Email: caringfriends@ouuc.org

DESCRIPTION: OUUC Caring Friends is an opt-in email list that enables us to let one another know when we need help in times life transitions, illness or stress. We can help each other with practical things like transportation, doing errands, having meals delivered, etc.
Caring Friends provides the opportunity for each of us to take care of those in our congregation. Caring Friends facilitates member/friend  to  member/friend support during life transitions and times of illness or stress. Caring Friends is part of Community Life Ministry.

WHO ORGANIZES CARING FRIENDS?

Caring Friends Contact : Cheryl Hanks, caringfriends@ouuc.org

You can help: become a Care Coordinator.   You could coordinate assistance for a complicated Caring Friends request for a limited time. For example: coordinate meals for a week, coordinate transportation. Care Coordinators will be recruited by the Caring Friends Contact.

Staff resource: Community Life Ministry accountable person, Bonnie Guyer Graham, communitylife ministry@ouuc.org.

How can someone request help from Caring Friends? Email caringfriends@ouuc.org or call Cheryl Hanks or Bonnie Guyer Graham.

How is information distributed to the Caring Friends listserve? The Contact or Staff uses the Google Group:  OUUCCaringFriends. This is a Google Group with 250 members.

How does someone at OUUC become part of the Caring Friends listserve? You can opt-in to become part of the Caring Friends list by sending your name and email address to caringfriends@ouuc.org.


INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE REQUESTING ASSISTANCE FROM THE CARING FRIENDS LIST:

When you know the information you would like to share with Caring Friends and how Caring Friends could help, contact caringfriends@ouuc.org

What help do you need?

  1. Is this a simple one-time request? Such as sending a cards or making a phone call?
  2. Are you able to schedule the assistance on your own?
  3. Or is this a more complex request? Do you need to schedule help over a number of days? Example: delivering meals for a week. If it is more complex, then please talk with the Caring Friends Contact person to discuss your needs, and what resources might be available to help.

Time limit: 1-3 months depending on the need and to be determined by the Caring Friends Contact after consultation with Staff. During this time it is hoped that relationships will be nurtured. If it seems that assistance is still needed after this time, perhaps those who wish to continue helping will be able to do so on their own without coordination from OUUC’s Caring Friends.

 


THE ROLE OF THE CARING FRIENDS CONTACT:

Notify the Minister

Our Interim Minister, Eric Posa, wants to know as soon as possible when anyone of our community:

  • is admitted to the hospital,
  • has received a serious diagnosis,
  • has died or lost a family member to death,
  • and when any baby is born.

When Caring Friends Contact hears of these, send Eric a message directly at interimminister@ouuc.org. Please do this even if you think he already might know about the concern.

Respond to Caring Friends requests

Respond to all requests for assistance from Caring Friends with a call or email.

Post the request on the Caring Friends google group within 24 hours after the details are clarified.

When the request is simply stated, post the message directly to the Caring Friends google group list and cc to Bonnie and the Pastoral Care Team to keep them informed

Clarify the Caring Friends request

If there are questions, contact the person requesting assistance to clarify details:

1) What is the message the person wants to share with Caring Friends.

2) Clarify what assistance is being requested.

  • Does the request fit our criteria for the type of service that could be provided by OUUC members and friends?
  • Is this a simple one-time request? Such as sending cards or calling the person, etc.
  • When the request is not simple, ask if the person requesting help could coordinate the help themself? For example: Might they be able to coordinate weekly rides to the doctor’s office themselves?
  • If they could not organize help themselves, find a Care Coordinator to help with this Caring Friends request.

3) Do not make promises for help to be given, rather say a request will be sent.

Check the Joys and Sorrows book to see if anything written might be helped by Caring Friends.

 

What if the request can’t be met by Caring Friends?

Caring Friends offers assistance for those in need of direct assistance and during a transition. It does not include housesitting, moving help, etc.

  • Offer referrals to services provided by other organizations if possible.
  • If the request is made that someone at OUUC might be able to do but is not within the Caring Friends criteria (such as dog walking or house sitting) suggest they post the request on OUUC’s Bulletin board. They will need to contact the church administrator, Darlene Sarkela, to post notices on the physical Bulletin Board in the church and/or on the OUUC’s website’s bulletin Board.

Build a list of resources

Create a list of resources that the Caring Friends Contact could offer to the person making a request for service that cannot be met by Caring Friends.

Keep a list

Keep a running list of those who have received care from Caring Friends.

Build a list of Care Coordinators who can assist the Caring Friends Contact:

  1. Invite members of the Pastoral Care Team to take on this role occasionally and as available.
  2. Send an email message out to the Caring Friends list to invite people to add their name to the list of available Care Coordinators.
  3. Invite a long-term friend of the person making the request from Caring Friends to act as their Care Coordinator.

WHO ARE CARE COORDINATORS, WHAT IS THEIR ROLE? Someone who coordinates assistance for a complicated Caring Friends request for a limited time. The Caring Friends Contact will seek a Care Coordinator when needed.

How would a Care Coordinator help?

Examples: Coordinate who would bring meals to a family for 2 weeks, coordinate who would give daily or weekly rides to the doctor’s office.

A Care Coordinator would:

  1. Reach out to person making the request to get more specifics about the need. What, when, and how often?
  2. Do what is reasonable, this applies to all providing assistance. Take care of yourself.
  3. Once the tasks needed are determined, send a written description to the Caring Friends Contact, Bonnie Guyer Graham, and as needed discuss the situation with the Caring Friends Contact.
  4. Be the contact person for those who would like to help.
  5. Keep track of who can do what. The Care Coordinator could keep track of volunteer schedules via email, or the coordinator could choose to use an online tool (such as SignUpGenius or one of the other scheduling tools available).
  6. Communicate that schedule with the requestor, all volunteers, and the Care Contact.
  7. Be clear about who can actually volunteer. It’s ok if not all the slots are filled.

 

 

INFORMATION TO SHARE WITH PEOPLE WHO SIGN UP TO BE ON THE CARING FRIENDS LIST

Thank you for joining our Caring Friends list. As needs arise, requests for assistance will be sent out to the group email list. If you see something in one of the emails that you could help with, please contact that person and make necessary arrangements to provide assistance. Thank you!

Things someone on the Caring Friends list may be invited to do:

  • Send cards or emails to someone in need.
  • Visit them by appointment at their home
  • Drive them to a medical appointment
  • Provide a meal
  • Drive them to church
  • Provide for some sort of immediate/short term need of direct assistance to the person or family in transition.

If you do respond to a Caring Friends request:

Please let the Caring Friends Contact know the need is being met. It’s helpful to keep track of what help was able to be provided. Contact Caring Friends: caringfriends@ouuc.org  Thanks!

INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE REQUESTING ASSISTANCE FROM THE CARING FRIENDS LIST:

When you know the information you would like to share with Caring Friends and how Caring Friends could help, contact caringfriends@ouuc.org

What help do you need?

  1. Is this a simple one-time request? Such as sending a cards or making a phone call?
  2. Are you able to schedule the assistance on your own?
  3. Or is this a more complex request? Do you need to schedule help over a number of days? Example: delivering meals for a week. If it is more complex, then please talk with the Caring Friends Contact person to discuss your needs, and what resources might be available to help.

Time limit: 1-3 months depending on the need and to be determined by the Caring Friends Contact after consultation with Staff. During this time it is hoped that relationships will be nurtured. If it seems that assistance is still needed after this time, perhaps those who wish to continue helping will be able to do so on their own without coordination from OUUC’s Caring Friends.

 

October 2016