Why Project Outreach
In 2009 I had just finished reading the book, Between Sundays. by Karen Kingsbury, a book about a woman who spent her free time volunteering at an after-school program for foster children. I was so inspired to find my niche where I could bless others in our own community, but found it difficult to find the right fit. My heart was not leading me to one particular need; I wanted the ability to help wherever I was called.
I knew I wasn’t alone and decided to create a network of volunteers that we could call upon to serve at local events. Initially it was my family and circle of friends who helped out with events such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, and meeting the needs of local homeless shelters. Our small network quickly grew as others learned of opportunities to serve and my mother, Julie Thomas, became our official director.
We started a Facebook page which allowed us to learn of more needs in the community. Whenever we posted a need, our volunteers would jump in to help. We’ve helped cancer patients, widows, fire victims, and the homeless. Our volunteers clean houses, cook and deliver meals, take elderly to doctor appointments, and provide furniture and clothing to those in need.
Once we became an official 501c3, we began hosting our own events based on the needs we would see in the community. We host an annual Christmas Outreach supplying nearly 1,000 toys to underprivileged children. Project Platoon is an amazing project where we ship supplies, food and books to soldiers overseas. Immokalee Serve Day is where we feed the homeless, clean and organize the Immokalee Friendship Home and reach out to families and children in the community. During our annual Back to School Bash, we supply 400-800 backpacks filled with school supplies to underprivileged children.
We have been incredibly blessed to meet and help amazing people who are going through some tough times. It is beautiful to see that as soon as they are back on their feet, they are the first to give back! We have so many amazing volunteers and members who can’t wait for the next outreach.
Our ultimate vision is to build a Center that will have Affordable Housing for service people (nurses, teachers, EMT’s, police officers, veterans, etc.), a community center, an education building, a clinic, a church, and a veteran’s place. We are praying for this to happen and believing that God will work out all the details.
Thank you for everything you do to help make Project Outreach successful!
Angela Meister, Founder of Project Outreach Naples
Angela Meister, Founder
The founding family: Angie, Josi, Mom Julie Thomas, and Cassie