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A Quick Question

What are the most common forms of congregational community service?

The quick answer --  Throughout the country, the number-one concern for congregations is providing direct service to people in immediate need

Whether the need is for food or clothing, shelter or other emergency aid, congregations help to supply the resources that make this work possible. Often they have programs and resources of their own, but even more often they work through partnerships with other organizations. Whether an informal coalition of religious groups or a highly professional agency, these partnerships enable congregations to do more than they could do alone.

Among the organizations through which congregations most frequently work are:

homeless shelters 
food pantries 
domestic violence shelters
meal programs
clergy associations' emergency assistance funds
Red Cross
Salvation Army

But that's not the whole story. Congregations provide many other important resources for their communities and work through many kinds of organizations. 

To learn more read out longer answer.  Check out the recent research report "Doing Good in American Communities" from our "Organizing Religious Work" project. This report describes the ways congregations cooperate with other local organizations to service the well-being of their communities.

You may also visit our page dedicated to Charitable Choice that provides links to articles and informational sites.


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