“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we do something wonderful.”
The primary driver of success for many non-profit organizations is their ability to form strategic partnerships. A strategic partnership is based on a shared set of values and Orange County Outdoors Ministry has been fortunate to form key relationships with several organizations in our community. Our ability to successfully serve our community has been due, in large part, to the help, kindness, and strength of our outreach partners.
If your organization would like to combine efforts with Orange County Outdoors Ministry, please contact us.
Anathoth Community Garden & Farm
Our introduction to Anathoth Community Garden & Farm occurred on a Sunday morning at Efland United Methodist Church. Chas Edens, Co-Executive Director of Anathoth Community Garden & Farm, came to Efland UMC to provide information about Anathoth’s history and mission.
At this point in time, OCOM was simply a concept forming in the mind of our founder and he just happened to be in the audience. It became very clear that OCOM’s concept could be tested through a relationship with Anathoth. Within a few weeks, OCOM’s first community partnership was formed.
How we work together:
- Crop Protection
- Fortunately, white-tailed deer populations are strong, however, this can pose significant risk to community gardens and farms. The landscape of a small to mid-size farm or garden is perfect for deer habitats. Deer require large amounts of food during the spring, summer, and fall and freshly planted crops can be their number one target!
- The most effective longer-term solution is fencing, but fencing is very expensive and requires upkeep.
- OCOM helps to reduce crop damage through deer hunting. Every deer harvested from Anathoth’s property is professionally processed and packaged and returned to Anathoth for distribution (at no cost to Anathoth).
- HarvestShare CSA http://anathothgarden.org/harvestshare-csa/harvestshare/
- HarvestShare is a sliding-scale, Community Supported Agriculture program offering fresh vegetables and fruits each week from April – December. HarvestShare members are also invited to participate and enjoy community workdays, potluck meals, cooking demonstrations, and worship services.
- OCOM participates in the HarvestShare program by purchasing a share and sharing food with the members of OCOM’s venison distribution program. It also provides OCOM with the opportunity increase awareness of both organizations and their respective missions.
Learn more about Anathoth Community Garden & Farm here.
Efland United Methodist Church
OCOM’s founder and his family were looking for their home church and attended Efland UMC one Sunday. Within two weeks, they knew they had found their church home and officially joined the church a month later.
The congregation at Efland UMC was community service oriented and everyone just “seemed like family.” Of course, in a small church located in a rural town, we have learned that most of us actually are family (or at least felt like family because we grew up so close together)!
OCOM’s founder worked with Reverend Ken McLean (former pastor of Efland UMC) to help shape the idea of what a ministry group should be and how an “Outdoors Ministry” could serve an important role in the church and in the community. Congregation members provided seed funding and helped to find locations for outdoor activities. In fact, the first deer harvested and donated through OCOM’s venison donation program came from a relationship with one of the congregations members.
While OCOM has formed partnerships with churches across Orange County, Efland UMC will always be our home church.
Efland UMC’s strength and one of their most successful programs revolve around their food ministry and this serves as the foundation for our partnership.
How we work together:
- Food Ministry
- Efland UMC operates a Food Pantry that serves over 3,000 individuals per year (reaching families in 10 counties).
- OCOM provides professionally processed and packaged venison to the food pantry at no cost. These donations are critical because venison serves as an excellent source of low fat, high quality protein that is easy to prepare. Fresh, high quality sources of protein are challenging and costly to acquire for most food ministry programs, but OCOM has been able to provide a constant supply of meat to Efland UMC’s food pantry.
Learn more about Efland UMC here.
Presbytery of New Hope and Hillsborough Presbyterian Church
The Presbytery of New Hope is a council of the Presbyterian Church and is comprised of a diverse group of congregations in northeastern North Carolina. One of their “Ministries of Mission” includes working to reduce hunger locally and throughout the world. Through their Hunger Grant program, the Presbytery of New Hope is able to combat hunger and food insecurity.
Hillsborough Presbyterian Church is a church based in Orange County (Hillsborough, NC) and they are a member of the Presbytery of New Hope. Through their counsel and endorsement, OCOM was able to apply for a Hunger Grant award and successfully receive funding!
How we work together:
- Presbytery of New Hope “Hunger Grant” program
- The Ministries of Missions Committee of the Presbytery awards annual grants for international and domestic hunger projects.
- Orange County Outdoors Ministry is a Hunger Grant award recipient. This award provides a logistical and financial foundation for OCOM’s venison donation program, enabling OCOM to better serve the Orange County community.
Learn more about the Presbytery of New Hope here.
Learn more about Hillsborough Presbyterian Church here.
Collaborative Churches of the Efland Area
OCOM has been blessed to be a working member of the Collaborative Churches of the Efland Area. The “Collaborative “includes representation from the following Efland area churches and service organizations:
- Efland Presbyterian Church
- McCoy’s Temple UHC
- Gaines Chapel AME
- Efland United Methodist Church
- Chestnut Ridge United Methodist Church
- Orange County Outdoors Ministry
- Efland Checks Community Center
Every member organization of the Collaborative has successfully made a positive impact in our community. With that said, the founding members of Collaborative had the foresight to understand that the collaborative working model would result in a combined effort, allowing us to achieve far more as a group than we could when working alone.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Collaborative effort involves working together to achieve shared goals. Here are a few examples of our current projects:
Collaborative Service Projects
- Community Back-to-School Clothing Giveaway: provides clothing, book bags, school supplies, books, and housewares
- Community Food Pantry: assists with restocking the food pantry and identifying recipients
- Meal Delivery: provides meals to those who are sick or unable to leave the home
- Community Suppers: 1st Thursday of every month
- Cooking Classes
- Community Bible Study
- Youth Nights: proving safe and educational events for our area youth
- Workshops: covering topics important to our community
- Community Clean Up
- Youth “Intern for a Day” program: youth gain a the opportunity to interact with adults and learn about vocational opportunities