Serve the World

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.
— 1 Peter 4:8-11


Serving the Community

Here at COTC we desire to see the greater Manatee area saturated with the hope of the Gospel. Often this is accomplished by coming along side programs in our community and help or support what God has called them to do. Other times, it is through acts of love and kindness, we embrace and oversee. It is such a beautiful thing when God calls us to meet needs in our community, in His name. Here are some of the activities we currently embrace, but our hearts are open to whatever God directs us to do.

Food Pantry

On an average we give grocery assistance to over 150 families every other week. Our goal is to bolster the nutritional habits of those in our community who are food challenged. Most of our clients receive food stamps, but in many cases, the benefits received are too low to allow families to purchase enough nutritious food and to feed their families healthy meals on a consistent basis. Most food stamp households report that their benefits do not last the entire month. So they are forced to turn to food pantries and soup kitchens.
We give food out on the 2nd & 4th Friday from 9:00am – 11:00am, except holiday. Our clients usually leave with fresh vegetables, pantry items, bread and frozen meat. Our goal is that every child and family will have several nutritious meals each week.

Canned Food Sunday

The first Sunday of every month, we are collecting canned goods to help supplement the food pantry. Canned goods are the most costly food item to purchase through Manatee County Food Bank as the rate is based off of weight. To be better stewards with the funds donated to support the food pantry we are requesting donations of canned goods. So keep an eye out for those buy 1 get 1 free deals and donate a can of food. Thank You!

Feeding Bayshore Children on the Weekend

We will feed 25 - 60 food insecure and at risk children through Bayshore Elementary School with weekend food packs. Bayshore is a Title 1 school, and has a large percent of the student population on free or assisted meal programs due to the lack of family income. Many of these children are left without adequate nutrition on the weekend and holiday breaks. They go without food, waking up hungry, and on Monday going to school hungry makes it hard to focus. We work with the Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies program to secure food for these children.

Kids Live Club

Manatee Youth for Christ, which has served Manatee County children for 55 years, operates about a dozen Kid's Live Clubs in Manatee County elementary schools. We have partnered with them and oversee the Kids Live Club after school at Moody Elementary. With over 50 children every Monday, students in Kindergarten to Fifth grades participate in this Bible club.  Kids Live is an exciting way to learn biblical values, sing songs, play games, pray and have tons of fun.  Please feel welcome to stop in and check out Kids Live or even stay and help.  Kids Live would love for your children to come join us every Monday after school.

Conversational English For Spanish Speakers

English (ESOL) - The major focus of this program is to give the learner essential vocabulary and speaking skills needed to communicate in everyday life, in the academic setting, and at work. The program consists of six levels: Grammar, Writing, Reading, Speaking, Listening, and Conversational English which take the learner from an elementary to advanced proficiency. Each course focuses on real- life and industry-related situations and encourages students to participate in oral exercises incorporating their personal experiences. 

Annual School Supply Drive

Each year we provide age appropriate school supplies to needy children in our county. Equipping students for learning and education is the key goal for this program. Sometimes the only difference between an A+ student and a failing student is having basic supplies to do homework and participate in class. Because most of the children served live on a family income of less than the national poverty standard, after the most basic needs of the family are met, school supplies may not fit into that budget.
These students face daily struggles other students will never understand. They struggle to survive, find food. However, teachers often carry the burden to meet these students' needs and help them succeed in the classroom. We hope to help the teachers carry this load and equip the students from the first day of school with the supplies each child will need.


Teacher Appreciation

It is our goal to let the teachers and administration of Bayshore and Daughtry Elementary Schools know they are valued. We host an annual breakfast or lunch on school grounds once a year for each school.


Christmas Shoebox Drive

Giving Love to our local migrant community! Many migrant families in our community don’t have the resources to enjoy a Christmas celebration and provide gifts for their children. We recognize the importance of celebrating the holidays for families and how it can contribute to a better quality of life. Christmas is a time as a community we can share each other’s burdens and seek to be a blessing.

Reflecting on the story of  Mary and Joseph and their journey to Bethlehem. As migrants, they left their home, their friends, their family, and there was no joyous welcome waiting for them at Bethlehem. Finally finding the stable, a light in the darkness, to await the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, must have been so welcome.

So at Christmas what a joy it is to give shoe boxes filled with toys and gifts for migrant children that are in need. We have the privilege to be a blessing and give the Love of Jesus to God’s precious children who are in need. As Jesus told us “when you do it to the least of these…you do it unto ME!

 


Don’t feel limited to serving only at organized COTC activities. We are called to let serving be a part of our daily lives. Help someone load their groceries, surprise a friend with coffee, or bring a meal to someone living on the streets. It’s all about perspective and finding God’s purpose in every part of our lives. God longs for His people to experience His love, and He needs individuals to be alert vessels ready for Him to work through.


Have questions? Want more information? Give us a call 941-756-0060 or email the office.