amount makes a difference!
Would you like to do more? Adopt a classroom!
A new way to support our partners at Greenbriar Elementary (our Northside mission partner in Washington Township) is to fund all needed supplies for an entire classroom, for the whole school year. Prayerfully consider teaming up with friends, neighbors, or your small group to donate $1,000 (select "Adopt a Classroom" from the drop down menu) to fully equip a classroom of students this school year.
New Local Partnerships
in Washington Township
The Task Force on Local Partnership Ministries was established to consider new opportunities for mission work in our local community, Washington Township, and to consider ways to adapt existing mission projects so that they focus more directly on our local community. In his Eight Strategies for Church Growth, Rev. Chris Henry encourages us to, “Develop relational ministries that nurture broad connection and deep community.” More specifically, the goals for the church for 2019-20 include the following:
Second Presbyterian Church will take meaningful steps to form, nurture, deepen, and expand partnerships in the city of Indianapolis that offer hope and concrete support to those in deepest need. Embracing the call of Matthew 25:31-46, we will put faith into action on behalf of the “least of these who are members of (Christ’s) family.” We will review our own practices and processes; evaluate the sustainability and impact of partnerships in an effort to be faithful stewards of resources offered to us; and explore new opportunities to be in relationship with the diverse community in which God has placed us.
The Task Force identified opportunities for Second to establish or deepen our involvement with four local organizations (listed below). As we live into the promise of these new partnerships, you will be hearing more about these organizations and how you can engage with their work in our community.
- ProAct. This organization has worked for a decade “to stand in the gap for vulnerable populations while empowering youth to actively transform their communities”. ProAct envisions a proactive community with well-informed, well-intentioned, empathetic, and confident youth who are equipped with 21st- Century skills to adapt and improve upon the modern work environment. Second has supported them in the past and provided a $15,000 grant about two years ago that was delayed due to internal restructuring. The project was set to begin last year but was delayed due to the pandemic. ProAct wants to expand mentoring to Greenbriar and Willow Lake elementary schools and establish a mobile food pantry that can distribute food in Washington Township once or twice a month, when safe to do so in person. Volunteer engagement in this program would require a long-term time commitment to provide continuity for the students.
- Nora Ambassadors. Established a year ago, this program brings together congregations in our community to support our neighbors physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. A current focus is the shocking disrepair of low-income apartments at Lakeside Pointe at Nora. This large apartment complex houses a number of patrons of Second’s food pantry. Lisa Enright is already connected with Nora Ambassadors, but would like a volunteer to serve as another point of contact for Second and to attend meetings of the group.
- IU Health Congregational Care Network. This program connects people in our community who have been discharged recently from the hospital with a trained “connector” from our congregation who will speak with their neighbor by phone once a week for six weeks to provide support and connect the neighbor to assistance they might need. St. Luke’s Methodist recently joined the growing group of congregations in Indianapolis participating in this program. IU Health asks that Second have a point of contact for IUH and the volunteers to coordinate support for the neighbors. There is training from IUH for everyone who participates in this program, and no costs for Second to establish this volunteer opportunity.
- NeighborLink Indianapolis is a nonprofit serving Marion County providing free home repairs and services to neighbors who are low-income homeowners-seniors or disabled- living at or below 150% of the federal poverty line. Its mission is to help our most vulnerable citizens age in place safely and with dignity. Since it began in late 2013, NeighborLink has provided more than 2,000 home repairs. Volunteer opportunities are flexible, great for groups, generally in three-hour segments and do not require any skill--just a heart to serve. Minimum volunteer age is 12 years old (with adult supervision). NeighborLink has a collaborative relationship with SAWs as NeighborLink does not build ramps. Second could enable volunteers from the congregation to participate in projects as needed, with identification of projects and 3 registration provided by NeighborLink. One of the advantages of this program is the opportunity for families with children 12 or older to participate together. We would not expect that staff time or financial resources would be required to support this program.
SAWs Ramp Building
Volunteer opportunities for age 12 and up. No experience necessary!
Help build a ramp and change a life!
Volunteer opportunities are available for ramp builds. No experience or tools are required! SAWs will provide the leadership and the materials. We just ask that you are willing to learn and serve others. Youth age 12 and up are welcome to volunteer with a parent/guardian. This is the perfect service project for a family with older children.
Volunteer opportunities are posted each month online at SAWSRamps.volunteerhub.com. They are available on a first come, first serve basis and are open to anyone interested.
SAWs© is a nonprofit, volunteer organization founded in 2003. Originally started in Indianapolis, our organization serves clients across Indiana, as well as Arizona and Virginia. We specialize in building wooden wheelchair ramps for low-income, permanently disabled individuals. With the support of our donors and volunteers, lives are changed one ramp at a time, and, in less than six hours, we transform a client’s life FOREVER.
Habitat For Humanity
New Volunteer Opportunities!
Greater Indy Habitat is kicking off nine new home builds, and you can help these Habitat homebuyers complete their homes! Fall is a busy time for Habitat as the work to finish homes by the end of the year. They are also starting three homes to get "weathered in" before winter. Register today to join them on a build site.
For more than 34 years, Second has partnered with Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity to sponsor an annual interfaith build and participate in other Habitat activities throughout the year.
Greater Indy Habitat asks all volunteers to follow their guidelines to promote safety.
Watch this video to learn more about Second's decades-long partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
If you would like to contribute to this important work in our community, please designate "Habitat for Humanity" in your donation to Second.
Second partners with
Versiti Blood Centers
Upcoming Blood Drives at Second:
- August 8
- November 7
Ministering to our community includes providing the resources needed during a time of crisis for hope and healing. Donating blood is a powerful way to show compassion and contribute to the well-being of patients in our city. Versiti Blood Center of Indiana is experiencing a critical need for blood donors. All donors are required to register and wear personal masks or face coverings.
We partner with Versiti Blood Center of Indiana to supply much-needed blood to area hospitals. If you are unable to come to Second on August 8, you can visit a local blood center at your convenience.
Emergency cleanup buckets and hygiene kits
From May 16 to 29, our church parking lot is a collection site for area churches and families to drop off emergency cleanup buckets and hygiene kits. Church World Service distributes these much-needed supplies to those affected by wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters in the U.S. and around the world.
The Church World Service website has details about the emergency cleanup buckets and hygiene kits, including printable shopping lists and videos showing how to pack the kits.
For five years, our church has been a collection depot for Church World Service, facilitating the gathering and storage of emergency cleanup buckets and hygiene kits. We are united in our mission to serve those in most need.
In early 2018, we welcomed a Congolese family of 12 in Indianapolis. They had been in a refugee camp in Tanzania for almost two decades.
If you would like to learn more about how you can help this family and others, contact Jim Montgomery or Jennifer Shivers, who lead this team of faithful people, who feel called to work with refugees in our city.
Formerly known as Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), Family Promise works to eliminate homelessness in Greater Indianapolis.
At a recent Family Promise fundraiser, Second Presbyterian Church was the fifth largest donor to support the Apartment Shelter Program, which provides 130 homes for families in transition.
Several times each year our congregation hosts families, who live at our church for a week while working to obtain stable housing. This is an opportunity for each of us to welcome the stranger and show the love of Christ.
Our next hosting dates will be in October 2021. Check back soon for volunteer sign-ups! We need many volunteers during the week who give generously of their time to prepare a meal, play with children, drive the van, or spend the night. Join Second's efforts to brighten the lives and lighten the load of families who struggle each day to keep going forward.
Westminster Neighborhood Services (link: https://westmin.org/) is a vital center of hope and love for children and families on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. They rely on volunteers to serve the many people that utilize services each week.
To learn more or lend a hand, contact Chrissy Petersen.
Christmas with our Northside Neighbors
Continuing our annual Christmas tradition!
Traditionally known as Christmas Benevolence, this ministry has been a vital mission of our church for decades and continues to focus on extending kindness to members of our local community -- reflective of the Matthew 25 initiative.
Second's outreach this year will serve to foster deeper engagement with our neighbors who visit the Northside Food Pantry. We will focus on pantry clients this Christmas and continue to serve between 130 and 150 families in the area.
Some cherished traditions, such as opportunities for members to purchase new clothing or gifts for children, will continue. Gift and clothing "tags" have been offered online, so that families can shop at their convenience, then deliver the gifts to the church.
This year we invited our recipient families to come to Second to pick up their items on December 19, instead of having Second members deliver them.
Rather than working toward a single "Delivery Day," Deacons are working closely with Northside Mission Ministries to support our local families throughout the year. For example, the Winter Warmth coat drive this fall brings warm outerwear to children and adults as the weather begins to cool.