Outlook has a heart for the families in the neighborhood near Post and 42nd Streets, one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Indianapolis. This area has been designated by the city as one of six “targeted” neighborhoods due to high rates of poverty, crime, and other factors. The area is less than 15 minutes from Outlook and many Outlookers live closer to it than they do to Outlook!
Because of the great needs in the neighborhood, we have formed a non-profit with our partner church in the neighborhood, Crossroads Bible Church, to help us minister more effectively. The non-profit, called Renewal Neighborhood Ministry, is committed to transforming the neighborhood by sharing the love of Christ. We take a holistic approach to ministry that focuses on education, poverty alleviation, evangelism and discipleship, and community involvement.
Our commitment to the Post and 42nd neighborhood gives Outlookers many opportunities to serve, build relationships in the neighborhood, and share the love of Christ with those who are truly in need. Check here regularly to see if God is calling you to serve at Post and 42nd.
Since we’ve felt called to serve in the neighborhood, Outlook has created several ministry opportunities (many with our partner church, Crossroads Bible Church) that are listed below and we’d love for you to get involved.
RENEWAL YOUTH SPORTS MINISTRY
We are very excited to once again offer an introductory level youth soccer program focused on children living in the neighborhoods near Post Road and 42nd Street. The season will start in mid to late-April and run through early June. Soccer at Renewal Sports Ministry is played with three or four players on the field for each team, playing on a “small-sided” field with no goalies. It is much different than traditional soccer. It is fast-paced, with very few stoppages of play and “open substitution,” so kids are getting plenty of time on the field and lots of “touches” on the ball. There is little or no “team strategy.” Kids will learn some basic skills like dribbling and passing, but there are no positions, set plays, etc. Think of it as soccer the way it would be played on the playground at recess, but organized and supervised by adults. In order to make this program a success, we need lots of different volunteers.
Click here for more info on how you can help.
The Christmas Store is one of our most successful outreach events. For $5 per child, parents living in the neighborhoods near Post Road and 42nd Street can buy several Christmas presents for their child. As the Christmas Store continues to grow, donations will become an even more important element of its success. One of the best ways to acquire items to donate is by shopping at sales and close-outs throughout the year. Here are some ideas for donations to purchase throughout the year:
Gifts we need more of next year:
- Board games – Everyone loves board games. They are great for family time and many games can be played by children of all ages. We need LOTS of board games, including those aimed at preschoolers and high school aged kids.
- Crafts – Crafts are popular because they can be done indoors. Lots of kids in our neighborhood do not play outdoors, for various reasons. Crafts give them a fun way to spend their indoor time.
- Underwear – We can NEVER have enough underwear. We need all sizes, including adult sizes.
- Socks – Same as underwear. Socks. Lots of socks.
- Hats and gloves – Watch for end of year closeouts on hats and gloves, of all sizes, especially heavy winter gloves for kids.
Gifts we probably don't need next year:
- Regular Barbies – Special Barbies like princesses, etc. get taken but we have a pretty large box of Barbies in storage.
- Hot Wheels – Hot Wheel kits are somewhat popular, but individual cars and even packs of cars are not. We have a decent sized box of them stored.
In addition to toys, games, etc., here are some other good gift ideas:
- Colored Pencils
- Coloring books
- Adult coloring books
- Stuffed animals
Thanks again for the generous support of this very impactful project. Happy Shopping!
Classroom tutors are assigned to a specific teacher at IPS 105 and assist in the classroom as that teacher directs. Classroom tutors volunteer during the school day, usually for an hour one day per week, sometimes more. All tutors work directly with students, one-on-one or in small groups. Dates and times are flexible. An IPS background check is required.
Staff sponsors show Christ’s love to teachers and other staff members 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 staff sponsor can be as involved as you want, from just the occasional note to regular communications, gifts, etc. We get LOTS of positive feedback from staff members who love the fact that they are supported and appreciated. This is a great opportunity for life groups!
RENEWAL NEIGHBORHOOD MINISTRY AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Our After School Program serves a small group of kindergartners through third graders. We help kids with academics, work on character building, and teach kids about Jesus, His love for them, and His plans for them. This is one of our most rewarding programs, for students and volunteers alike. The After School Program meets Mondays and Tuesdays from 3:45 to 5:15 Volunteers can serve one day a week (or both!) or on an as-needed basis.
One of the things we have learned while serving in the neighborhood is that transportation is an issue for many families and can be a factor that prevents students from being able to participate in worthwhile activities outside the school day. To encourage participation, our goal is to be able to provide transportation to the students who participate in the After School Program. Drivers are needed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Drivers will pick up one of the vans from the church parking lot, pick up approximately 13 kids at IPS 105, drop them off at their homes (all in a small area near the school), then return the van to Outlook. An adult will accompany the driver at all times when children are present. Drivers may also be needed for field trips and for other opportunities to minister to families.
LAPTOPS FOR 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 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), and all passwords. The laptops do NOT need working batteries (as long as an AC power cord is provided) or any additional accessories.
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