Tag Archives: Metropolitan Ministries

A busy summer [and a busy year] comes to a close…

Thumbs up for Bayshore Pointe!

It was a busy summer for the GET REAL Involved! crew.  We visited with residents of Bayshore Pointe Nursing Home in June, cleaned up Gandy Beach after a busy July 4th weekend, and spent the morning helping out at Metropolitan Ministries in August.   We also said a little “Thank You” to Hyde Park United Methodist for all their support by helping to landscape their grounds.   There are great photos on our Facebook Fan Page.  In all we had 42 students and 7 adults who contributed over 200 hours of service this summer!  It was the capper to a great year for GET REAL Involved!

At the beginning of the last school year we had a goal to get even more involved.  To date GET REAL Involved! has served over 1,800 man hours in the community, over half of it in the past year alone.  We launched a dedicated website at www.getrealinvolved.org, formed a Facebook Fan Page, started this blog, and got involved with the Twitter craze!  It was a busy and productive year.

Students clean up Gandy Beach

Students clean up Gandy Beach

And we look forward to 2009-10 with equal enthusiasm.  We are making even more inroads with Hillsborough County Schools to raise awareness of GET REAL Involved! and the opportunity we present for students throughout the county to earn their service hours and GET REAL Involved! in their community.    We hope to see even more new faces this coming year through the additional exposure within schools.

In 2009-10 we will answer Dr. Martin Luther King’s call to service on his birthday in January by returning to Steppin’ Stone Farm.  We will also once again take part in Global Youth Service Day April 2010.  Other trips on the agenda include another Coastal Clean Up, Open Arms Ministry and of course, Metropolitan Ministries.   The full schedule is located on the website.

Coming up next is our quarterly trip to Steppin’ Stone Farm.  This is one of our more popular trips (perhaps its the lunch they serve us!!!), or more likely getting to hang out with the great gals from the Farm.   Whatever it is, the trip fills up fast, so be sure to reserve your spot!

Here’s to the beginning of a new school year, and engaging even more students in community service.  2009-10 will be the year to GET REAL Involved!

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Metropolitan Ministries

Metropolitan Ministries started as a cooperative effort among area churches to bring relief to homeless families and hungry people in the Tampa Bay area. Together they were able to accomplish more than the thirteen original churches could do individually. And that is a lesson we can all take from, and one that is at the root of what GET REAL Involved! is all about. Bringing student volunteers together for an even bigger impact than individual efforts.

GET REAL Involved! has long been a partner with Metropolitan Ministries, bringing groups there for the last three years to help with Backpacks for Hope, their back to school supplies drive, as well as each year for BOXES OF HOPE at Christmas time. But this month, our manpower was put to work moving their GED classroom across campus. We were seven students and two adults lugging boxes and equipment from the old classroom to the brand new facility across campus. The old adage many hands make light work was proven in how quickly we were able to accomplish the move.

After we finished the move, we broke up into two teams; one helped to clean the classroom furniture, and the other headed to the kitchen to give a hand there. One of our students, Kerianne Fernandez, is an old pro working with Metropolitan Ministries, and served as our guide almost as we began our stint in the kitchen. There were four of us in the kitchen and we had to wear hair nets and aprons (sorry no photos!) to insure sanitary conditions. Our new GET REAL Involved! student Jason, who is a strong young man, was recruited immediately for some heavy lifting duties, while Catherine, Kerianne and Jess were put to work filling large pots with mixed vegetables. Now, this was harder than it sounds. Met Min’s kitchen has an old table mounted can opener which requires a bit of finesse to operate. Catherine took command of this apparatus and proceeded to crush several cans before she got the hang of it. But in time, she, Kerianne and Jess has established a great rhythmic assembly line of opening, draining and dumping the cans of veggies into the pots. Jason kept the cans stocked for our assembly line, and we all were highly productive in a short 90 minutes!

Meanwhile, across campus, Jen had Alex, Andrew, Carlisle and Josh finish cleaning the classroom furniture and then they helped clean up the cafeteria as we were getting ready for lunch.

All in all it was a great and productive day, and we are looking forward to returning to Metropolitan Ministries on a regular basis to deepen our partnership.

Next month we’ll spend some more time in the kitchen as GET REAL Involved! serves at Open Arms Ministry on Sunday, March 8, 2009.

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Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Center

Well, despite the fact that we had one of our major schools in a State Football Championship, we still managed to bring over 20 students and adult volunteers to help out at the Holiday Center at Metropolitan Ministries. This place is an amazing example of what can be done when enough people care to give of their time. Metropolitan Ministries serves almost 15,000 families during the Holiday season. Providing food, toys and a whole lot of dignity and respect.

GET REAL Involved! volunteers assisted with distribution of food this year in the food shopping area. Taking turns, we greeted guests, identified their needs and assisted them in choosing food from the well-stocked aisles! Christmas songs in the air and smiles, smiles, smiles! It was fabulous!

We began by unloading the 90 BOXES OF HOPE we had collected in December – 3,000 pounds of food! And the 37 toys we had collected as well. Those items were on their way to making someone’s Holiday that much more special! We then headed into “the tent” to begin our shifts as holiday helpers!

The feeling that happens when you get the chance to meet new people, spend time with friends and really bring some joy is an amazing one! An experience recommended for one and all.

Next stop: Steppin’ Stone Farm on January 17th. See the website http://www.getrealinvolved.org for details!

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Backpacks of Hope at Metropolitan Ministries

The first GET REAL Involved! community service project of the 08-09 school year was to Metropolitan Ministries Backpacks of Hope. What a great day. What a difference Metropolitan Ministries makes in the community. I think they had like 4,000 families come through to pick up a fully loaded backpack to get their kids ready for school.

There were about 14 of us, not bad for the first project of the year! And we served food to the guests, and managed the haircutting area. That was a really neat addition this year to the Backpacks of Hope: they offered families haircuts from a local hair cutting academy. It was just like a barber shop, down to the little boys crying over their first hair cut!

About halfway through our shift the skys opened up and the rain dumped down on the crew that was serving on the food line! They were drenched! It was hilarious. They had to scurry inside and try and get dry with paper towels! I mean they looked like they had been dunked into a pool they were so wet. What a downpour. For the rest of our shitf they tried to dry off and they helped us manage the line for hair cuts.

The barbers completed about 100 haircuts — they were amazing. And the families were so excited to have the new service provided this year. Great idea! All in all it was a really good day. We got to help people, run screaming in the rain, meet some new folks, and hang out with friends.
It was Emily E.’s last GET REAL day with us as a student. She’s off to Samford and we’re going to miss her!
That’s all for now!

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