Serving Our Neighbors in Need
As Christians, God calls us to live out the gifts we've been given in service to others. And at OSLC, we do our best to live into that call in service to others. Folks who are part of our community like to say that here at OSLC, we are "small but mighty." Our connections with local, national, and global organizations are part of what makes us as a congregation "mighty." Serving alone, we can only do so much, but when we band together with others, we can make a huge difference in our community, our nation, and our world. Below we list some organizations that we support through our ministry at OSLC. OSLC and the Lutheran Church as a whole have had long-standing relationships with many of these organizations, and we encourage supporting these organizations if you are feeling called to do so.
Note: This page is a work in progress! We'll be adding and updating as appropriate!
FISH, Inc is a non-profit organization that provides food, clothing, and small housewares to people in need in the greater Williamsburg area.
FISH takes donations of food from 10am-4pm. Clothing & housewares can be taken to the back of the building and use the door marked "Clothing Donations." After hours, clothing and housewares can be donated in the blue donation bins. 100% of financial contributions serve the needs of people in our area in need.
Address: 312 Second St. Williamsburg VA 23185
Williamsburg House of Mercy is a local ministry connected with the Catholic diocese in the area. Williamsburg House of Mercy provides a number of services to all people, especially those who are most vulnerable, regardless of faith. Services include (but are not limited to) a food pantry and soup kitchen, pregnancy services, services to help ex-offenders transition back into community life.
Avalon Center is a regional non-profit organization that has accreditation for their work against domestic violence and sexual assault. Their goal is to break the cycle of sexual and domestic violence. Services include a 24 hr crisis line, an emergency shelter, youth services, transitional housing, counseling, and legal advocacy.
enCircle (formerly known as Lutheran Family Services of Virginia) has been supporting children, adults, and families since 1888, beginning when a Lutheran pastor opened an orphanage in Salem, VA. enCircle operates Minnick Schools for students who have experienced challenges in public schools, programs for people living with disabilities, foster services, and immigration services throughout Virginia.
Contact information: https://encircleall.org/about-us/contact-us
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services is the largest faith-based nonprofit dedicated to immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees in the United States. Founded in 1939, LIRS resettled over 30,000 displaced people from Germany and Eastern Europe following the war. Remembering our own deep roots in immigration, Since then, they have offered compassionate service to more than 500,000 people seeking safety and hope in the United States. Services include: refugee resettlement, children & family services, family reunification, and mental health services for migrants.
Mailing Address: PO Box 17467, Baltimore MD, 21297-1467
State & National Organizations
Lutheran World Relief envisions a future where all people, in every corner of the world, can live full & dignified lives. Their work was founded by Lutherans at the end of WWII to tackle global poverty. Their work is two fold: 1) long-term development projects that partner with communities to build and grow their economies and break the cycle of poverty and 2) respond to emergencies (such as the crisis in Ukraine).
Mailing Address: PO Box 17061, Baltimore, MD 21297-1061
Lutheran Disaster Response is an arm of the ELCA. LDR collaborates with other disaster response organizations and religious entities in the US and around the world. They are among the first in a disaster area and are one of the last to leave a disaster area, providing ongoing care even after the initial dust settles, months and even years following an event. We responded to disasters in 47 countries in 2021 alone.
When donations are given in response to an event, 100% of those gifts go directly to disaster relief in those areas. This makes LDR one of the most effective places to send money to help assist disaster relief. If you choose to give in response to a disaster, be sure to mark your donation as for that particular disaster. Overhead costs are covered by generous general donations throughout the year.
Current LDR response areas can be found here. Give to those particular response areas by clicking on the response area and then clicking on the green button that says "Give Now". Mailed checks should include the designation in the memo line.
Checks payable to: Lutheran Disaster Response
Mailed to: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
PO Box 1809, Merrifield, VA 22116-8009