THANKSGIVING BAGS – Return the filled bag to Outlook no later than Nov. 11.  We'll then add a turkey, a pie, and dinner rolls so that each family receives a full Thanksgiving meal. Monetary donations will also be accepted to offset the cost of the additional items provided by Outlook.

Bags will be delivered to local schools on November 16, then distributed directly by the schools to families in need. This is a great, simple way to give thanks for the many blessings God has provided us and to share those blessings and the love of Christ with others.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD – You can bless a child living in poverty this Christmas through operation Christmas Child. Return the filled shoe box, along with $9 to cover the cost of shipping, by Nov. 18. We will deliver the filled shoe boxes to Samaritan’s Purse, who will distribute the shoeboxes to children in need around the world in time for Christmas. You can get great ideas for what to include (and NOT to include!) in your shoe boxes at Samaritan's Purse.  (NOTE:  due to tightening customs restrictions, toothpaste and candy can no longer be included in the shoeboxes). Our goal for this year is to bless 500 children with shoeboxes filled by Outlookers!

SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES AT IPS 105 – We have lots of opportunities to serve the students and staff at IPS 105, for every interest, skill, and availability: In Class Tutors, After School Tutors, Spanish Speaking Tutors, After School Program, Staff Sponsors, Staff Appreciation Events, Breakfast, Lunch, and Recess “Buddies”, and Prayer Warriors. Click here for more info on above opportunities.

These are great opportunities to serve on the “mission field” of one of Indianapolis’ most underserved neighborhoods less than 15 minutes from Outlook’s doors. Please prayerfully consider serving in one or more of these capacities. If you are interested or have questions, contact Mike Wilkins, mwilkins@outlookchurch.org

CHRISTMAS STORE – One of the ways we have experienced the most success reaching families in the Post and 42nd neighborhoods is through our Christmas Store. Families who are invited to participate shop at the store and select a toy, a game, a hat, gloves, and miscellaneous small presents for each of their children. We wrap the gifts (or provide the materials for the parents to do so) and the parents take the presents home and present them to their kids as gifts from the parents, not from the church or an agency.

The Christmas Store touches lives in lots of positive, powerful ways. First, it creates an opportunity for children to receive Christmas presents who otherwise might go without. Second, it allows us to create new relationships with families in the neighborhoods where we serve. Most importantly, it allows families to support their children themselves, rather than relying on charity from others. Families pay $5 per child to shop, with a maximum of $15 per family. The parents shop and choose gifts they know their children will like, rather than accepting gifts randomly donated by strangers. Parents have the joy of presenting their children with gifts they selected and purchased themselves, rather than handing them gifts given by others. As a result, both children and their parents are blessed – children by experiencing the joy of gifts on Christmas morning, parents by being treated with dignity and experiencing the joy of giving themselves.

In the past, we have relied on one of our ministry partners to supply most of the gifts for the Christmas Store. But the project has been so successful, this year we have decided to provide all the gifts ourselves. In order to stock the store, we need the following items for children of all ages, from infants through late teenagers:

  • Toys
  • Games
  • Dolls
  • Sporting goods
  • Books
  • Art projects/supplies
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Stocking stuffers, including things like nail polish, hot wheels cars, and other small items that children of all ages would enjoy

Some shopping and donating hints: Our goal is to help parents struggling with the impact of generational poverty experience Christmas in much the same way as we do here at Outlook. If there is a toy or other gift you would enjoy giving to your child or grandchild, there is a good chance a parent or grandparent shopping at the Christmas Store would enjoy giving that present as well. For that reason, we accept only NEW items. Culturally, many of the families we serve are African-American or Hispanic, so black and brown dolls are especially popular, although dolls of any color are welcome. Like many families, it is often difficult to know what to purchase teen-agers, so gifts for teens (especially teen boys) are especially needed. Board games are an excellent item because they can be experienced by kids and their parents at the same time. Because many families will be participating, multiple numbers of the same gift or toy are great.

We will being collecting donations for the Christmas Store on November 18. Since we have lots of other collections going on during the holidays, please hold off on bringing in donated items until then. Volunteers are also needed to help set up the store on December 20 and 21, to work at the store in various positions on December 22 and to make plates of Christmas treats for each family who participates. Watch for sign volunteer sign ups coming soon.   If you have questions about the Christmas Store or would like more information, contact Mike, mwilkins@outlookchurch.org. 

MT. VERNON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS COOPERATIVE CLOSET is a clothing bank that serves the needs of both high school students with disabilities and families struggling with poverty. Through this program, students in transition store, sort, wash, and fold donated clothing. In the process, these students learn skills they can use to be more independent and obtain employment in the future. Those clothes are then distributed to kids and families throughout the school system who can't afford clothing.

While the students do most of the work themselves, they require assistance with some tasks, such as tagging clothes, separating clothes by season, and helping track how the clothes are distributed. In order to help this program succeed, we would like to provide volunteers who would work in the morning at the administration building. Scheduling would be very flexible.

This is a great way to serve many different elements in our community, including students, families in need, and the school system itself. If you can help serve in this way, contact Andrea, aelstro@hotmail.com.

SAFE FAMILIES  One of our local ministry partners is Safe Families for Children. Safe Families for Children creates extended family–like supports for families in need of temporary care and supervision of their children through a community of devoted volunteers who are motivated by faith to keep children safe and keep families intact. Read more and contact info

​IPS 105 TUTORS & CLASSROOM SPONSORS – We're again offering opportunities to tutor at IPS 105 this school year. This is a great opportunity to support the teachers at the school and help students improve their academic skills, while strengthening our relationship with the Post and 42nd neighborhood. This year we're offering two different types of tutoring:

  • Classroom tutors – Classroom tutors are assigned to a specific teacher and will in the assist in the classroom as that teacher as the teacher directs. Classroom tutors volunteer during the school day, usually for an hour one day per week.
  • Individual tutors – Individual tutors will work directly with students to address specific academic needs by providing homework help and working on skills identified by the students’ teachers. Individual tutors work either one on one or in small groups after school (3:00), usually one or two days per week.
  • Classroom Sponsor – Classroom sponsors show Christ’s love to teachers at IPS 105 through prayer, small gifts, notes of encouragement, and even by providing classroom supplies or treats for the teacher’s students. Participation as a classroom sponsor can be as involved as you want, from just the occasional note to regular communications, gifts, etc. Good opportunity for life groups!

RENEWAL SUMMER SPORTS – Impact the lives of kids in the Post/42nd neighborhood by serving as a kickball or flag football coach or volunteering in other ways. Minimal time commitment with maximum impact!  CLICK HERE for all the opportunities.

SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES  Outlook has a heart for the families in the neighborhood near Post and 42nd Streets. This is one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Indianapolis and has been designated by the city as one of six “targeted” neighborhoods because of high rates of poverty, crime, and numerous other factors. Despite those circumstances, the neighborhood is less than 15 minutes from Outlook and many Outlookers live closer to Post and 42nd than they do to Outlook itself.

Since we have felt called to serve in the neighborhood, Outlook has created several ministry opportunities, many of these in conjunction with our partner church, Crossroads Bible Church. Some of these programs have included tutoring in Charles Fairbanks School 105, a flag football league, and a summer reading program. We provide regular support to the teachers at staff at School 105 and have included the school in our One Day to Go (1D2G) projects.

Our commitment to the Post and 42nd neighborhood gives Outlookers many opportunities to serve. All of these opportunities are designed to allow us to continue to building relationships in the neighborhood so that we can share the love of Christ with those who are truly in need. Some of these service opportunities are ongoing, some are temporary. We're constantly receiving new and different opportunities to minister in the neighborhood so check here regularly to see if God is calling you to serve at Post and 42nd.

GLEANERS MOBILE FOOD PANTRY – Gleaners serves the Fortville area on the 4th Saturday of each month from April through November (3rd Saturday of the month if the 4th Saturday is on a holiday weekend). The mobile food pantry is located in the parking lot of Erlewein Mortuary, 124 E. Staat Street in Fortville (off Main Street) and is open from 9:30am to 12:00pm. 

Volunteers are needed to supervise the distribution of food & help load recipients’ vehicles. If you have questions or would like to sign up to volunteer, contact Chris Ball.


PUT YOUR LAPTOP TO WORK   We are looking for used laptops to use at Renewal Mentoring, our after school mentoring program for students at IPS 105. Many of these students need additional help mastering basic math and reading skills and preparing for standardized testing. Donated laptops will be used to access online resources that we believe will be both helpful and fun for our students.

Laptops need to be in good working order, free from any viruses, and have wireless access. We would prefer laptops that will continue to support current operating systems (i.e. Windows 7, 8 or 10; Mac OS X). All personal information should be removed from the laptops, along with all programs other than the basic operating system and a program for internet access (preferably Google Chrome, but any similar program will work as well), and all passwords. The laptops do NOT need working batteries (as long as an AC power cord is provided) or any additional accessories.

ANGEL CONNECTION is a faith-based mission and food pantry serving all residents of Hancock County to better lives and offer physical and spiritual support. Angel Connection has a constant need for non-perishable food but occasionally has more immediate needs for specific items. Donations can be placed in the bin under the Missions and Outreach Tables in the Commons.  Here are the donations needed:

  • boxes of cereal
  • canned meats (chicken,tuna, spam, etc..)
  • Hamburger Helper (any kind)
  • juice boxes
  • pudding cups
  • crackers
  • apple juice.
  • NOTE: No need at this time for canned soups or canned vegetables

HANCOCK HOPE HOUSE, our local ministry partner in Greenfield, needs donations to help area homeless get a new start. Drop off donations directly to Hancock Hope House.  The following items are needed:

  • 39 gallon size trash bags
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Paper products
  • Laundry detergent
  • Spiral notebooks

Volunteers are also needed to help as cashiers, sorting donations, and stocking sales floor at Hancock Hope House’s thrift store, which is located at 35 E. Pierson St. in Greenfield. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday 11am-7pm and Saturday 11am-2pm. The thrift store provides 55% of HHH’s annual budget. If you're interested in volunteering, an application is available at hancockhopehouse.org.  You can also contact them directly at 317-467-4991.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Mike Wilkins, Missions and Outreach Minister, at mwilkins@outlookchurch.org.