Expanded List of Hands-on Service Opportunities

Carpentersville Community Meals

The Carpentersville Community Meal effort is designed to bring together individuals from across Carpentersville and surrounding communities once a month for a meal, for fellowship and for relationship building. This monthly event opens the doors of the building at 1647 Ravine Lane, Carpentersville, to all in an environment of invitation, welcome and hospitality. 

Meals for up to 100 people are prepped and prepared in the BUMC kitchen, then transported to Carpentersville and served in the Trinity UMC fellowship hall in Carpentersville on the third Saturday of every month. 

Volunteers are needed to help make this ministry a success! We need people to help with shopping, food preparation, clean-up and hosting our guests. Some training will be provided, no language skills are required — there is a role for everyone! 

Volunteers are needed to:

  • help set-up and decorate the space on Friday
  • help prepare and cook food on Saturday morning in the Barrington UMC kitchen
  • transport the properly packaged food from Barrington to Carpentersville
  • host our guests, work the kitchen and serving stations and clean up on Saturday evening
  • help with shopping, meal planning, fundraising and outreach

Please remember that you don’t have to volunteer to come and eat with the community — this is about table fellowship!

For more information please contact Sharon Orr at or Marcia Buchs at .

The Congregational Garden

The Barrington UMC congregational garden is a year-round project that annually produces over 13 tons of fresh produce for donation to local food pantries. All hands are invited and welcome for tending, weeding, harvesting, weighing and delivering produce to our food pantry partners.

It takes many hands to prepare the seeds, set out thousands of tomato plants, keep the weeds down and to harvest the squash, peppers, beans and broccoli that our hungry neighbors so appreciate. Whether you can serve for two hours, two days, two weeks or the whole summer, your hands and your heart will make a difference! All produce is divided between FISH Food Pantry in Carpentersville and Food for Greater Elgin. Nutritious fresh produce is the hardest thing for food pantries to secure, so they and their clients are very grateful for our ongoing summer deliveries.  Join us beginning in late May on sunny weekdays and Saturdays when the ground is dry from 8:00-10:00 a.m. The only skills required are a desire to help and a willingness to learn and to get dirty!

For more information, or to receive scheduling updates, contact Sharon Orr at .


The annual CROP Hunger Walk is a community-wide event and partnership with other local congregations to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. Our community has a passion for helping our sisters and brothers around the corner and around the world. Together, we can help end hunger in our community and around the world!

For nearly half a century, CROP Hunger Walks have ensured that people worldwide have access to nutritious, sustainable food sources. From stocking shelves in local food pantries to combating droughts in Nicaragua to providing agricultural training in Indonesia, CROP Hunger Walks help end hunger by raising funds to support local food programs and the international anti-hunger work of Church World Service. Local agencies that benefit include Northern Illinois Food Bank, FISH Food Pantry, Meals with Wheels, Project Hope, Wauconda-Island Lake Food Pantry and the Barrington Area Ministerial Association People in Need (PIN) Program.

For more information about the Barrington CROP Walk, Linda Osikowicz at .

Cardunal (Carpentersville-Dundee-Algonquin)

The CarDunAl CROP Hunger Walk is an ecumenical partnership that includes First UMC West Dundee, Christ UMC in Algonquin, Bethlehem Lutheran Church in West Dundee and Congregational Church of Algonquin. All of these churches join together in walking and raising money to end hunger and support local agencies in their efforts to reduce food insecurity.

For more information about the Cardunal CROP Walk contact Marcia Buchs at .

Epworth UMCWork Days

Epworth UMC is a small church in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago that is doing powerful work in their community. BUMC is in partnership with them to renovate and rehabilitate spaces for their men’s homeless shelter, children’s activities and other programming

Epworth houses the Cornerstone Men’s Shelter in their gym. The space provides sleeping accommodations for 65 homeless men 365 nights each year. Every day all of the mattresses are stored away so that the community space is available for basketball and other events. Adjacent to the gym are two individual bathrooms with one toilet and one shower in each. During the summer of 2018, the team hopes to help remodel these bathrooms.

5253 N. Kenmore Ave. Chicago, IL 60640

Please contact Scott Downing at with questions or to volunteer to help.

Feed My Starving Children

Join us as we partner with Feed My Starving Children to provide nutritious meals to families in need across the globe! Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s children. Their approach is simple: adults and children hand-pack meals packs specifically formulated to provide nutrition and sustenance with easy portability and preparation. FMSC then ships the meals through their food distribution partners across the globe.

FMSC packing events are great multi-generational serving opportunities - children as young as 5 years old are welcome and able to participate!

Feed My Starving Children 1072 National Parkway Schaumburg, IL 60173
(847) 519-9610

FISH Food Pantry

FISH Food Pantry, located at 150 S. Kennedy Drive, Suite 8B in Carpentersville, welcomes volunteers to work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Unpack and stock shelves, register and host clients, and help us make a difference in the Carpentersville Community! 

For more information, contact Mary Graziano at

Habitat for Humanity ~ Joyful Hands Partnership

The Joyful Hands Partnership, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley,  builds or rehabs one home each year within the Carpentersville community. A team with members from each of seven participating Barrington area churches plans and leads the effort. Currently, the team is selecting a new home and a new homeowner for the next build which we expect to start in the late summer of 2018. Once work begins, the team will be on site every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to welcome volunteers and lead the building project. There is no long-term commitment necessary, and people of all levels of construction experience are invited.

For more information or to subscribe to the BUMC Habitat for Humanity email list, contact Lynn Sewell at or Sharon Orr at .

Kids Hope USA Mentoring

“One Child, One Hour, One Church, One School” 

Trinity UMC and Lakewood elementary School are partners in the Kids Hope USA mentoring program. Members of all of our multi-site congregations are encouraged to become a mentor or a prayer partner. Mentors meet with students for one hour a week during the school year to eat lunch, talk, play games, read stories and do artwork together. For a child to have one stable adult whose only interest is in him or her makes all the difference in the world. 

Unique to the Kids Hope mentoring program are prayer partners who pray for the student and the mentor/student relationship. Checking in once a week with the mentor, the prayer partner is a special source of insight and support.

Kids Hope USA mentors receive online training and ongoing support from the Lakewood Elementary School staff.

To learn more about the Kids Hope program visit www.youtube.com/user/kidshopeusa. Contact Sharon Orr, Director of the Trinity UMC-Lakewood Elementary Kids Hope USA Partnership at for more information or to become a mentor or prayer partner.

Meals with Wheels

Managed by the Barrington Area Coalition on aging, volunteers for Meals with Wheels deliver hot food at lunchtime, Monday through Friday, to persons unable to shop or prepare their own meals. By providing a nutritious meal and a brief visit once a day, the program allows seniors to stay in their homes and reassures their families that they are well. 

A team of Barrington UMC volunteers take three routes on the second Friday and fourth Monday of each month. A route is four or five stops, beginning at a local church in the village. This is a wonderful way to support our seniors and serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in the Barrington community. For more information or to join the team, please contact Carolyn Schneider at (847) 204-0396.

Prison Ministries

Kairos Prison Ministry is a Christian faith-based ministry that addresses the spiritual needs of incarcerated men, women, youth, their families and those who work with them. Kairos prison ministries helps guests find God’s grace and forgiveness in their lives at God’s special time or “Kairos”. 

In April 2018, we will engage in supporting a Kairos weekend event. All ages can participate in supporting this program

  • Placemats created and drawn by children with the message “God loves you” are a special touch at each placesetting.
  • All can help by baking and contributing to the two thousand dozen cookies that teams bring to Kairos weekend event to share God’s love and grace (please be sure to use only approved recipes from the designated Kairos list).
  • Everyone is encouraged to sign up for an hour of online prayer during the Kairos weekend.  • Opportunities are also available to serve with the team that is visiting the prisoners to give love and share God’s grace.

Please contact Steve Middleton for details: . 

UMCOR Relief Supply Network

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) responders and volunteers are among the first on the scene of natural disasters in the United States and around the world. Earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons and floods all generate a rapid response from UMCOR. United Methodists are also among the last to leave, working in refugee camps and poverty-stricken areas, rebuilding lives as well as homes through long-term commitments to public health and sustainable agriculture.

The UMCOR Relief Supply Network uses volunteers to pack relief kits, flood buckets, hygiene kits and other needed items for shipment to disaster zones. If your family or group would like to help in assembling these kits, two depots and eight warehouses across the U.S. work year round to prepare and stock disaster relief supplies. These mission sites welcome volunteers to participate in a variety of short and long-term projects.

The two UMCOR sites that Barrington UMC supports most directly are:

Midwest Mission Distribution Center

P.O. Box 56, 1022 New City Road, Chatham IL 62629 (217) 483-7911  

UMCOR  Sager Brown Depot

131 Sager Brown Road, P.O. Box 850, Baldwin LA 70514 (800) 814-8765        The other locations in the network are: UMCOR Depot West in Salt Lake City, Utah Eastbrook Mission Barn: New Castle, PA Mission Response Center:Terrell, NC Mission Central: Mechanicsburg, PA UM Disaster Relief Warehouse: Decatur, AL Bishop Joel and Dr. Raquel Martinez Disaster Response Center: Kerrville,TX Missouri Conference of the UMC: Columbia, MO Texas Annual Conference Mission Center: Conroe,TX 

USO Staffing at O’Hare Airport

In 2017, O’Hare airport was the sixth busiest airport in the world, and every week thousands of military members travel through O’Hare enroute to duty stations, deployments, special assignments and home. Show your appreciation for their service by appreciating them!  At two O’Hare centers, BUMC volunteers assist traveling service members and their families with phone calls, meals, personal needs and travel arrangements. 

Opportunities to serve are available at two O’Hare USO centers: one in the pre-security area of Terminal 2 and one inside Terminal 3 (which requires additional security clearance). Volunteers from BUMC are invited to serve every Wednesday from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m., and fourth Sundays from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. or 3:00 to 9:00 p.m.

For more information on the USO, visit www.uso.org.

Contact Jim Finn at for more information about joining the BUMC USO Volunteer Team.

Teach Guatemala

Teach Guatemala is a local/global mission opportunity that sponsors English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in Mixco, Guatemala. Barrington UMC and our partner churches provide school supplies and financial support for a local teacher who introduces basic English through art, recitation and stories of the Christian faith to over 100 children, youth and adults. 

Teach Guatemala Vacation Bible School

A team from BUMC and partner churches travels to Mixco once a year during the Guatemalan school break to offer a Vacation Bible School experience and to attend ESL recognition ceremonies. The trip is normally scheduled for early November and is open to members of the congregation willing to help teach Vacation Bible School using school materials provided by BUMC and who are able to pay their own expenses (less than $800). Teams travel with at least one bilingual speaker who knows the project well. Be prepared to speak and read and sing (in English) as you help students learn proper enunciation!

Contact Silvia Grabacki at for more information or to join the adventure!