The Local Outreach Committee of Williamsburg United Methodist Church sponsors a number of “hands-on” volunteer opportunities in which congregants can participate. Listed below are some of the year-round, as well as seasonal, programs for which volunteers are needed. 

To learn more about Local Outreach or to volunteer, click here

3e Restoration

Through members of the Local Outreach team, the congregation helps homeless Williamsburg residents find their way to self-sufficiency. The Servant Leader Coordinator and All-in-Friends provide compassion, friendship and help with seeking food, employment, housing, sobriety and other necessities of independent living. The Friend-in-Need participates in the 3e Restoration process, which is spiritually based on the Christian principle of loving and caring for others.

Alternative Giving Fair

Annual church-sponsored fair where non-profit organizations encourage donations to charities as an alternative to traditional holiday consumerism. WUMC hosts the event and supplies funding and shared leadership for the local, regional and international organizations which provide items for sale in exchange for donations as well as opportunities for direct financial contributions.  The Fair also provides each participating group a forum for educating attendees about their purpose.

Children’s Coat Drive

October is designated each year at WUMC as “Winter Coats for Children Month”.  Williamsburg children in the Preparatory Academy program need warm coats to wear to school and to play in the winter.   The Preparatory Academy is the relatively new name for one of the local Head Start programs.  The little ones in this pre-school program are 3-5 years old and wear sizes 4, 4T, 5, 5T, 6 and 7.  Attending pre-school is critical for many children.  They interact with others and learn basic skills that they will need to begin kindergarten.  Coat donations should be placed in the Kid’s Coats bin in the Collection Closet in the church reception area at your convenience.


Crock Pot Ministry

This ministry is sponsored by Greater Williamsburg Outreach Mission (GWOM) to serve people who live in residential motels without cooking facilities.  Volunteers from area churches provide the needed groceries and deliver food and recipes to those who have received a Crock Pot so they can prepare their own nutritious meals. To learn more and volunteer online, click here.

Family Meals Program

WUMC partners with another local church, St. Martin’s Episcopal, on the 1st Wednesday of each month to deliver dinners prepared by Meals on Wheels to families, seniors, and disabled individuals living in motels (some of the sheltered homeless) in our area.  The meal cost is divided between the two partner churches, and our congregation’s share is funded through our Local Outreach budget.  This is part of a program administered by a local faith-based organization, From His Hands, in which a number of other churches and civic organizations participate. 

School Supply Drive

Each summer, school supplies are collected to share with area school children of all ages. In early August, a list of needed supplies will be provided to congregants, who choose to purchase some or all of these items and deliver them to the designated bin in the Collection Closet located in the church reception area. The items will be sorted and packaged in backpacks by members of the Local Outreach team for delivery to families in need with school age children as well as to The Preparatory Academy (formerly Head Start). In addition, Local Outreach provides funding to purchase supplies such as back-up computer drives and ear-buds.

Summer Meals for Kids Program

Our church is one of many who partners with Meals on Wheels (MOW) and the Greater Williamsburg Outreach Mission (GWOM) to provide healthy lunches for over 200 children living in local motels and low-income apartments each summer.  These are children who receive free or reduced lunches at their public schools during the regular school year.  This program begins in mid-June and runs through late August, depending on the local public schools’ schedule.  WUMC provides support one day each week during that period, usually on Thursdays.

There are several ways that volunteers can help with this ministry:

  • Assist with preparation and packaging of sandwiches, which are added to brown paper lunch bags along with a fruit, snack, boxed drink and dessert. Lunches are prepared and packaged at the Meals on Wheels facility located in the Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex (WISC) from 8:30 – 10:30.
  • Bake cookies at home, package them in snack size plastic zipper bags and deliver them for inclusion in the lunches noted above.
  • Purchase and provide the packaged items (fruit, snacks, boxed drinks) as part of a food drive sponsored by WUMC in advance of or during this summer program.

To assist with the Summer Meals ministry, please click here.  


Thanksgiving Meal Ministry

WUMC partners with Meals on Wheels (MOW) to provide approximately 135 dinners to elderly and homeless people in the Greater Williamsburg area. On the Wednesday before the holiday, volunteers from our church assist MOW in packaging the main part of the meal in the morning and then meet in the Fellowship Hall in the afternoon to package additional items, including cranberry sauce, rolls, pie slices which are then placed in brown paper bags along with a card and simple Christmas ornament for delivery the next day. On Thanksgiving morning, WUMC volunteers pick up the hot meals at MOW, and bring them to WUMC where they are added to the bags and readied for delivery by other volunteers of From His Hands (FHH), a local faith-based organization. This ministry is funded by a special congregational offering. 

Winter Shelter Ministry

In association with Community of Faith Mission (COFM), a faith-based organization which operates an emergency shelter program for those experiencing homelessness in the Greater Williamsburg community, WUMC serves as a host site for one week. This shelter ministry operates during the coldest months of the year, offering twelve (12) or more weeks of shelter. It is a weekly program with a maximum capacity of 25 people each night, and operates Sunday to Sunday, from 6:30 PM to 7:00 AM.

Our congregation hosts this ministry by providing rooms for sleeping, a dining area and bath facilities on the lower level of our building.  We often partner with one or more local churches to supply the many volunteers needed. Volunteer time slots include multiple evening, overnight and morning shifts during which guests are welcomed, provided meals and an opportunity to shower, along with mattresses, bedding and a warm place to sleep. Training for volunteers is mandatory, and is provided by COFM either in-person, or by means of a video along with a volunteer manual. The dates being hosted by WUMC are advertised to the congregation several months in advance, to allow time for scheduling volunteers and making preparations. In the past, the host week has usually been in December or January. To volunteer for this ministry, please click here.

Financial Support

Local Outreach offers financial support to many local non-profit organizations through its operating budget, special offerings, or restricted funds made available through bequests and designated offerings.

During the seasons of Lent and Advent, the Local Outreach (LO) team of WUMC generally selects three (3) organizations as recipients of a special offering that is collected during that time. Generally, these are local or regional charities and agencies that are not included in the annual LO budget. A representative from each organization is asked to speak at both worship services one Sunday during each season, so that congregants gain an understanding of each organization’s mission, in order to understand how these funds will be used. Half of the special offering will be divided among the recipients selected by Local Outreach, and the other half will go to organizations selected by Global Outreach.

Organizations receiving financial funding through Local Outreach vary by year, but have included the following:

  • All God’s Children Camp - Scholarships for children of incarcerated mothers
  • Angels of Mercy – Medical assistance for low-income & uninsured families
  • Avalon – Shelter for physically abused women & their children
  • Faith in Action – Services of shopping, cleaning, minor repairs, transportation and friendship to enable disabled, ill or elderly persons to remain in their own homes
  • FISH – Emergency food, clothing & household goods for families in need
  • From His Hand – Provides meals for individuals and families living in local motels (sheltered homeless)
  • Greater Williamsburg Outreach Mission - A coalition of faith groups united to serve the homeless.
  • Grove Christian Outreach Center – Provides food, clothing, transportation, mentoring and other services for the Grove Community
  • House of Mercy – Provides a safe and welcoming environment for area homeless to find respite, receive services as well as emergency assistance and supportive services to those struggling to maintain housing and regain stability
  • Housing Partnerships – Home repair for low-income individuals and families
  • Immigration Assistance – Provides support to refugees recently relocated to our area
  • Lackey Free Medical Clinic – Medical assistance for low-income & uninsured families
  • Literacy for Life – Provides group classes, one-on-one tutoring and conversation groups for ESL students and individuals with low literacy skills
  • Meals on Wheels – Prepares and delivers hot, nutritious meals daily to vulnerable adults and families in the Williamsburg area
  • Olde Towne Medical and Dental Center - Medical assistance for low-income & uninsured families
  • Peninsula Area Foodbank – Provides food for many local food banks
  • Prep Academy – Provides early childhood education for at risk preschool children
  • Project Outreach – Music education for disadvantaged preschoolers
  • Salvation Army – Provides emergency food and shelter
  • VIEW Program – Job assistance for former welfare recipients
  • W & M Food Bank – Provides meals/food for students experiencing food insufficiency
  • 3e Restoration – Equips and encourages faith communities to empower neighbors living through social displacement to holistic sufficiency by breaking the cycle of homelessness through gracious hospitality and systemic change.