First Congregational Church of San Rafael
Outreach and Benevolence
FCC has a long tradition of being strongly oriented toward outreach and benevolence. In recent years we have consistently been ranked as one of the most "giving" churches for our size in our denomination.
This tradition dates to at least the early 1970s, when we built Pilgrim Park, an innovative low-income housing project on land adjacent to the Church. We continued to dream big about benevolence in 1999, when we started Every Dollar Feeds Kids, (EDFK) a zero-cost non-profit that now raises approximately $50,000 a year to feed hungry kids in Mexico.
More recently, FCC was a founding member of the Marin Organizing Committee, a broad-based effort to apply community organizing princples to persistant social justice issues in Marin. After several years of grass-roots network-building, MOC passed a major milestone in May 2008, when over 600 people packed the gym at St. Raphael's for the first MOC "Action Assembly." Click here for a complete report, includiing video.
In addition to these hands-on activities, we actively support a number of outreach efforts through our Mission Budget. This year, we are contributing to and working with the following organizations:
Marin Food Bank collects and distributes food - well over a million pounds a year - for needy and other at-risk populations in Marin. We are currently challenging ourselves to double FCC's donations to the Food Bank every year.
Canal Alliance (formerly Canal Ministry) helps the community of San Rafael's Canal neighborhood through social justice advocacy, academic support, after-school programs and community leadership development.
Marin Interfaith Youth Outreach MIYO Operates the Teen Center in San Rafael, providing job preparation, tutoring, recreation and a safe, fun place for San Rafael's teens to hang out. FCC is a founding member of MIYO and makes a significant annual contribution.
Homeward Bound operates a number of shelters, job-training and re-entry services for homeless families and individuals in Marin. In addition to financial support, we provide Sunday dinner once a month for Homeward Bound's Family Shelter in San Rafael.
Ritter Center provides food, clothing, showers and other essentials for Marin County's homeless and other at-risk populations. In addition to financial support, we conduct "Backback Sunday" every summer, collecting new backpacks and school supplies for Ritter Center's program to equip needy kids for the start of school.
EAH (Formerly Ecumenical Association for Housing) has grown to be one of the largest nonprofits developing, managing and advocating for affordable housing. Starting from modest beginnings in San Rafael, EAH has created more than 4,600 units of affordable housing in California and Hawaii.
Habitat for Humanity. FCC is a Convenant Church of East Bay Habitat for Humanity. In addition to financial support, FCC members get together one day a year to work at one of Habitat's affordable-housing construction sites.
VAMOS! operates a number of programs to feed, educate and support the poorest of the poor in Cuernavaca, Mexico. VAMOS! is our on-the-ground partner for Every Dollar Feeds Kids, but their programs are much larger than just EDFK.
Bread for the World is a nationwide movement seeking justice for the world's hungry people by lobbying our nation's decision makers. The BFW Institute engages in research and education on policies related to hunger and development.
One Great Hour of Sharing is a cooperative program across 10 Protestant denominations to provide hunger, disaster and refugee relief worldwide.
Neighbors in Need is a national effort of the UCC to support ministries that address poverty, economic development, human rights, peacemaking, violence, racial and economic justice, environmental concerns, and public policy advocacy.