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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Grove Christian Outreach Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Food, Food Banks & Pantries

Mission: Our mission is to maintain an Outreach Center in the Grove area of James City County in order to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the poor and disadvantaged in the community

Programs: Bread & More Wednesdays: A variety of products are offered to the entire Grove community including bread, rolls, desserts, drinks, fresh produce, meats, sandwiches, salads and food from Olive Garden, Starbucks, Red Lobster, Pizza Hut, Panera bread and Pepperidge Farm. Clothes and household items are also available for people to receive. Residents are invited to visit each week. We are currently serving over a hundred families each week. We also provide birthday cakes for birthdays and food and bakery items for community events. Food Pantry: Food is available to our clients based on individual need and emergency situations every 30 days.Those who visit the food pantry get to choose the items they will recieve. USDA Commodities: This is a federal government program that provides a variety of good nutritious foods for our families. They can receive commodities once a month and eligibility is based on income and number of household members. Brown Bag Lunch:We provide a wide variety of foods twice a week to supplement needs. Sandwiches, salads, chicken, produce, bread and pastries are provided on a take-out basis from 11:30 -12:30 on Mondays and Fridays. Clothes Closet:We provide a good variety of new and gently used clothing and shoes for women, men and children. Wal-Mart also provides our clients with new undergarmens they can access every three months. We also have a school supply closet,school uniforms closet, a hygeine closet,and other resources to help meet ones daily needs.

Community Stories

33 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Our church prepares and delivers meals on Thanksgiving for various of our neighbors in need. Two years ago, we contacted Grove about providing meals to residents there. The coordinator, Deena Walls, was enthusiastic about the idea and was extremely helpful in getting us names of people to serve. She helped to coordinate the distribution so that the entire operation went very smoothly and everyone enjoyed a hot and delicious meal. The experience was as much a blessing for those of us who took part in getting the meal together as it was for the people who received it. We enjoyed doing Thanksgiving with the people of Grove again this year and we definitely look forward to this event in years to come.

Blake M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with the GCOC on a few occasions during an internship with a nearby church. I was struck by the berth and quality of services they provide, most especially with their food giveaways. Not only do they help on this large scale, but they also worked to help with individual needs as well as prayer for all who requested it. I am very grateful for the work of the GCOC as they serve a much-needed area of Virginia while compassion and thoughtfulness.

Kreetay S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to the Outreach Center in 2001. almost the infancy of the ministry. They were having church services at the elementary school across the street. Look at me now...they are super huge in work and super humble in heart. All you have to do is stop by there one time and I personally guarantee that you will not leave out there the same. It is a pure love that can not be mistaken.

Georgette T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Grove Christian Outreach Center when I first approached them about networking for a homecare agency I worked for. Then last year I was re-introduced when my daughter started volunteering for the center and I joined her. You can feel and see God's work in progress at this center. The director's are amazing and have the love and passion for the drive of this community. The hundreds of volunteers are the heartbeat-they all come from various walks of life but all come for the same purpose. I have had the pleasure of speaking to many of the clients of Grove and they are all so appreciative of what GCOC has done for them, many of which wouldn't be able to make it. Being an all volunteer community, it is amazing all the lives that they have impacted. Without the volunteers and the blessings of donations the center receives, they wouldn't be able to continue to help their clients.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the Grove Christian Outreach Center for seven years and have seen firsthand the help and love it has given to the residents of the Grove community. People in need are given food and clothing, plus backpacks filled with school supplies for their children. Thanksgiving baskets filled with a turkey and the necessary items to make a dinner are distributed. In the winter, coats are provided and shoe boxes filled with Christmas gifts are distributed. As the need arises, and if funds are available, help with rent and utility bills is also given. The people who come to the Center are met with a cheerful greeting and their troubles are listened to with sympathy and often a prayer. This is truly a community where the people who come are not just clients, but they are considered friends.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at GCOC in 2004. I was amazed to find that there were so many people in the Grove area of Williamsburg who were in need. GCOC does a fantastic job of meeting those needs by providing food, clothing, school supplies, school uniforms, Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, and Christmas shoeboxes filled with small toys and other needed items. They are also a distributor of USDA food to our clients. They do many other things for the clients for which I do not have room to list here. We pray for the needs of the clients and encourage them when they are going through difficulties. The clients are treated with dignity and respect and they have truly become friends. As a volunteer I have not only given of my time, but have received much through the joy of working with the wonderful, caring people at GCOC.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I volunteered at a back to school event, I was surprised at the number of young children that are at risk & in need in just this small community. Grove Christian Outreach Center offered these children, families & friends a free event with games, food, fun & laughter. GCOC also supplied all attending free school supplies & basic toiletries. Local businesses participated by donating items & a few companies set up booths for games or to handout goodies. I was overwhelmed with all the hard work it took to implement this annual event and realized this effort of tending to the needs of this community & others is a daily process.

A weekly bread day, clothes closet, transportation, tutoring/ teaching, finding housing & home furnishings & other home goods are some of the ongoing functions of this Center. These are only a few of the tangible things; the nurturing, love, prayers, comfort & hope offered by the staff & volunteers is the really the mainstay. I truly believe GCOC is the heart, soul & spirit of this community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to the Grove Christian Outreach Center (GCOC) through United Way when I contacted United Way to do volunteer work with an organization that provides food. I had not heard of the GCOC previously, but was wiling to see what they were all about. I have seen the impact they have made in the lives of those in the community and the homeless (from wherever they may be). But more than the clothes, food, vouchers, etc that they provide, what amazes me the most is the endless love that they give to whoever walks through their door. The staff works with little thanks other than the love that they receive in return. They are, indeed, amazing. I am blessed to see the change they make in the lives of their clients, whether they be new born or elder.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have been assocated with Grove Christian Outreach Center from the very beginning. Helped to set it up and run the small outreach to the community. It has grown from nothing to the "little engine that could."
Under the leadership of the Lord, Grove Christian Outreach Center has grown into a mighty asset for the less fortunate. With all volunteers, it serves the Grove community with love and compassion, providing food, clothes, services, furniture, spiritual support, moral support, Christmas gifts for the children, back to school program furnishing backpacks to kids. All of this while maintaining the diginity of the individual. I could go on and on but this gives you some idea of what GCOC is all about.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been associated with and observed Grove Christian Outreach's positive effect and help to this community since 2006. It is amazing to me what God has helped them to accomplish with the vision that they have acted upon to help so many residents in the poorest section of James City County, Virginia. It has been very humbling to observe and participate throughout these years in seeing how they are able to coordinate the effort to help so many in need and discern those that are in need and be able to help them make progress to improve their situation in a comprehensive fashion. I applaud them for all they do and wish to continue to help them meet the continuing needs in this area.

Bonnie H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Capable, professional & efficient co directors who are resourceful & persistent in getting volunteers & financial help to meet the physical, $$$, health & spiritual needs of the poor. I have seen persistaant progress over almost 10 years.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Over the past 10 years, they have done a great job in providing clothing, food, furniture & school supplies to the needy. They have had an Annual Christmas shoe Box project for boys & girls age different range stuffed with gloves, scarves, hats, pens, combs, brushes etc. They also have a coat rack where they can pick up winter coats.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer to collect shoeboxes for Grove Christian Outreach Center's Christmas gift program. I collect the boxes year-round from various shoe stores in Williamburg. These boxes are then filled and wrapped at Christmas to give to the children serviced by GCOC. It is a wonderful program that meets significant needs in the Grove community. For some children, the shoebox is the only gift they will receive at Christmas. I also volunteer at the registration table at the annual Grove Christmas party. It brings joy to my heart to see children and adults alike enjoying the festivities and carrying home gifts and shoeboxes supplied by GCOC. This ministry is a huge part of Christmas in Grove because needs and wishes in the community are met in large part because of the generosity of GCOC. It is easy to volunteer because the program is so well run. Pat and Deena have the whole process of preparing and executing down to a science so that the program runs smoothly and effectively. GCOC has a treasured place in my heart, especially at Christmas.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Grove is an amazing oasis in a community with a lot of needs. I showed up there one day several years ago with a desire to help but limited time available. Deena and the other Grove managers huddled with me and figured out a way to maximize the contributions I could make. i knew someone with grant-writing experience and was related to someone with expertise in buying used cars..........and both avenues bore fruit for Grove. One of the great things about the Grove managers is their flexibility and their sincere interest in working with a wide range of volunteers to serve the needs in the Grove community.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been impressed by how Grove Christian Outreach Center serves so many people in such a small office space. The office I work in collected food for Grove Christian Outreach and they were so appreciative. I have also helped out in events held at GCOC. There is such a need in that community and what would take an army to accomplish is accomplished by a small group of volunteers. Everyone I talk to that volunteers gets so much pleasure out of helping GCOC.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Grove Christian Outreach 5 years ago through a neighbor that volunteered there. Whenever I go to the center I am always amazed by not only the wonderful people who volunteer there but also the clients who radiate such tender loving warmth. You are struck by the word "Community".

Their mission is very clear and one of excellence that alters the lives of not only the recipients but of the donors and volunteers themselves. One could write a book on all the marvelous outreach programs that Grove tackles for the physical and spiritual well being of the community it serves. One special ongoing mission which is a privilege to be involved in is continually keeping us informed of new needs as they arrive from specific individuals. This provides an individual voice for the needs. You know that what you are able to share is directly benefitting the person who need it and providing exactly what they need.

The past five years I have continually witnessed selfless dedication of the staff and services that are truly remarkable. You definitely feel and see the blessings of God in action all around you.

sma.creations

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Years ago as a young women with small children I had to reach out and was given the help I needed. . When I retired 7 years ago, the Assistant Director at GCOC asked me to pray about what i might be able to do to help at the Center. I found a way to pay it forward for the help I got all those years ago. The people who come to GCOC are treated with such dignity and love. The center does a wonderful job of encouraging it's clients and treating them with respect and showing them that God's love has no boundries. What happened was that GCOC made a big difference in my life. I love the people in the area in a very special way and I am blessed to be a part of such a caring and giving group of men and women who teach me every time I'm there the grace of our Lord.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I retired from my job in 2004 and my daughter said to me one day that volunteers all bring to the table their own special talents and would I please pray about what talents I could bring to the Grove Christian Outreach Center. I did that and found an organization that reaches out to those in need in a "what seems to be" an affluent area. The individuals that the center helps, live mostly, (about 92% of them) under the poverty level in an area that is very sought after by retirees. They are people who keep getting just a little ahead only to be struck down again, and again. If they can't find work and are getting help from the Center, many of them volunteer time if they are in a postition to do so. Many of them work and just cannot make ends meet on small salaries. The Center gives hope to people as they are cared for. Something is always happening at the Center. Many of the people come to know God or learn more about him. Mostly the Center loves them through a very otherwise desprite time in their lives. Children who might not have Thanksgiving or Christmas get to experience them. Every year many children receive school supplies and uniforms. I have been a volunteer for 6 years now and have been enriched by the work, the people and the heart of GCOC.

Joanie V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I am so thankful that we have an organization like Grove Christian Outreach Center in Williamsburg! The volunteers really show God's love in practical ways. They go beyond providing materials goods for people. For example, I volunteered for a Halloween alternative event this year. Grove volunteers put together an obstacle-course-type activity that highlighted Scripture and Biblical messages for children. They also hosted a band and gave away hot dogs and candy.

Lisa234567891011121314151617

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Grove for several months and have been very impressed by the love and dedication of all involved with Grove. The other volunteers, staff and community members have embraced me. I visit Grove weekly and always leave feeling inspired and grateful. They offer a vast array of services to the Grove community and really come together as a family to help serve the needs of all who seek help. I encourage residents of the surrounding communities to help this wonderful organization achieve their goals.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I discovered Grove Christian Outreach Center one day while driving past it and went on line to check it out. My purpose was to find somewhere our homeschool co-op could get involved in community service. Little did I know how life changing that would be for me personally. We showed up on a scheduled day to help any way we could, but we were the ones who were blessed! And I left there completely convicted that I needed to find a way to do more there. Now I am a regular volunteer and what a priviledge it is for me to work along side those that are there. What they manage to accomplish in the community is mind boggling!

I have watched the GCOC come to the rescue of hurricane victims; those whose homes were destroyed in tornados, and any emergency that has come along. I have watched as they coordinated with the local churches, business men and women to get a much needed job done or to provide for such emergencies. They have done wonders to help make our community aware of the need for assistance, whether emergency or the regular day to day needs.

Providing food, clothing, hygene products, school uniforms and supplies for local children, financial assistance, diabetic dietary needs, and community social outreach are just a few of the things I have seen at GCOC since coming aboard. They truly have a holistic approach to meeting the needs around us!

And as you can imagine from the things listed above, they have great need as well! Volunteers, supplies, finances and space are a constant challenge as the needs of our community grow during this diffucult economic period.


Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past August God put the wheels in motion for me to be able to come down to Grove (for a wk) and put my skills to work for this wonderful community. My parents and a group from their church (columbus Ohio) had been doing this for years and spoke of the great things happening there. Well the Lords spirit had been working my heart to join in (never could get away, because of work, blah blah - funny how he (the Lord) can fix that for you) with faith and a push I was there /// what an amazing week it was, to see Gods love at work in real time humbles you and the staff just rides that daily giving with no hesitation and with pure hearts meeting the needs of those who feel lost and helpless. I am already excited about next August.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have lived in the Grove area since 2005 and am very blessed for it! No other place I have lived has given my family and I such a wonder and warm welcome! When we go to the different events they offer we are always welcomed as children of the LORD and not loked down upon because we are in need. Grove Christian Outreach is what I feel is a true meaning of a christian organization, they do the work of the LORD in all ways. GOD BLESS THEM ALL! I wouldnt want to live anywhere else.