Gathered for worship.... Scattered for Service

You can make a difference this holiday season.

Peace on Earth, 

Food for the Hungry,

Education for a Child...

This year, give the gifts you've really always wanted!

A Scattered for Service gift is really three gifts in one. 

  • It's a gift to the beneficiaries you choose, whether you're supporting local charities or global programs. 
  • It's a gift to those in whose honor you make your choice and who receive acknowledgement cards.
  • And it's a gift to yourself, saving you from the hassle of shopping for "stuff" when you can give to worthwhile efforts to bring comfort, cheer, and peace on earth. 

For 2023, Scattered for Service includes an online selection of charities to support, plus a paper order form printed in the December issue of the Epistle newsletter if you prefer to use cash or check. 

You will select a ministry or agency from our list and 100% of your financial support will be sent to the organization you choose. You will receive personalized acknowledgement cards, which you may in turn give to loved ones in whose honor each contribution was made. 

How it works

Follow these simple steps and your Christmas shopping will be done before you know it!

  1. Starting November 19, the virtual Scattered for Service catalog will be available on this page in the sections below. 
  2. Peruse the list. There will be local and international organizations, ranging from Bethesda Help and West River Center to Heifer International and UMCOR. Choose which organization is a good match for the people on your Christmas list!
  3. Use the link to go to the online order form and use your credit card OR find a copy of the form in the December edition of the Epistle and make your donations by check using the instructions there.
  4. Fill out your order form selecting all of the gifts you’ve chosen.
  5. If you wish, we will provide personalized cards for each item, ready to go to loved ones.
  6. After the order period closes, the Scattered for Service team will compile all of the receipts and send 100% of the donations we've collected to the organizations as directed.
  7. If you have questions, please contact Erin Steele in the church office at or Scattered for Service coordinator Lyn Walker directly.,

SCattered for Service: 2023 Virtual Catalog

This year we offer 20 different organizations that you can choose to support as part of our alternative gift program. Each entry below includes a summary about the organization and their charitable work, a link to their website, and a description showing how the organization can use your donation. Organizations are listed in alphabetical order.

Online Ordering Available Starting November 19 

Scattered for Service Order Form

Make your selections online and pay securely by credit card. 

Each Scattered for Service gift online costs $30. 

To Order by Cash or Check: Paper order forms, instructions, and brief descriptions of each organization will be available in the December issue of the Epistle newsletter. Each gift is $30. If you wish to donate more, you may indicate that on your order form and write your check accordingly.

Please make all selections by December 20, 2023.

  • Asylee Women Enterprise

    Baltimore, MD

    Your gift will allow Asylee Women Enterprise to provide shelter to families arriving from the border, legal assistance to asylum seekers who could not otherwise afford an attorney, medical support to children without insurance, mental health services to trafficking survivors, and a place of healing, connection, and community to people whose worlds have been upended by violence and conflict. We help asylum-seekers across the Baltimore region to establish new lives and set them up for success with food, hygiene items, and household essentials like bedding and cookware. While we strive to serve all who come to us, we especially prioritize the needs of women and children, the most vulnerable populations.

    $30 can provide:

    • Counseling services for survivors of human trafficking.
    • A full set of school supplies for students entering US schools.
    • Funding for immigration legal services.
    • One full toiletries kit for adult personal hygiene.
    • Half the cost of a new infant car seat.
  • Bethesda Help

    Offices in Bethesda MD

    Bethesda Help, Inc. is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that offers immediate emergency assistance to the residents of southern Montgomery County regardless of income. They provide relief in multiple ways: Financial assistance to prevent utility cut-offs, emergency rent payments, funds for essential prescription medications, referrals to county agencies, and direct grocery assistance.

    $30 can provide:

    • Giant Food gift card for a family to purchase fresh milk, produce or meat
    • Three-day emergency supply of groceries for a family, including tuna, pasta, peanut butter, cereal, soup, canned fruits and vegetables, rice, beans, and bread.
    • Partial payment of an overdue utility bill so a family’s heat will not be turned off during the winter. 
  • The Children's InN at NIH

    Bethesda MD

    At The Children’s Inn, the power of childhood meets the power of research. As a partner in hope to families — and a partner in discovery with the NIH — The Children’s Inn is a part of the cure. The Inn provides relief, support and strength to families journeying into the unknown; their participation in medical trials at NIH institutes and centers can change the story for children around the world. They make childhood possible for children who don’t have many chances to just play, laugh and be kids through therapeutic, educational and recreational programming. Since opening in 1990, The Inn has been a free “Place Like Home” for more than 14,700 children and their families from all 50 states and 94 countries.

    $30 can provide:

    • Replacements for worn out toys and books
    • A new video game in the Game Room or Teen Lounge
    • An international calling card for families to stay in touch with loved ones.

  • Christ House

    Washington DC

    Christ House opened in December 1985 as the first 24-hour residential medical facility for homeless persons in the United States. Today, Christ House is still the only facility of its kind in the Washington, DC. metropolitan area. The mission of Christ House is to provide comprehensive and compassionate health care to sick homeless men in the District of Columbia and to assist them in addressing critical issues in their lives to help break the cycle of homelessness. Patients at Christ House are too sick to be on the street or in a shelter, but not sick enough to be in the hospital; most patients come directly to Christ House from a hospital. Most patients have more than one condition and many, in addition to their physical problems, also suffer from mental illness and drug and alcohol addictions. Patients may stay at Christ House as long as their medical need requires. Here they receive 24-hour nursing care, shelter, nutritious meals, social services, addictions counseling, pastoral care, and the opportunity to participate in many patient activities. 

    $30 can provide:

    • A meal for eight patients
    • Snacks and other refreshments for patients during an activity
    • New sweatpants and sweatshirt for one patient
    • A month’s worth of medical supplies for a diabetic patient.

  • Comfort Cases

    Rockville, MD

    Over 700 children enter the foster care system every single day. Comfort Cases provides a trauma-informed intervention in the shape age-appropriate backpacks, packed with new pajamas, toothbrush and toothpaste, a stuffed animal and blanket to provide comfort, and a journal, book, or coloring supplies to help calm distressing feelings. Unfortunately, when it comes to packing their own belongings to leave an unsafe home, children are often given a trash bag. Comfort Cases also works to provide social workers and police officers across the country with a supply of Comfort XL duffel bags to give to children when they are removed from their homes. A trash bag should never be a child’s suitcase. 

    $30 can provide:

    • A small stuffed animal and blanket
    • A coloring book and crayons, board book, or journal and writing supplies.
    • New pajamas, underwear, and toothbrushes.
    • XL-size duffle bags for police and social workers to distribute, so no child has to put their belongings in a trash bag.

  • Freedom Farm

    Boone NC

    Freedom Farm serves men addicted to drugs and alcohol on a journey to sobriety and true freedom through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Freedom Farm operates in three phases: The Safe House where men with nowhere else to turn get rest and nourishment; Restoration, a 40-day substance abuse recovery program with meditation and Bible study in a quiet mountain setting; and Discipleship Learning, a jobs program in the community with accountability, housing, and continuing classes so men grow to better know Jesus. Freedom Farm now has a greenhouse, to teach the men agricultural principles and grow vegetables.

    $30 can provide:

    • Small gardening tools
    • 40 lbs of natural top soil
    • Starter kits for vegetables
    • Drip irrigation systems
  • Greater DC Diaper Bank

    Washington DC

    1 in 5 families in our area live below the poverty line. Benefits programs like SNAP and WIC do not cover diaper needs (yet childcare facilities won't accept babies without them). Greater DC Diaper Bank is on a mission to empower families and individuals throughout D.C., MD, and VA by providing low-income families with a reliable and adequate source of basic baby needs like diapers and formula, and feminine personal hygiene products. Through the Diaper Bank's Distribution Network, they deliver an average of 175,000 diapers to 4,000 families each month in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The Diaper Bank also serves as a gateway connecting clients seeking infant supplies with established social services agencies. 

    $30 can provide:

    • The wholesale purchase of diapers and wipes - allowing the Diaper Bank to acquire about 3 times the number of diapers as buying them retail.
    • Powdered baby formula and baby food for the Baby Food Pantry
    • A new, safe infant car seat
    • A diaper bag packed with essentials
    • Feminine hygiene supplies that enable people who have periods to go about their work and lives without embarrassment.

  • Heifer International

    Worldwide, administrative offices in Little Rock AR

    In 1944, Dan West returned to his Indiana farm after serving overseas as a volunteer relief worker. While providing powdered milk to survivors of the Spanish Civil War, he realized the people needed "a cow, not a cup." Today Heifer International provides recipients, known as project partners, with a reliable source of food and income. Heifer partners succeed because every animal or plant gift includes training in sustainable farming and market practices. Agricultural products, such as milk from cows or goats, honey from bees, eggs from chickens, and fruits and vegetables from garden seeds and sapling trees, boost a family's diet and can be sold at market. As Heifer resources reach a whole community, they are able to build and improve schools, install clean water systems, create financial savings-and-loan groups, and support women’s entrepreneurial endeavors. Donors to Heifer can cover the cost of a whole animal or can contribute to a portion of the cost, or “share,” especially for large gifts like heifer cows or water buffalo. 

    $30 can provide:

    • A Flock of Chicks
    • A Hive of Honeybees
    • Half of the Garden Seeds gift of fruit & vegetables
    • Share of a Heifer Cow
    • All gifts include training and support for those who receive livestock of farm aid.

  • Holiday Giving at St. Paul's

    Kensington MD

    The holidays are a special time to celebrate how much we can do together when the Spirit moves among us. We are proud to serve as the Montgomery County DHHS partner for the 20895 ZIP code and provide Christmas cheer to 50 referral households, in addition to providing gifts and grocery support to approximately 140 monthly Hunger Ministry families who we serve each month. Last year, we served over 240 children in the Kensington ZIP code area.

    $30 can provide:

    • A Target gift card for one child’s Christmas gift, plus the cost of a greeting card.
    • A grocery store card so families can purchase perishable foods like fresh or frozen produce, dairy, meat, or essential hygiene products.
    • A Target gift card for adults-only households.
    • An age-appropriate toy for a child, wrapped in holiday paper and ready to go under the tree!

  • Housing Up

    Washington DC

    Housing Up builds thriving communities in Washington, DC by developing affordable housing and offering comprehensive support services to homeless and low-income families. Housing Up believes that people who have safe, affordable housing and genuine opportunities are empowered to transform their lives. Housing Up began 30 years ago as a transitional housing provider serving 14 families in one building, and has grown to serve more than 600 families in a range of housing programs across the District. Housing Up is one of the only nonprofit organizations in the District of Columbia that focuses on ending family homelessness through both support services and affordable housing development. This unique combination builds vibrant, diverse communities where families can thrive.

    $30 can provide:

    • New books and learning materials for twice-weekly youth tutoring sessions
    • SmarTrip cards for families to navigate the city using public transportation
    • A backpack of new school supplies for children
    • Half the cost of a “Welcome Home” kit for families transitioning from shelters to housing.

  • Imagination Library of Montgomery County, Maryland

    Glen Echo MD

    Imagination Library mails free, age-appropriate books to children from birth to age 5. Its mission is to foster the bond between parents and children as they read together, to increase a child's love of books and learning, and to improve early literacy skills so critical to later development. Each month, a new book is mailed in the child's name directly to his/her home. The first book a child receives is The Little Engine that Could, and the month they turn 5 they receive Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!. In between, they might receive as many as 60 titles, from classics like Peter Rabbit to new and diverse stories like Hair Love. Imagination Library of Montgomery County Maryland registers children in the 20850, 20851, 20877, 20895 and 20903 zip code areas and currently has around 800 children enrolled. They are an affiliate of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, an organization that has existed for over 20 years and currently has 1,800 affiliates distributing books in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland.

    $30 can provide:

    • A child’s book every month for one year.

  • Manna Food center & Smart Sacks

    Silver Spring & Gaithersburg MD

    Manna’s vision is that Montgomery County is a place where all people at all times have access to safe, sufficient, nutritious food. Donors to Manna provide critical support for the Smart Sacks program, allowing Manna to purchase food for local elementary school children. Smart Sacks are distributed with the help of community partners, providing special weekend bags to elementary school children who receive free and reduced price school lunches. These Smart Sacks are critical to helping them eat healthy food at home. Manna also maintains permanent and mobile food pantries, bringing access to food right into the areas where people need it.

    $30 can provide:

    • 5 complete Smart Sacks bags of food
    • 2 cases of shelf-stable milk boxes to feed 50 children
    • Instant oatmeal packets to feed 175 children

  • Moco Pride Center

    Kensington, MD

    The MoCo Pride Center is a 501(c)3 organization which serves the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community and its allies in Montgomery County, Maryland. MoCo Pride organizes, supports, educates, and provides outreach to the LGBTQ community and its allies. It promotes dignity and respect for all individuals; connects community members and creates a network of support for youth, adults, and families; and organizes and engages the LGBTQ community and its allies to build a movement to advance the rights, dignity and respect for the LGBTQ community.

    $30 can provide: 

    • Support for Youth events like Pride Prom or Open Mic Night where LGBTQ+ youth can express themselves.
    • Community activities like the Summer of Love Pride Walk & Fun Run, in collaboration with Montgomery County Parks.
  • montgomery Hospice

    Rockville MD

    Montgomery Hospice provides end-of-life care to the terminally ill residents of Montgomery County regardless of ability to pay, as well as grief support for loved ones. Comprehensive care is provided through these services: Hospice at Home, with a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and counselors providing end-of-life care; Casey House on Muncaster Mill Road, the only inpatient facility in Montgomery County exclusively for hospice care; Montgomery Kids, a specialized pediatric team helping families care for seriously-ill children at home surrounded by the people they love; Bereavement Care and grief support offered by professional counselors; Complementary Therapies including holistic approaches to comfort and symptom relief; and a Center for Learning educating community members about high quality end-of-life care, death, dying, loss and grief.

    $30 can provide:

    • Materials for community workshops on understanding and coping with grief
    • Art supplies and therapeutic toys to allow Montgomery Kids patients and their siblings to discuss their concerns and fears with social workers
    • A visit from a Board Certified Music Therapist to relieve symptoms of pain, anxiety, or shortness of breath and to enhance memory and express feelings
    • Partial cost of care for patients without insurance.

  • National Federation of the Blind of Maryland

    Columbia MD

    The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland is made up of blind people of all ages, their families, and friends. Strong local chapters and well-trained leaders help newly blind people adjust to vision loss and promote the full participation and integration of blind people in our communities. As an all-volunteer organization, all donations go to services and programs, not salaries. Among their work: Assist blind persons to acquire the skills of independence; build the confidence of blind persons through service opportunities; promote the achievement of blind students through educational and training scholarships; offer specialized information for diabetics losing their vision; support and educate parents and friends of the blind; protect and promote the rights of blind persons.

    $30 can provide:

    • Funding for the John T. McCraw Scholarship Program to advance post-secondary educational opportunities for Maryland's blind students
    • Youth Stipends to attend Summer Training Programs in Independence
    • Two weeks of lunches, field trips, transportation and supplies for the Braille Enrichment Literacy and Learning (BELL) program for children ages 4-12.

  • The Oakleaf Club of Greater Washington DC

    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda MD

    Oakleaf DC is a charitable and social organization whose membership is made up of those involved with military medicine. Charitable donations support benevolence programs while members manage Oakleaf’s social events that support military families living away from their own families. Oakleaf runs a Wish List Program, donating generously to about 35 clinics and departments at Walter Reed and Naval Support Activity Bethesda. These items look simple on their own: a coffee maker for a nurse station, a TV for a patient waiting area, 3-D models to help illustrate medical procedures. It is these simple and common items that greatly improve staff morale, patient comfort, and understanding. In the on-base clinic setting where every dollar is already used, Oakleaf’s wish list helps to fill the gaps.

    $30 can provide:

    • Movies for donors at the blood bank
    • Children’s toys for distraction and comfort during their procedures
    • Educational materials for patients in waiting rooms and treatment areas
    • Replacing small appliances like microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffee makers to support nurses, doctors, and other workers.

  • TLC Foundation and one.Charter elementary Academy K-6

    Stockton CA

    This unique school serves young students experiencing or transitioning from homelessness. The one.Charter Elementary Academy K-6 - previously named the one.TLC School - is fully accredited and now run by the San Joaquin County Office of Education (California), relying on resources from the school's founding partners at the TLC Foundation to provide counselors and special services. Approximately 90% of the children enrolled show symptoms of neglect, abuse, depression, lack of consistency in their education, and/or lack of stability in their home life. The goal is to satisfy physical, emotional, and educational needs with extra support so they can catch up academically and transition back to neighborhood schools. Thanks to the support of the TLC Foundation, clinicians are able to guide children through trauma-associated stress, offer enrichment activities, help instill a feeling of hope, and meet each child’s basic needs with clothing, toiletries, breakfast and lunch, and transportation.

    $30 can provide:

    • Underwear or socks
    • One school uniform
    • One pair of new school shoes
    • Counseling sessions


    Worldwide, administrative office in New York NY

    Founded in the aftermath of World War II, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) provides critical long-term services to people in areas that have suffered violence, natural disasters, or humanitarian crises. When disasters happen, UMCOR knows it is local churches that provide the first response in their communities. This basic understanding – that disaster response is local – forms the foundation for UMCOR’s disaster training and response efforts. UMCOR’s ministries help heal a hurting world in more than 100 countries by assisting refugees, confronting the challenges of hunger, and rebuilding following extreme weather events. Because UMCOR’s administrative expenses are funded through the United Methodist Special Sunday offering program, 100% of gifts for disaster or refugee response go to provide humanitarian relief.

    $30 can provide:

    • Supply kits that provide essential personal hygiene items
    • Global Migration Refugee assistance for resettlement in new communities or successful reintegration back to stabilized home countries.

  • West River camping & retreat center

    West River MD

    Administrative Office of Retreat and Camping Ministries, Churchton, MD

    West River Center, part of the Baltimore-Washington United Methodist Church Camping & Retreat ministries, serves over 1,000 campers each summer during normal operations. They enjoy a week long summer camp featuring swimming, zip lines, sailing, rafting, paddleboards, archery, vibrant worship, small group study, out of this world games, and new friends. Scholarships or “camperships” are awarded each year to deserving children and youth to attend a week of camp, because every child and teen should have the opportunity to experience a week of fun, friends, and faith regardless of their family finances. Campers (and Retreat Guests) use sports equipment each day at the West River Center; as you can imagine, these items need to be replaced frequently.

    $30 can provide:

    • Playground balls and balls for sports like volleyball or football
    • A portion of a “campership” to allow a young person with fewer means to attend camp.

  • A Wider Circle

    Silver Spring MD

    The average family size of those served at A Wider Circle is 4 people, and their average income when they walk in the door is $12,000 per year.  A Wider Circle uses a 5-pronged approach to lift families from poverty permanently. The Basic Needs Program provides beds, dressers, and other essential home items. Our Workforce Development Program provides intensive one-on-one job coaching to adults entering the workforce or advancing in their careers. The Wraparound Support Program matches one family in poverty with four mentor families that work as a team to help set and pursue goals related to education, financial management, health and wellness, and housing stability. The Restorative Health program arranges classes, consultations with counselors and healthcare providers, and individual and group therapy sessions to help individuals address past and current traumas, improving psychological resilience and mental health. The Neighborhood Partnerships Program connects residents of the region's most impoverished areas with services to help revitalize the whole community. These five programs work in concert to help families reach a place of stability with their basic needs met, and then reach a place of independence - for it is independence that best characterizes the rise out of poverty.

    $30 can provide:

    • Youth educational classes at Barry Farm or Highland Dwellings, two low-income neighborhoods in Southeast, D.C. served by A Wider Circle’s Neighborhood Partnership Program
    • A day of instruction to a job seeker in Job Skills Bootcamp
    • Basic furniture items including beds and dressers