Wednesday, March 7th will be the Confirmation Class Service Trip!
Please contact Janice if you can help our Confirmands by making lunches!
The Bridges Ministry is one of DCC’s local outreach programs. Working with Bridges Outreach of Summit, we staff and supply 4-5 of their “Runs” into Newark, NYC, and Irvington each year. We provide and serve food, clothing, and other needed supplies to the homeless, working poor, and impoverished elderly and disabled, directly on the street. The Ministry also holds a Winter Boot Drive, and makes a small annual donation (if possible) to support Bridges and their invaluable casework function in Newark.
Dec. 24th Run: Our “Bringing Christmas to the Streets” Run into Irvington Civic Center was very successful, serving about 70 people. This was the first time we have done the Irvington Run, and we provided more donation stations than ever before in the Ministry’s history (we had to bring extra tables–thanks Lee Haase!). This was a 3-month CHURCH-WIDE effort that included donations and assembly of items, cash, bagged meals, volunteer time, vehicles, and prayers. Our 11-person Crew distributed: 2 meals each, soup, cocoa, candy canes, fresh fruit, fem hygiene kits, gloves, multiple hand warmers, boots, hats, thermal socks, sleeping bags, rain ponchos, zippered grooming bags, pens, notepads, toys & stuffed animals for children, journals for youths, men and ladies underwear in all sizes, toiletry kits (soap, shampoo, razors, lotion, toothbrush/paste, deodorant) all in sturdy reusable shopping bags. And yes, we wore festive hats (thanks Rev. Kim)!
It was a bit chaotic with all the donations (DCC tends to work FAST to the delight of the Bridges Staff who attempt to supervise us!) but several moments stand out for me. I remember the paraplegic man waiting out in the cold when we got there, wheel-chair bound. I remember an older, shy Indo-Asian man who needed new shoes. I was working out of the Bridges truck, and he was near the end of the line. We came with about a dozen pairs of DCC donated boots and all I had remaining for men was a single size 8. That’s exactly what he asked for and was thrilled. Another memory involved an older gregarious women (it was her birthday so I nicknamed her “Jesus”) who lived in the nearby projects and comes each Sunday for lunches. She told us she had lots of grandchildren. We asked their ages and she got many new Beenie babies and matchbox cars for them for Christmas. While we were packing up, she came back with two of her grandkids, barely 5 years old, to say goodbye. I’m sure the rest of my crew has some memories, too.
I try to mingle with the folks on line as our crew works the tables, and so many were so happy at the Christmas bounty YOU provided. Little things we take for granted brought them such joy. We “did good” DCC!
Next Run: “Comfort for the Cold”: Our next Run will be Wednesday Feb 7 outside Madison Square Garden. This is a quick and smaller Run. You are back to the Church by 9:30PM. This is a mostly homeless population always gracious and happy to see the Bridges Van (we all ride together). Signups begin at Coffee Hour in January.
Annual Boot Drive: Your generosity of cash and used boots has been TREMENDOUS! Bridges was out of boots and the Clothing Center really appreciated it. Indeed they need more! Men’s sizes 10 and up are particularly in need by we accept all sizes of clean, used boots or cash to buy new ones. See our Ministry Table at Coffee Hour.
Supplies We Need: Hand warmers, thermal or wool socks, skull hats (no crochet please), lunches. Cash donations will be used for these and to fill in our existing stocks. PLEASE DO NOT donate other items at this time as we have no storage capacity. Clothing donations can be dropped off the day of the Run ONLY or brought down directly to Bridges in Summit.
Together we are making a difference and providing comfort to our less fortunate brothers and sisters. As Jesus said in Luke 14:13 “…But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind…”
THANK YOU all who have donated your time, prayers, items, and treasure for our Winter missions to help the homeless, working poor, and impoverished elderly brothers and sisters in NJ and NYC.
GEARING UP FOR CHRISTMAS EVE RUN!We still need:
We will hand out 75 of nearly anything, small or large. Let us know and we will provide feedback.
ANNUAL BOOT DRIVE!
Drop off a used or new pair of walking/hiking/work boots (no fashion styles please) or a cash donation to purchase them. Thank you again!
BRIDGES MINISTRY NEEDS: As you know, our Ministry that serves the poor and homeless is not funded from Church budget. We are not receiving funds from our Annual Auction this year.
We have immediate needs for the following: ANNUAL BOOT DRIVE: Bridges' supplies are depleted with cold and snow approaching. You can donate a used or new pair of practical, intact work or hiking boots, or donate cash. Every $20 buys a new pair at Wal-Mart (which we will waterproof). Deposit in Statham Hall.
CHRISTMAS EVE RUN: into Irvington! If we have 75 of ANYTHING we will hand it out. Just run your idea by us first. We are also taking DONATIONS or money to purchase: wool socks, underwear, rain ponchos, used or new re-usable shopping bags (not too ornate, please), hand/sock warmers, unisex paperbacks, razors. Deodorant and shave cream are most needed (travel sizes are fine). We do not require, nor have room, for any other toiletry items at this time.
THANK YOU for volunteering, supporting and praying for this Ministry!
Ted & Travis Dengler
Our Bridges Ministry completed our Summer Run on September 6th, to Midtown Manhattan right outside Madison Square Garden/Penn Station. We served a record number of our impoverished brothers and sisters for a Wednesday night (65). We distributed durable bags with meals, socks, underwear, toiletries, storage caddies, and feminine supplies. Thanks to all who served on the street, made meals, donated money and supplies, drove supplies, and prayed for us.
This Run’s story: Joanne and I walked west to the next block to a scaffold covered building I visited last time. Usually when you see scaffolding you can find homeless in the evening, parked underneath, particularly when it rains (which it did that night). I passed by a cardboard box of recycling when Joanne spotted the tip of an old sneaker peaking out underneath. It was a homeless person sleeping. We put a bag of supplies in their “home”. We found others there, too, not wanting to “lose their spot” for the night by walking down the street to the Bridges line. We (including YOU) served an additional 9 thankful folks here, right in the heart of bustling and affluent Midtown Manhattan. Patrick, our Bridges Run Leader, said he would visit this spot going forward on Wednesday Runs.
Our next Bridges Run is Sunday morning, December 24th (Christmas Eve) into Irvington Center. This will be our first time at this location. Sign-ups will begin at Coffee Hour soon. Monetary donations will go to purchase underwear, wool socks, hand warmers, hats, and deodorant and shaving cream. If I have 150 of ANYTHING, we will distribute it that day (that’s the max we can expect and all need to receive).
We are also doing our annual Boot Drive starting immediately. Bridges is out of boots, and DCC always comes through. Imagine walking the slushy wet streets all day with holes in your shoes and exposed ankles? You can donate a used pair of practical boots, or buy a new pair at Walmart for $20. If you want to spray some mink oil or waterproof spray on them you can, but not necessary. Drop off at Statham Hall.
Thank you for donating your time, treasures, talents, and prayers for this Ministry. - Ted & Travis
P.S. Please do not forget the other two groups in our public assistance “trinity of ministries” here at DCC: Community Food Bank of NJ (Gabrielle Carll) and Family Promise (Jean Wilcox). Food Bank volunteers help sort and stock the bank’s donations and load supplies for distribution. Family Promise helps families who are transitioning from homelessness to housing with a meal and company in Morristown. Children can participate in both these Ministries, while Bridges is H.S. and older. I have yet to encounter a Church member who has not enjoyed participating in our trinity of ministries!
BRIDGES RUN Wednesday, September 6th, 5:00-9:30 PM!
Contact Dr. Ted, Travis Dengler or the church office for details.
Recently, Ted Dengler received the following from the Bridges Organization:
Hello Dr. Ted,
Bridges would like to honor you at our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 7th. It will truly be our pleasure to honor you for not just the extraordinary Runs you put together, but also for taking the most difficult Runs to fill. I hope you will be able to join us on the 7th so that we may honor you in person. An invitation with details is attached. Feel free to invite colleagues, family and friends.
From 7 to 7:30, we will offer light refreshments and time to mingle with other honorees and guests. At 7:30, we will begin our program which will include a review of the year and then awards will be presented
Bridges Executive Director
Hi, Lois! Hope this finds you well.
THANK YOU so much for this invitation and recognition as an Annual Bridges Honoree. Of course I will attend (Veronica my wife will join me). I am so touched by you and the Board's sentiment, and consider it a great honor to be recognized by an organization so dear to my heart for so long.
I would like to note that I am attending on behalf of the congregation of Denville Community Church. While I am the pesky cheerleader / organizer, and the one with the goofy ideas, none our offerings and service could have been executed without the generosity and enthusiasm of my fellow parishioners. I have never come up short on any requests for funds, donations, or volunteers, even when asking the impossible.
The congregation makes my job easy.
Look forward to seeing you on June 7th! - Ted
We would like to extend our heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS & THANKS TO TED! Although it is a “Team Effort”, Denville Community Church’s continued support and love for our Street Friends would not be possible without Ted’s dedication and hard work!
Thank you for all that you do to help make our world a better place!
Our Ministry served about 63 homeless on the streets of MidTown Manhattan on the night of Wednesday, April 19th. Thank you to all those who volunteered your time, food, money, clothing, toiletries, and prayers. We had such a good response from our congregation we actually had to put in reserve some street volunteers, transport drivers, and meal making families! THANK YOU ALL.
We PACKED the Bridges van to capacity and were able to give out more than just lunches and toiletry kits. We also distributed feminine hygiene supplies, crew socks and underwear by various sizes, and the sturdy shopping bags that you all donated (please continue to donate any reusable shopping bags you don't need). We also served the famous Bridges soup and hot chocolate. Members of the congregation dropped off boots, sleeping bags and clothing which we delivered to the Bridges basement sorting facility. Plus they got an experienced and enthusiastic Street Crew for the night. Patrick, the Bridges Volunteer Coordinator, said to me when we arrived at Summit "I love when you guys do a Run." I told him its a congregation-wide effort to make each Run happen with such high quality.
Our next Bridges Runs are scheduled for:
WED APRIL 19: is the date for next Bridges Ministry outreach. We will meet at the Church at 5PM and return home at 9:30. We all ride in the Bridges Van from Summit to Madison Square Gar-den / Penn Station, and serve behind tables. The direct joy and relief you bring to those struggling is worth the trip.
Any old but clean/usable sleeping bags and footwear/boots for street life always welcomed. We always are in need of SMALL shaving cream, deodorants, toothpaste, and razors, too!
Signups will be at Coffee Hour for the next 3 Sundays - April 2nd, 9th, &16th. Come join us! Those who go find it extremely rewarding.
Happy New Year from the DCC Bridges Ministry!
I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. The Holidays are not a joyous time for everyone. Most served by our ministry are alone in the world. Some suffer mental illness. Some became addicted to the vices in our culture (drugs, alcohol, gambling). Others have lost their jobs and have no familial “launch pad” to get back on their feet. Some we serve are disabled or elderly. For these “just go get a job” is not an option yet – or ever. Our country does not provide an adequate level of support and assistance like other developed nations. That’s where charities like Bridges, Inc. comes in through their outreach centers and “runs.” It is challenging to “teach someone to fish” when they are cold or hungry. Some we serve do work, or live on social security. Do I pay for food, rent, or utilities this month? That is where DCC helps Bridges.
In that spirit I want to let you know that the kindness and generosity of your time, donations, and prayers in December made a difference in people’s lives that will carry through this winter. We started the month with a generous endowment of $3,000 from our Annual Auction, followed by other donations. We made two trips to Walmart and bought 50 pairs of boots. Bridges’ stock was depleted, so we drove them down to be handed out as needed this winter. We also presented Bridges with a check for $1000. We then purchased for the Christmas Eve Newark Run 250 pairs of assorted size underwear on EBay, 600 pairs of hand warmers on Amazon, 150 pairs of heavy wool blend socks at Costco, a few toys, and some storage containers to keep things dry and manageable.
Your involvement was essential for our Run. A dozen families made bagged meals. Our Youth Group bagged, labeled, and sorted all the underwear into 7 bins. Our Coffee Hour congregation unpacked and rolled socks and assembled toiletry kits. Pastor Ed’s sister crocheted hats and scarves, and we combined this with a generous donation of blankets from Dick and Mary Beth Young and anonymous others. We also brought along donations of boots, clothing, sleeping bags, toys, and reusable shopping bags.
A note on Dick and Mary Beth. When they heard the night before the Run that we would not have enough reusable shopping bags to hand out to everyone (I hold back an item until I reach 150) they ran out to Shopright and filled in the remaining quota. This was invaluable because of all the product we handed out on Christmas Eve. I remember helping an older disabled man easily strap the shopping bag to his wheelchair’s headrest.
Our Christmas Eve “cold and wet” crew consisted of 4 supply drivers and 10 on the street. We have never packed so much stuff in the Bridges Van! Our brothers and sisters were elated to receive multiple meals, as many restaurants (surplus donations) and food pantries are closed on Christmas weekend and Monday. Everyone also received up to 8 pairs of hand warmers, multiple pairs of socks and underwear, toiletry kits, blankets or hats, soup, hot cocoa, oranges, fem hygiene kits, and a sturdy bag to carry it all. Jen Bridi overheard an older couple comment to each other “look at all the stuff we can bring home to the kids!” Any remaining socks, blankets, and hand warmers were donated to Bridges for January distribution.
Our next Run is scheduled for Wednesday, April 29 into NYC. Any monetary donations will be used to purchase crew socks, additional underwear, and toiletry items. Goods donations currently accepted include: travel size deodorant, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and lotions or shave cream (please no soap or shampoo). For all other goods donations please seek out our Second Sunday or Interfaith Homeless ministries or other community outreach groups, until we get closer to the Run.
May God bless you all for your time, donations, and prayers.
Ted & Travis