The V1 Church congregation is nothing if not diverse. We come from all backgrounds and all walks of life. But we have much to unite us as well.
One of the most important of those unifying forces here at V1 Church is generosity. We believe generosity is a core value of any healthy congregation, and we take it seriously. We use it to set an example for the rest of the world, a world that all too often leaves behind the least fortunate among us.
We’re doing our part to redefine generosity for a future that no longer seems to be set in stone. We’re living our faith amid uncertainty, pain, disappointment, and doing our part to make life a little brighter for those we’re able to reach.
The V1 Church congregation has been doing this work since the very beginning. It has, of course, taken on new urgency during the pandemic. In this article, we want to look back at some of the most impactful, life-changing initiatives our members and staff worked on in 2020 and before — and will continue to expand in 2021 and beyond.
We invite you to partner with V1 Church in any of these efforts, or any that arise in the future. Or, if you’d prefer, simply take what we’ve accomplished so far as inspiration for your own efforts to make the world a better place by giving back.
V1 Church Members Purchased Christmas Gifts for Hundreds of New York City Area Families in 2020
Let’s start with one of our most recent giving-back initiatives: bringing Christmas joy to more than 300 families with 600-plus children in the greater New York area during what turned out to be the most difficult year in recent memory.
Our members were blessed to be able to donate Christmas gifts to:
- 20 parents and 60 kids in the Bronx
- 86 parents and 115 kids in Brooklyn
- 214 parents and 498 kids across Long Island
Just as the pandemic didn’t end when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve 2020, the need for holiday support won’t go away in the coming year.
Our Holiday Generosity Crossed Borders, Sending Christmas Gifts to 2,000 Families in Central and South America & the Caribbean
Our Christmas gifting campaign didn’t stop at the Hudson River this year. In fact, by the numbers, our members made an even greater impact outside our immediate community. Together, we donated Christmas gifts to some 2,000 families in underserved parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean: in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia.
The expressions of gratitude we received from so many of these families tell us that our efforts really made a difference in their lives. At the same time, we recognize that one year of Christmas gifts can’t erase every hardship. Many of the families we supported experience unimaginable challenges, from gang violence and political instability to inadequate infrastructure and displacement by hurricanes and other natural disasters. We pray that the coming year brings some closure to the pandemic and makes it safe for in-person assistance and support.
V1 Church Donated $6,000 to Honduras Hurricane Relief Efforts With HOC Justice Project
Our Christmas gift donation campaign wasn’t our only show of support for hard-hit Central American families last year. The recognition that individuals and families need love and support throughout the year, not just around the holidays, was an important step on our founding pastor Mike Signorelli’s journey to become founder of V1 Church. Our entire membership feels the same way — yet another force that unites us all.
To do our small part to help families in particularly urgent need last year, we teamed up with HOC Justice Project on a mission to donate thousands to hurricane relief efforts in Honduras. Honduras and surrounding countries sustained two direct hits by major hurricanes in 2020, an unprecedented catastrophe that crippled the mountainous country’s infrastructure, washed away roads, and frustrated relief efforts.
Our final donation came to $6,000 — not a fortune, but certainly a help. We look forward to doing more to help the deserving people of Honduras get back on their feet.
V1 Church Is Providing Mentorship Opportunities to Bridge the Racial Divide in New York City
2020 wasn’t only a pandemic year. It was also the year that many white Americans awoke to their country’s persistent, deeply rooted racial inequities and biases. Strong as our congregation is, we can’t erase those injustices, which have persisted for centuries. But we can do our part to, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “bend the arc of history” toward justice.
Our desire to bridge the racial divide in our own community led us to the National CARES Mentoring Movement, a grassroots initiative to alleviate intergenerational poverty in African American communities and build a fairer, more equitable world for all. The CARES movement relies on strong relationships between adult role models and at-risk youths yearning to reach their potential. We’re humbled and blessed to participate in this urgently important work and look forward to deepening our relationship with CARES in the future.
We’re Doing Our Part to Combat Human Trafficking in the U.S. and Around the World
Human trafficking and the exploitation of girls and women is another tragic, deeply rooted injustice that harms communities and saps our faith. To do our part to combat this enormous problem, we partnered with NOMI Network last year in an effort to end modern slavery in our lifetime.
It’s an enormous task, one that won’t be done this year or next. But it’s a fight we can’t back down from. And we won’t.
We Supported Major COVID-19 Relief Efforts in 2020
We can’t talk about what happened in 2020 without talking about the pandemic. From the very beginning, our members recognized the profound impact that the virus and shutdowns would have on the economic and spiritual well-being of our neighbors.
That’s why V1 Church supported early COVID-19 relief efforts in New York City last spring, partnering up with New York City Relief to deliver hygiene kits, food, and other basic necessities to those most in need. We rolled out a text-based donation app for members and friends to support our efforts, which will continue in the new year.
Our Efforts Continue. Will You Help?
We are people of limitless faith, but we also have no illusions about the world. We know that the difficult, life-changing work we’ve done since our founding will never truly be finished. The world, sadly, will always have its share of hardship.
And yet, we will not be deterred. We believe in the restorative power of people helping people, and we’ll never cease working to make life better for those less fortunate than us. We invite you to join us in our efforts and make your own mark on the world, wherever you call home.