We support local, regional, national and international missions. At present we are supporting the following religious or secular organizations:
Straight Ahead Ministries
Dr. Scott Larson and his wife Hanne founded and direct Straight Ahead Ministries where hundreds of trained volunteers lead weekly Bible studies in more than 200 juvenile institutions each week throughout twelve states in the US. They also run aftercare programs such as the Urban Church Network and discipleship homes.
Their mission is to see Jesus Christ transform the lives of juvenile offenders through a vision to create an international movement whereby every juvenile offender has the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel and grow in his or her relationship with Jesus Christ. Straight Ahead Ministries is our January mission.
The Assabet Valley Pastoral Counseling Center
Assabet Valley Pastoral Counseling Center (AVPCC) is “A Place for Healing and Growth.” The center was founded in 1979 by the clergy of the greater Westborough community and currently serves over sixty communities in the greater Central/Metro West Massachusetts. It provides quality therapeutic services to children, adolescents, adults, couples, families and group psychotherapy, testing and assessment, and preventative education programs.
AVPCC is unique in that its therapists are doubly trained in the behavioral sciences and religion. It is a place where Extraordinary Human Pain and Suffering Meet the Holy. The Assabet Valley Pastoral Counseling Center is our February mission.
Abby’s House (Abby Kelley Foster House Inc.), incorporated in 1976, opened one of the first overnight emergency shelters for women with or without children in the U.S. It is located in Worcester, Massachusetts. About 300 women and children each year stay in their emergency shelter. The shelter has been open continuously, every night of the year since June of 1976. All aspects of the shelter program are offered free of charge. Abby's House is our March mission.
The Worcester County Food Bank
Incorporated in 1982, the Worcester County Food Bank has collected and distributed more than 50 million pounds of food and grocery product. This is all done through a network of 260 partner agencies including local shelters, food pantries, senior centers, residential rehabilitation programs, soup kitchens, after-school programs and neighborhood centers that help feed hungry people of all ages in 70 communities in Central Massachusetts. The Worcester County Food Bank is our April mission.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
Founded in 1953 and motivated by their faith in Jesus Christ, they now serve close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries around the world. The millions of people served include earthquake and hurricane survivors, abandoned and exploited children, survivors of famine and civil war, refugees, and children and families in communities devastated by AIDS in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. World Vision is our May mission.
A Midwestern farmer named Dan West was ladling out rations of milk to hungry children during the Spanish Civil War when it hit him. “These children don’t need a cup, they need a cow.”
The Heifer Project was founded on a simple belief: ending hunger begins with giving people the means to feed themselves. Since 1944, Heifer has helped more than 4 million hungry families in the United States and 128 other countries move toward self-reliance through the gift of food and income-producing animals and training. As there still more than 800 million people throughout the world who are malnourished, much remains to be done. Heifer International is our June mission.
His Royal Ministry
His Royal Ministry’s work in the south of Haiti, which was co-founded by one of our members, is dedicated to bringing the life-saving message of the Gospel as well as basic education and health services to people who life in the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Our mission supports the work of two local churches which serve their community’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs. His Royal Ministry is our July mission.
Pathways for Change - (Formerly the Rape Crisis Center)
Since opening their doors in 1973, the mission of Pathways for Change has been to provide quality and multicultural services to those whose lives have been impacted by sexual violence. They also provide education geared toward ending violence. Their service area now includes 47 cities and towns in the Greater Worcester and Fitchburg/Leominster areas.
Pathways, uses the word "survivor" rather than "victim" to describe someone who has been raped or sexually assaulted in order to reflect that person’s strength and healing capacity. Our agency services are based on a philosophy of empowerment. Pathway’s services are based on a philosophy of empowerment, beginning with the recognition that sexual assault is a violation motivated by power and control and is never the survivor’s fault. Pathway counselors help survivors regain a sense of control and power over their lives and find the right options for them. Pathways for Change is our August mission.
American Himalaya Foundation - Stop Girl Trafficking
Education Is the Way:
The problem is huge. Every year, as many as 20,000 girls from the poorest parts of Nepal are trafficked - lured by the false promises of traffickers. These girls, some as young as nine, end up in Indian brothels or as domestic servants in countries as far away as the Middle East. In either case, they're slaves. Many are HIV positive within two years, and dead before they reach twenty.
We go to the source, into the villages where girls are at risk, and put those girls into school. We counsel them and their families about the dangers of trafficking. By keeping at-risk girls in school and living at home, they are less vulnerable to being sold or lured by promises of jobs, only to find themselves in brothels or trapped as slaves in households. For a small investment - $100 pays for everything: school fees, books, school uniforms, tutoring - we can keep a girl safe for whole year. Persuading families to educate their daughters was slow going at first, but 10,000 girls later - without one being lost - the idea is gaining traction. The American Himalayan Fund - Stop Girl Trafficking is our September mission.
The Tibet Fund
Since the invasion of Tibet in 1949 by the Communist Chinese, over one million Tibetans have died as a direct result of the occupation. More than six thousand monasteries -- centers of Tibetan culture and learning -- have been looted and razed to the ground.
This ongoing brutal occupation and cultural genocide in Tibet by the Communist Chinese continues to force many Tibetans to escape into exile by making a perilous journey across the Himalayas to Nepal and India. Many arrive malnourished, frostbitten, traumatized and destitute. Among these new arrivals are large numbers of children, nuns and monks. For over eight years, First Community Church has sponsored Yeshi Tenpa, a seventeen-year-old Tibetan refugee boy now living in a resettlement community in India. The Tibet Fund is our October mission.
The Southborough Food Pantry
Although we support the Southborough Food Pantry with donations and volunteer services throughout the year, during the month of November we make a special effort to stock the shelves by concentration in a different item or need each week.
This method of support works with great success for us at First Community Church. If each of us can bring just one item from each group, our little Church will make a big impact on the shelves of the Southborough Food Pantry. The Southborough Food Pantry is our November mission.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, founded in 1865, is an international religious and charitable organization motivated by the love of God and a practical concern for the needs of humanity. The Red Kettles and bell ringers are perhaps the most visible community-wide Salvation Army program. During the holidays the results from the nickels, dimes, and dollars put into the kettles provide needy families, seniors, and the homeless with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, gifts for children, coats and shoes for kids with none to wear, and visitation to the elderly and imprisoned who have no one to care for them.
Many families who are struggling with difficult emotional or financial problems, continue to receive aid over a period of months following the Christmas season. The Salvation Army is our December mission.