Potter’s House is located at 1709 Pacific Avenue, across 18th street from Virginia Beach United Methodist Church. The parking lot and entrance are in the back of the building and accessed from 18th Street, directly behind Domino’s Pizza.
The Potter’s House came into being as a result of Virginia Beach United Methodist Church’s fund-raising campaign for the educational building in the late 1990’s. The organizers of the campaign insisted that a tithe of ten percent of the funds raised, be set aside to serve the poor. With that tithe, a building across the street from the church was purchased and renovated by volunteers to serve this purpose. Potter’s House has occupied the building since June of 1999.
The name “Potter’s House” comes from scripture. Isaiah 64.8, “But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand”.
Potter’s House is staffed and operated by volunteers. The Potter’s House budget is based solely on donations, from Communion Sunday collections and other donations throughout the year. Financial and material support is also provided by private companies and organizations in the community. The Potter’s House ministry networks with other local churches. Potter’s House volunteers provide a support system for the homeless, working, and non-working poor by striving to meet their immediate needs.
Hours of Operation
Tuesday and Thursday mornings – 9:30 – 10:30am.
Potter’s House provides services to the homeless, the working poor, and those in crisis situations, who are residents of Virginia Beach. Assistance is Available for:
- Sack Lunches
- Food Orders
- Utilities: Electricity, Natural Gas, Water, Sewer, & Heating Oil
- Birth Certificates – Domestic and Foreign
- State of Virginia ID Card
- Personal Hygiene Items
- Bicycles & Bicycle Repair (proof of minimum of 2 weeks employment required to obtain a bicycle)
Clients are eligible for food orders every two months. Clients are eligible for financial assistance once a year.
The following donations are always needed at Potter’s House:
- Peanut Butter
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Canned meats – tuna, spam, treat, beef stew
- Canned or jar spaghetti sauce
- Dry spaghetti
- Boxed macaroni and cheese
- Knit stocking caps
- Financial assistance
Tangible donations should be marked “Potter’s House” and may be placed in the Potter’s House cart near the Welcome Center. Monetary donations may be made to the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church with the memo “Potter’s House.”
Mid-October through May, Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:15-5:30pm
Care by Community is an after-school program for homeless and “at-risk” students from our neighboring schools. On Mondays and Wednesdays, students who participate in the program come here to receive help with homework, school projects, reading, and any other academic needs. They also have some recreation time to play games and just have fun! The students are then fed a hot meal and then taken home. The program was created to help not only the students but to allow their parents to work later into the evenings. This is a great way to reach out and make a positive and lasting impact on our community! The CBC program has proven to help improve students’ grades, behavior, and over all self-esteem! It also helps families help themselves and pull themselves out of homelessness.
Donations of snacks should be clearly marked “CBC After School Program” and left in the church office.
Financial donations may be placed in an envelope and in the CBC After School Program mailbox in the church office.
We are involved with the City of Virginia Beach, Partners in Education.
You can volunteer with the children doing one-on-one homework assistance, reading, school projects and even playing games! Volunteers can work one day a week, a month, or more. Please arrive at 3:15pm and stay for dinner while we feed our CBC children!
TRAINING IS PROVIDED FOR ALL VOLUNTEERS!
If you would like to assist with CBC but can’t give of your time and talent in the classroom you can always assist by providing baked goods and/or juice boxes, cooking a meal, or even buying presents for special events.
Shop nights are held in the Fellowship Hall. The Kid’s Closet storage and sorting room is located in N202.
6:30pm-7:30pm, 3rd Mondays: September – May
Kid’s Closet came to be out of a few moms wondering how they could recycle the clothing their kids were growing out of to be used in conjunction with Care By Community (CBC). These moms were introduced to each other in 2010.
Kids Closet is a ministry dedicated to sharing the love of Jesus by providing FREE, new or gently used children’s clothing and shoes to local families facing financial strain. We are also strengthen our community by encouraging a time of fellowship while providing a hot meal at each “Shop Night.”
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. Matthew 14:13-21
- New underwear and socks
- Clean, gently worn shoes
- Clean, gently used children’s clothing
- Decorated place mats & decorations for dining tables
Volunteers at the bike shop repair about 25 bikes a week and give out 4-5 bikes per week. A requirement to obtain a bike or repair service is that the person be gainfully employed.
As of November 2007, about $1500 a year is being spent in this Ministry. Approximately 1,000 bikes are repaired and about 200 to 250 bikes were being given away a year. Most of the bikes are donated from the churches in the Beach Borough. Inner tubes, gear and brake cables, and necessary tools, cables, and locks are purchased. Each bike given away has a cable with a lock to help reduce theft.
Currently, you will find a crew repairing bikes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Potter’s House. A crew goes around town and picks up bicycles. One volunteer allows the ministry to use her garage to store excess bikes in the winter so they are available when the summer season hits full stride and the homeless population is at its greatest.
Bikes are always needed. Bike parts are recycled, including bike locks and cables. Receipts are provided which can be used for charitable tax deductions. If you would like to donate a bike or bike parts please contact Dave Moore Sr., 757-407-2560.
Wednesday evenings, 6:00-7:00pm, The Gathering at Scott Memorial UMC
We still have our emergency food pantry at Potter’s House. Those that need help on a regular basis go to our Fresh Food Wednesday program on Wednesday evenings. We run the program with Scott Memorial. Now everyone can find parking and wait inside, out of the weather!
“Reaching Those Others Have Forgotten . . .”
We are privileged to partner with Good News Jail & Prison Ministry. Good News Jail & Prison Ministry is the largest independent supplier of chaplains for jails and prisons worldwide, serving in 22 states, 1 American territory and 25 countries. Your gifts help reach inmates and staff with the Gospel and to disciple them for Jesus Christ. Thank you for helping us reach those others have forgotten.
Build, install, and give clean water to a family in need to share, experience, and witness the life-changing love and hope we receive through Jesus.
We install biosand water filters in village homes. Biosand filters consist of a concrete mold that we then fill with layers of cleaned gravel and biosand. The filters use a natural process that removes 98% of all bacteria, pathogens, and diseases from the water. Because of their sturdy construction and natural means of filtration, the filters have relatively no maintenance and work for 35 years. The family who received the first filter years ago used to take their children to the hospital every week. Now, they have not been to the hospital in over 3 years! You can find more information on the filters at https://friendlywater.net/HOW
Each water filter costs $80. The filters are often used not just by the household in which they are installed but by neighboring families and friends. So some filters may be used by more than 50 people. Each filter can provide more than 100,000 gallons of clean water a year.
HOPE for Korah Daycare
In June of 2013, our congregation answered God’s call to reach out to the people of Korah, Ethiopia. Korah, Ethiopia began as a leper colony and has grown into an urban slum with an estimated population of 130,000. After three generations, people also suffer from many other preventable diseases. The people of this community subsist in filthy living conditions with little clean water and survive by scavenging the city dump. The opening of the Hope for Korah Daycare began a wonderful new chapter in the lives of the Hope for Korah Income Generation Program – mothers and fathers from 25 families committed to learning a skill that will enable their families to break the cycle of poverty. Now, these mothers and fathers can concentrate on their education and work knowing their children are safe, happy, and well cared for in the daycare. The Hope for Korah Daycare Team coordinates the fund raising for and communication between the daycare and those supporting the daycare in the United States. For less than $3 per day per child, we are able to provide these children with a preschool experience in a clean and loving environment. For the first time in their young lives, these children are being given the hope and unconditional love that so many of us take for granted. We would love for you to help us … help them! Spend a day with the team at this incredible ministry getting to know the families, serve breakfast, and see lives changed.
Interested in going to Africa?
Join our team on one of our life changing mission trips to Ethiopia. You will experience a new culture and continue to grow our relationships with our friends in the village of Sebeta. Can’t go on a trip, but still want to be involved? There are plenty of opportunities here to participate whether it’s our mission dinner, mission market, or bowling fundraiser.
Contact: Mark Oakley or Pastor Matt Potter.