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2018 JPOW Mission Initiatives
Meet local and international partners

JPOW Recommended Reading 
Book List from 2014 and 2016 Summer Reading Groups

JPOW: Justice Poverty Oppression Women

Beginning in 2013, we began to focus our mission efforts on justice, poverty, oppression, and women: JPOW. Through events like the Girl Rising film screening, Summer Institute, Summer Reading Groups the Global Church Conference, we've had the opportunity to learn about the oppression of women both locally and globally and to examine how God might be calling us to act as people of faith. Join us as we move from education to engagement through service.

For more information, contact Karen Erickson at or (510) 848-6252 ext. 221.

Read about all of our Local Mission Partners and Global Mission Partners.


Ongoing Local Opportunities

There are always opportunities to serve with some of our JPOW Mission Partners! If you would like to know more about how to get involved in the local community, feel free to contact Karen Erickson at or (510) 848-6252 ext. 221.

Days of Service | Do Justice

Upcoming Dates: Saturday, February 24, 2018
Location: Various sites around the East Bay
More Information: For more information, please visit

Days of Service are opportunities to gather family, friends, and neighbors to serve in our local community. Project Peace, our partner for Do Justice, connects local churches and social service providers that work together for just and sustainable communities in Berkeley, Oakland, and surrounding areas. Join friends from First Pres Berkeley and other East Bay churches to worship God together through acts of service.

Habitat for Humanity Third Saturday Builds

Date: Third Saturday of each month, ongoing
Time: 8:30 am–4 pm
Location: Varies in the East Bay
More Information: Please contact Karen Erickson at or (510) 848-6252 ext. 221 or Tori Bommarito at

Join an ecumenical and interfaith crew of volunteers in the East Bay to build affordable homes with Habitat locally. First-timers and experienced builders welcome, ages 16 and up, on the third Saturday of each month. We build to end generational poverty and put God’s love into action. To volunteer for a build, click here to sign up. For more information, contact Tori Bommarito at

Oakland International High School

Our JPOW Partner Oakland International High School (OIHS) has a student population that is primarily comprised of refugees and immigrant newcomers who are adjusting to life here in the US. The school has an ongoing need for classroom aids, after school tutors, social service navigators, and mentors. To learn more click here to watch a short video and/or contact Karen Erickson at or (510) 848-6252 ext. 221.

Harbor House

Harbor House has a long history of extending love, compassion, and welcome to immigrant and refugee families in Oakland. Below are some ways that you can join them in this urgent work:

1. Tutor/mentor kids in Harbor House's after-school program, particularly with English language learners.

2. Write encouraging notes of welcome to the adults in the ESL program.

3. Provide snacks/baked goods for adults in the ESL program or kids in the after-school program.

4. Help provide childcare for preschoolers/toddlers while their mothers attend the ESL class.

For more information on any of these opportunities, please email or call (510) 534-0165.

Supporting Refugees—International Rescue Committee (IRC)

As of March 31, our partner, the Oakland office of the IRC, has received 257 Refugees (108 families) of whom 73% are Afghan, 20% are under 5 years old, and 21% are ages 5–17. Individuals and families are still arriving and very much need and deserve support and assistance. Click here to read more about the life of a refugee family relocated to Oakland from Uganda.

How can you help?

  • Donate: Clipper cards loaded with $20+ are needed to help clients get to and from appointments as well as to jobs. Bikes are also in high demand. Please email
  • Advocate: Call your senators and representatives in support of the Trafficking Victim Assistance Program. This is the funding that supports the IRC's work with trafficking victims across the country, including here in Northern California. Here is a script you can use: "My name is XXXXX and I am a constituent. Can I speak to the staffer who handles immigration? I'm calling to express my concern for victims of trafficking. Due to an increase in the number of victims coming forward, the money approved to date has already been used. $3 million is needed in additional funding for fiscal year 2017 for the foreign-born Trafficking Victim Assistance Program funded by Health & Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement. Without additional dollars, we are required to turn survivors away. In fact, we have been informed our last enrollment was March 31! I'm asking for Rep/Senator XXXX to support this request. Would you like to meet and discuss it more, or should we talk now?"
  • Attend: Donors, volunteers, refugee employers, and others who want to support and advocate for refugees are invited to join the IRC at upcoming meetings with municipal, county, state, and federal representatives to advocate for refugees. If you are interested, please email, and include in your email where you live and how you are connected to the IRC.

Cityteam Oakland

First Pres JPOW partner Cityteam has a number of opportunities for volunteer engagement.

  • Outreach/Prayer Walks—Cityteam believes in the power of prayer and reaching out to the community around us. Every Friday and Saturday we pack up hygiene kits and bag lunches to take to the homeless encampments in our area. Please come join us to make lunches, show kindness to the poor, and to pray for our city. This opportunity is open Friday’s and Saturday’s 11am–1:30pm.
  • Kitchen Assistance—Cityteam Oakland serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the year. The kitchen is open to volunteers 9am-7pm Monday through Saturday.
  • Learning Center—The Learning Center provides educational/vocational services to clients in Cityteam's Recovery Program. Volunteers are needed on a weekly, ongoing basis on Tuesday and Thursday from 1–4 pm.
  • Clothing and Laundry—Volunteers are needed for 2 hours 2–3 times a week to help maintain a clean and comfortable experience for those in need.

To view a full list of volunteer opportunities and to sign up, visit

Faith Network of the East Bay

First Pres JPOW partner Faith Network has a number of opportunities for volunteer engagement.

Reading Tutor  Inspire a child to become a successful reader! Cultivate reading at the student's level and pace with sight words, phonics, word games, and easy book reading. Training is provided. 2 hours per week during school day.

Math Tutor  Show a child that math is fun, not hard! Help a child to develop basic math skills through interactive activities and homework assistance. Training is provided. 1+ hours per week during school day.

Science Classroom Helper — Open young eyes to the possibilities of science and computer coding! In a teacher-led lab, assist students with hands-on science and computer coding activities that will improve their understanding of the world and develop their critical thinking skills. No experience necessary. 2.5 hours per week during school day.

To view a full list of volunteer opportunities and to sign up, visit

About Faith Network of the East Bay —Faith Network of the East Bay is a community called by God to work for the SHALOM of the city –its health, welfare and prosperity. Their programs succeed because individual volunteers, congregations, community based organizations, corporations and local businesses share their time and resources. And the key to unleashing resources is to create a spectrum of practical entry points for people and groups to invest in the next generation. Today, Faith Network offers an array of volunteer opportunities in under-resourced public schools in 4 main program areas –Career Bridge, Health4Kids, Science Horizons, and Succeeding by Reading. For information on volunteer opportunities visit or contact Pearl Wang at (510) 836-5100.