Gary United Methodist Church in Wheaton, IL supports a variety of local, regional, and international organizations, enabling individuals to live their faith through prayer, hands-on work, financial support, donations of needed items, companionship, presence, and/or systemic change. In addition to these missions, many of which arose from the interests and passions of our congregation, we support other causes of the United Methodist Church that allow us to combine our offerings with those of other United Methodists, nationally and globally, to enact change around the world.

Volunteer for Christmas Sharing

Tuesday, Dec. 5, Friday, Dec. 8, Saturday, Dec. 9, various times

Christmas Sharing started at Gary Church 54 years ago to provide joy for District 200 families in need. This year, it’ll be a drive-thru at St. John Lutheran Church for gift cards, food and sundry items, plus in-person guest shopping at Gary Church for children’s coats and toys. Volunteer for sorting, set up, driving, loading cars, directing cars, clean up and more here.

Learn more about Christmas Sharing


Donate to Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans

We’re collecting leftover candy, toiletries, household cleaners, games and more for the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans. Click here for the full list. Drop off donations in the bin in the Commons.

Sign up for November Blood Drive

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2-6 p.m., Activity Center

Each pint donated can save up to three lives. The need is constant, and every pint is precious. Sign up here. Walk-ins also welcome. Mark your calendar for 2024 Blood Drives: Wednesdays, Feb. 7, May 8, Aug. 21, Nov. 20.

Tutors needed

Tuesdays, 6–7 p.m., Gamon Hall

Beginning this fall, Gary Church will be offering a weekly tutoring program to local elementary school children, and we invite your participation! For many years, Aldersgate UMC offered this program to children from Lincoln Elementary in south Wheaton. In the fall of 2022, Gary Church helped Aldersgate relaunch this program after a pandemic hiatus. Together, we provided tutoring for over 20 children during the 2022-23 school year. Following our merger last May, we are thrilled to be continuing this impactful ministry for the 2023-24 year at Gary Church. But we need your help!


We are looking for tutors to help us meet the growing need in Wheaton. Tutors range from high school students to retirees, and no special skill set is needed. The goal of the ministry is to provide one-on-one homework help to local students in grades 2 through 5. Many of the students who sign up for this program come from immigrant and refugee families resettled in the area. So, in addition to homework help, tutors work with students to improve their basic reading and math skills. The most important goal, however, is to show these children that another person cares about them and their learning.


With the pandemic years of remote schooling, students across the country have fallen behind, especially low-income children. That makes the need for this ministry even greater. Consider offering an hour from your week to help children from our community. Although we try to keep tutors and students paired throughout the school year, we understand that you cannot be there every week. The children are a joy and glad to get your attention. There is some preparatory training required and we have some experienced educators to provide support as needed. Please contact Jeff Bray through the Church Office if you have questions. Sign up to volunteer here.


Additional current needs

Updated needs for DuPage PADS
DuPage PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) provides temporary shelter for the unhoused. They currently need personal care and baby care items, plus shelf-stable single-serving food items, snack packs (especially gluten free) and single-serving drinks for students’ backpacks. They can also use disinfecting and cleaning supplies as well as paper goods. If you can help, donate items in the bin in the Commons.

PRC needs food and personal care items

The People’s Resource Center continues to see increased visits to its food pantries. Some of the items needed are rice, dry pasta, peanut butter, and personal care items like diapers in sizes 5-7, bar soap and toothpaste. Tuna and soups are always welcome. Due to overwhelming donations of clothing, the PRC is taking a break from accepting clothes for now. Thank you to all for your donations! If you have food to donate, please feel free to leave it in the bin in the Commons.

Educate a Girl / Change the World: Gary Church Makes a Difference

The crisis of girls' education continues as 129 million school-age girls worldwide are not attending school. Less than half of girls who start primary school do not enter secondary. Their fate is child marriage, a life of household duties, or worse yet, human trafficking. Recent impacts such as in Afghanistan, where the Taliban now forbids girls' education after sixth grade, and Ukraine, where scores of girls (and boys) are missing school due to the violence, have added to the global crisis. Yet, indisputable data shows that when girls attend school, everyone wins. Multifaceted gains occur in family health, women’s wages, and community welfare and entire countries improve economically.


The good news is that Gary Church is making a difference by supporting impactful educational programs in the U.S. and around the world. Now in its third year, the Educate A Girl Mission is supporting the education of 10 girls and young women from vulnerable communities. The generous donations and other contributions for EAG in 2023 has enabled scholarships for two primary grade Kenyan girls at the Kinyago Dandora School in Nairobi, five Cambodian teenagers via UMCOR Project 3020791, a UIC student in Chicago through MyBlockMyHoodMyCity, a college student at Africa University, a Methodist school located in Zimbabwe, and we provided a new scholarship to a Native American young woman attending Columbia College in Chicago. Watch for updates on these girls and we welcome contributions to this mission online or by sending a check to the Church Office with "Educate a Girl" in the memo.

Recycle Styrofoam

The recycling collection Sundays in 2024 will be Jan. 7, April 14, July 14, and Oct. 6. Can you help continue to care for God's creation by helping one time or more for collection or driving duties? If so, please contact Elaine McCluskey through the Church Office.

If you miss the dates, feel free to drop off Styrofoam at Dart Container Corporation, 310 Evergreen Dr., North Aurora.