For Our Community

Dear Faithful Friends,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

As the reach of Covid-19 grows and impacts more of our communities and neighbors, the ministries of FOCUS North America will continue to serve, in Christ’s example, the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters. Each of FOCUS’s Programs and Centers remain in communication with local health, social, and education officials. While we may have to adjust some of our methods, we intend to continue to serve the food, clothing, shelter, and fellowship needs in each of our communities. 

The safety and care of those we serve, our volunteers, and staff, is our first priority. If you are someone who regularly interacts with FOCUS Programs, we appreciate your patience as you may experience shifts in schedules and routines. Please click the drop down menus below for up-to-date information related to your local FOCUS ministries.    

Many in our communities are experiencing anxiety and uncertainty right now,  and we ask that you would pray that God would give each of us strength and discernment as we all move forward in faith and in love. As the Body of Christ, we know that we have everything we need to quench any anxiety by replacing it with an agape love that sees the fullness of each person around us. Your continued prayers and support are felt and appreciated. Thank you for your unceasing commitment to these vital ministries, and we pray that you are in the midst of a peaceful Lenten journey. 

Your brother in Christ,

Kenny

Kenneth D. Kidd

Executive Director

FOCUS Center & Program Updates

 

Online Resources for YES Community – www.yesnorthamerica.org/servetoday

Click Here to see other amazing online opportunities offered by various Orthodox ministries 

Dear Friends,

Christ is in our midst! Praying that you are healthy and safe during this challenging time. We hope to offer you support and resources as we navigate the effects of COVID-19 on our communities.

We will be offering opportunities to gather together online, along with supporting you in your efforts to care for your loved ones and your own city. Please email us at JavaScript required to view address if you have questions or need support. We love you and want to know what you’re experiencing at this time.

Praying that you find peace through prayer, serving others, and seeking God and His will.

With love in Christ,

Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director

  • Beginning Monday, March 16th, YES will be postponing the remainder of our March trips. We are grateful for the thoughtfulness and concern of our host parishes and cities. Serving the needs of our Leaders, participants, and the most vulnerable in our communities is always of utmost concern to us.
  • We invite you to join us every Tuesday for the remainder of Great Lent, 6pm PT/9pm ET, for a “Call to Action.” Be with us as we seek to create an open space to discuss awareness and care for ourselves and others. Updated call information posted weekly on our website home page! 
  • YES TRIP ONLINE! Sunday, March 22nd at 8pm ET Join us as we come together to celebrate the Veneration of the Cross. In the middle of Great Lent, we raise the Cross to give us strength for the remainder of the journey ahead and to remind us that the empty tomb is coming. Before the empty tomb we must follow Jesus Christ to the Cross. Let us carry our crosses together and encourage each other during this uncertain and challenging journey. PACKING LIST FOR THE TRIP: WORLD PARTY SIGN! On any piece of paper, make a sign to share with an encouraging message. MEAL SEARCH! If you are able, support a local restaurant and pick up food or have it delivered to you. Bring it to the Trip and we’ll eat together! PRAYER TOUR! Prepare a story to share about a person, place, or situation in your city that needs prayer. We will pray together for each other. REGISTER FOR THE TRIP! Click the image above and leave a comment on our Instagram post to register 🙂 We look forward to serving your city, and the world, with you.

Last Update 3/20/20

Updates from Center Director

Cuyahoga County Board of Health Updates

CDC four steps to food safety

USDA basics for handling food safely

USDA 10 tips: be food safe

DONATIONS OF CANNED GOODS AND NON-PERISHABLE ITEMS NEEDED. Items we currently need are : canned meats like tuna and chicken, canned pastas, boxed macaroni and cheese, canned vegetables and fruits, and peanut butter and jelly.

UPDATE: MEALS FOR MARCH ARE FULFILLED. CURRENTLY SCHEDULING AHEAD FOR APRIL. PLEASE CALL BEFORE YOU PURCHASE OR PREPARE MEALS! Email JavaScript required to view address or call Santhe at 216-232-6003 to schedule your donation.

Contents in a carryout meal:

  1. A meat and cheese sandwich, with sliced cheese and all-beef lunchmeat, turkey, or ham
  2. Bottled water
  3. Piece of fruit (banana, apple or orange) or a fruit cup and plastic spoon
  4. Small bag of chips
  5. Napkin
Place all items in a paper bag and write the type of sandwich on the outside of the paper bag. (Some of our guests don’t eat pork, so it helps to know the contents of the sandwich.)

 

MINISTRY SCHEDULE AND UPDATES (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

Meal Service:

  • 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM – Drop-in service will continue in the dining room, coffee only unless sealed snacks (granola bars, etc.) are available.
  • 11:30 AM to 12:00 PM – Bagged Lunches and bottle water served outside at the side entry door.
  • 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM – Bagged Suppers and bottle water served outside at the side entry door.
  • Note: While we are suspending on-site volunteers, our volunteer corps is being asked to continue assisting, offsite, by preparing bagged meals and items which could be used in the creation of sacked meals.

Other Services:

  • 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – Clothing Giveaway as usual
  • 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Last 5 week days of each month – Grocery Bag giveaway as usual
  • Use of Public Restrooms will continue, but only during scheduled service times
  • Sack Lunches will be suspended between meals, and will only be available during the night from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM
  • Typically, during the day, the doors are open between service offerings. This will be suspended as we adjust the routine and to limit the exposure of our residents.

Residential services:

  • We will continue to house residents at our properties and care for them, using every precaution possible, and following the directives of medical professionals. We will also entertain new intakes for residency if they are referred to us via a case manager or social worker and meet the intake parameters.

Last Update 3/16/20

Letter from the Director

At this time, FOCUS Minnesota ministries continue to operate and serve those in need. Our school lunch program and weekly meals are both still operating according to TIER 2 guidelines below. We are currently NOT accepting donations of clothing. However food pantry donations are needed. All other donations are being bagged, dated, and quarantined for 3 days as a precaution. 

Food Assistance Schedule, as of Wednesday, March 17:
** Sundays 5-7pm: FREE MEALS for take out at the door. Grocery assistance during this same period.
** Saturday, March 28, 10-11:30am: FOOD SHELF OPEN with pre-packed food bags offered at the door.
** Food Donations are still welcome.

To help ensure the continued health and safety of our guests, volunteers, and community, the following tiers will guide our program delivery during the outbreak. We are currently operating at TIER 2.

TIER 1: Regular sanitation of ministry areas. Volunteers wash hands before and after shifts and wear gloves while serving, in any capacity. All guests wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon entry of the building. If guests decline, they will be required to use gloves. We may modify the number of people we serve at a single time to decrease congregating in confined spaces. Weekly sandwich making and weekly general volunteer shifts will continue until further notice. 

TIER 2: Further reduce congregation of groups by temporarily suspending regular food delivery services (Sunday Meals and Food Shelf,) and instead packing takeaway meals and pre-filled grocery bags, delivering to guests at the door. (This is our current tier status.)

TIER 3: Complete suspension of services in the case of a worsening health crisis in Minnesota. Regular activities will then resume when it is advised by the state and local health authorities.

Last Update 3/20/20

Letter from Center Director

Detroit City School Community District is providing two grab-and-go meals every weekday (approx. 300 daily) for students at Greenfield Union who normally rely on school lunch programs. They have asked our FOCUS community to assist in delivery of these meals to children and families who cannot make it to the school for pick-up.
 
FOCUS is helping by preparing and distributing weekend meals as well – in total working with the school district to provide 2,100 meals each week for children in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
Here’s how YOU can help:
 
  1. OFFER A SAFE AND HYGIENIC PLACE TO HELP PREPARE MEALS: We are looking for local restaurant owners to offer their ServSafe certified and inspected kitchens and staff for food preparation.
  2. VOLUNTEER TO DELIVER MEALS: We need five drivers each day to help distribute the meals along the school district bus-route for those who cannot make it to the school to pick up their meals. Safety measures will be implemented during distribution.
  3. DONATE TO HELP COVER COSTS: Your gifts will help cover the cost of transportation, essential goods for seniors and the sick, upfront food costs, etc. Food is being provided during the week by the school district, however we need help covering costs for weekend meals!!
If you are able to assist in any of these three categories, email Adam Murphy at JavaScript required to view address.
 

Last Update 3/16/20

OC Food Bank…Needs Volunteers!!!

Many senior citizens in Orange County rely on the free boxes of food they receive from the Orange County Food Bank. Over 25,000 boxes of food are prepared monthly by volunteers.

Given the current situation, over 520 volunteers canceled since last Thursday. Hearing this news from Andre Gaithe at the Food Bank, FOCUS served with Andre last Saturday at the Food Bank. 50 faithful volunteers worked non-stop and packed over 3,000 boxes of food.  The Food Bank and FOCUS adhered to the recommended safety precautions and had fun working together knowing seniors will have food this month. 

Today Andre Gaithe at the Food Bank contacted me and asked if we could send him more able bodies to pack boxes of food. I am therefore asking those who can from our FOCUS Family to serve at the OC Food Bank when they can. I am therefore asking those who can from our FOCUS Family to serve at the OC Food Bank. If you can serve on one or both upcoming Saturdays, clink on the link below:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050e4aaeaa2ca6fe3-service

Thank you,IreneIrene Basdakis, Esq.
Director – Orange County
FocusNorthAmerica.org
65 Enterprise
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
JavaScript required to view address
949-322-2634

The Food Bank work is considered an “Essential Activity” (see health care order linked below).  Food is a necessity of life.  Without the preparation and distribution of the food boxes to senior citizens throughout Orange County, many will go without food.  Of course no-one should work if their health is compromised, if they are age 65 and older or if they feel there is any threat to their health or to the health of others.

Last Update 3/23/20

  • Wednesday night dinners at God’s Extended Hand are being allowed by the city and county to continue, with some adjustments to minimize the potential spreading of the virus. The city and county really want/need organizations that are feeding and sheltering the homeless and poor to continue doing so! We have been told to limit the number of people we admit into the dining room/sanctuary to 40, instead of up to 120 as we usually do. This will allow us to follow the social distancing mandate as much as possible by having the guests sit farther apart. All guests beyond the forty are to be given their meals in take-out clam shell containers, to eat on their own. Of course, volunteers are reminded to wash their hands frequently, use gloves for food handling, avoid shaking hands & touching their faces, and keep the 6 foot distance between people as much as possible.   
  • San Diego Health Department Updates

Last Update 3/13/20

Work with FOCUS National Programs Manager John Moxen to respond to needs in your local area.