Mobile Food Tuesdays– Our perishable food donations from local grocery stores has increased this year, with food recovery pick up from Aldi and Sprouts. Volunteers pick up food from Sprouts Monday-Saturday and Aldi on Tuesdays. Because Tuesday is the day when the most donations are coming in, we load up tables and donations and take the food to several spots in the community. Neighbors can shop at the corner of their block or right there in the apartment complex! We also take donations to a local care facility for patients with special needs. Show up at 9:45 AM at the Dream Center to join a team to serve!
Food Bank – 1 in 7 families take advantage of the resources provided by local food banks. 56% of those visits are elderly and single parent family homes that live on a fixed income. Providing food for families who are hungry is one of the most basic, purest ways we can show Jesus to people. People living in crisis are not willing to look to the future until their immediate needs are met. If we can help meet immediate needs, we can begin the conversation to address other issues they might be having. Our food bank hours are Wednesday from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at our center.
Fresh Wednesdays and Fridays – Our center and the surrounding blocks are located in a food desert, a place that lacks grocery stores and traveling by foot or bus is a means of transportation. Before our doors open on Friday, there are a group of individuals lined up to receive donated food from our Fresh Friday ministry. Whole Foods in the Green Hills area of Nashville graciously allow us to pick up pounds of food that would be thrown out due to its date or needing new inventory on shelves. The donated food includes produce, prepared meals, dairy, bakery items and sometimes meat. We call this ministry “Fresh Friday,” because a lot of the food is still good and a huge blessing to those who receive it. This ministry also gives us a chance to teach our neighbors and friends to make healthier choices when they can. Starting at 8:00 AM, a team of volunteers meet at Whole Foods to pick up the food. They bring it back to our ministry center for individuals or families to pick up from 9:00 – 11:30 AM. *We recently added Fresh Wednesdays as well, from 6:30-8 PM due to the additional donations from Sprouts and Aldi!
Meals and Snack Bags – We also assemble snack bags for local athletes at partnering schools, provide lunch and/or dinner for our neighbors several days a week and have dreams for a mobile component of this ministry in years to come. We use our food donations from local grocery stores to cook the meals! Like to cook? You are welcome to come cook a meal for ministry happening that week or prep for future meals needed.
Community Garden – Being able to grow our own produce and share it with our community has been such a blessing! If you have a green thumb and love to garden, there is a spot for you to be a part of this fruitful ministry. Expanding in 2018 due to a partnership with Trap Garden!
SAFE AND HEALTHY COMMUNITY
Community Nights – Every night on the streets surrounding the West Nashville Dream Center, kids of all ages roam the neighborhood. When our families are sitting down to have a bite to eat, these kids are often looking for someone to talk to because many of their guardians work the night shift. They are searching for true community and aching for someone who has their back and misses them when they aren’t around. We invite groups of volunteers once a month on Wednesday night for Community Night to build healthy relationships in our neighborhood through activities on site and investment in the details of our neighbors’ lives. Food and fun is all it takes. Great activity for community groups. 6:30-8 PM.
Dream Streets – Our ministry center began because of a serving opportunity at Cross Point Church called, Adopt-A-Block. Years ago when Cross Point had a location in West Nashville, volunteers went door to door checking on the surrounding neighbors. We met so many individuals and families who were under-resourced and in need of renewed hope. Through these introductions, we found our permanent home and began ministries for dreams to be inspired. Years later, we STILL go door to door. Dream Streets is an overarching ministry with a goal to build teams on *Mondays to walk the block and check on our neighbors, *Tuesdays for Mobile Food distribution, *Wednesdays to invite kids and families to come to our center for Community Night, *Thursdays to prepare to-go food bags for teens, *Fridays to distribute food donations into the community that aren’t taken during Fresh Friday AND the *First Saturday of the month will become a project day, serving families we have met throughout the previous month. Through Dream Streets, people are prayed for, invited to events and tangible needs are met throughout the month.
COMMUNITY AFTERNOONS – Much like Community Nights, we serve a meal to kids and hang with Dream Center Mom’s Ministry kids AND kids who are here after the worship service. Noon to 2 PM.
MOMS AND KIDS
Inside Out Student Ministry – What started out with 8 students on a Wednesday night, turned into a true community for up to 50 students happening on site at our ministry center AND off-site at their schools and events. Volunteers cheer for athletes at their games. Teens are reminded that although family and friends may fail us, we have a God who never fails. Thursday nights at 6:00 PM, students 7th-12th grade are invited to hang out, share a meal and worship together.
Dream Center Moms – Neighborhood Scout states that the Clifton Pike/40th Ave N neighborhood next to our ministry center, has more single mother households than 99.6% of the neighborhoods in the U.S. One of our goals is to support and encourage these moms on a weekly basis. Every Sunday at noon we host a moms lunch for single moms. The children of these moms are fed in a separate space and provided entertainment while their moms enjoy a quiet time with other moms who share their same triumphs and struggles. This support continues after Sunday through volunteers providing consistent relationships. Female only serving opportunity.
Sunday Kids Ministry – The heartbeat of our Kids Ministry is ensuring that every child who walks through our doors knows they are loved by our staff, volunteers, AND most of all, Jesus. Becoming a volunteer in our Sunday morning Kid’s Ministry gives you a chance to positively impact the lives of kids from birth to 6th grade who come from all walks of life. Our Kids Ministry volunteers are mentors to our children, engaging them in fun and active games while teaching lessons about the love Jesus has for them. Sundays at 11 AM.
Summer is For Kids – In everything we do, we’re always building community. What better way to do that than during Summer break! Tuesdays-Thursdays during the months of June and July, we serve lunch to children 18 and under and provide events/activities following lunch. This is a great opportunity for out-of-town or out-of-state groups to serve with us or local teens and teachers who are also out of school during these months.
Tutoring Partnership with Preston Taylor Ministries – We can proudly say that our friendship with Preston Taylor Ministries is one of the greatest blessings we have. Monday – Thursday from 4:00-6:00 PM during the school year, we are a tutoring site for 5th Grade Students w/Preston Taylor. This is one way for kids in our neighborhood to have solid support in academics and mentorship. Contact PTM directly to serve in this way.
The Farm– Yep, we have a farm with chickens, a goat named Rocky and a pig named Charlotte. We use these animals to teach children responsibility to care for our pets. There are opportunities throughout the week for volunteers to help care for the animals as well.
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