Community Involvement

Our Drawn to the Light mission project brought in diapers, wipes, lotions, and goody bags for teen mothers in Giles County.
NMO-UMC members Bill Hogg & Lynn Bohmer volunteer at the NRV Glean Team’s Fall Potato Drop in Christiansburg. Thousands of pounds of potatoes were distributed to food pantries/ministries throughout the New River Valley including the Giles County Christian Service Mission.
Volunteers assist with the distribution of Senior Food Boxes on the third Monday of each month. Over 80 boxes are delivered monthly to seniors in Giles. This is a ministry of the Giles County Christian Service Mission.

NMO-UMC partners with various groups throughout Giles County and the New River Valley in serving the the neediest individuals and families in our community. 

Blacksburg Refugee Partnership

In the spring of 2023, NMO-UMC received a Mustard Seed Grant in the amount of $2,000 from the United Methodist General Board of Global Missions.  This award was directed to the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership (BRP) for the purpose of language education for the nine refugee families (representing Syria, Libya, & Afghanistan) who are currently living in Blacksburg.  The BRP recently entered into an agreement with Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley to craft a curriculum, develop study materials, and hire a teacher to help these families learn English.

To thrive is to push beyond survival and into a life where a person can be happy, healthy, and productive. To thrive, NRV residents need reliable access to nutritious, affordable food and the knowledge to make the best nutritional choices for themselves and their families. This means economic as well as educational development, building capacity from farms to food pantries, and uniting our prosperous and burgeoning local food network with the people who can benefit from it the most.

Recent studies show that books in the home is a crucial factor in childhood literacy and is one of the most important indicators of successful outcomes.  Open Book for the New River Valley is a community book-sharing project that collects and distributes new and gently used books to needy children and youth in our area.  Open Book has been supplying books to Giles Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Children’s Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) programs as well as establish free bookshelves at the Community Health Center of the NRV and Virginia Department of Health offices in Pearisburg, several local laundromats (Narrows & Pembroke), and in the Montgomery County and NRV Regional jails.  During the pandemic, Open Book has distributed thousands of books through the school bus feeding programs in Giles and Pulaski Counties.  In recent weeks, over 7,000 books were delivered to elementary schools in Martinsville with more deliveries planned.  Another 1,000 books were also provided for 200 Head Start children in Patrick and Franklin Counties.  Open Book’s Literacy Library located on the second floor of our church.  Contact Penny Livesay at (540) 921-2951 or to find out how you can help.

The To Our House Winter Shelter program for homeless adults in the New River Valley is in its twelfth sheltering season.  Guests are sheltered in churches across the New River Valley for a week or two at a time.  During their stay, guests enjoy a hot evening meal, breakfast, and a bag lunch.  TOH’s goal is to connect these guests with resources that lead to employment, housing, and personal economic sustainability.  Since 2011, TOH volunteers have served over 32,000 meals and sheltered 377 guests, with 137 guests more permanent housing and 96 finding employment.  TOH also offers shelter and advocacy for homeless military veterans.  TOH is a program of New River Community Action and a United Way partner agency.  Find out more by visiting or visit TOH on Facebook.  Recently, a Homeless Hotline has been established that can be reached 24-hours/day, 365 days/year for anyone finding themselves with no place to stay on a given night.  Call (540) 633-5133, option 2, to check the availability of a shelter bed in our community.

The Giles County Christian Service Mission is a non-profit, inter-denominational, outreach ministry that has been serving the neediest Giles County households for over fifty years.  The goal of the Mission is to assist families and individuals with chronic needs due to low or fixed incomes and offer emergency assistance for those who have experienced sudden loss of employment or other crisis who meet income guidelines.  The work of the Mission is made possible through the generous support of churches, businesses, individuals and community service organizations.  The Mission is located at 516 Wenonah Avenue in downtown Pearisburg and is open Tuesday—Friday from 10:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

A part of the Giles County Christian Service Mission, the new 512 Food Pantry enhances the Mission’s efforts to eliminate food-insecurity in Giles County and increases the nutritional quality of the food items being offered.  As a client-choice center, the pantry offers persons in need the opportunity to choose their own food, giving them a sense of dignity and autonomy. This model also offers greater efficiency by eliminating wasted food and allows clients to tailor the assistance they receive to be the best possible fit for their own unique situation.  The 512 Food Pantry is located at 512 Wenonah Avenue in downtown Pearisburg.  The name of the 512 Food Pantry comes not only from its physical address, but also acknowledges the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand with five loaves, two fish, with twelve baskets left over. 

A space has been dedicated in the new 512 Food Pantry at the Giles County Christian Service Mission in Pearisburg to offer personal care items such as shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, deodorant, feminine care items, and soap.

Located at 138 Old Virginia Avenue in Narrows, the Giles County Shelter, also known as the Hope House, provides emergency housing for Giles residents who have lost their home due to fire, flood, eviction, or other housing crisis.  With all the comforts of home, the Hope House offers a safe and clean environment for individuals and families trying to rebuild their lives.  While residing at the Hope House, assistance is also provided to connect them with supportive services that promote and enhance self-sufficiency and stability.  As a duplex, the shelter can house two different family units simultaneously.  Look for the Hope House on Facebook. 

Foster Care Brochure

There is a great need for foster families in Giles County.  When a child comes into foster care and a local home is not available, the child must be placed in a foster home through a private agency. These homes can be scattered across the state. At present, there are foster children placed in Franklin County, Carroll County, Pittsylvania County, etc.

There are many advantages to keeping these children in their home community.  Children placed with families in Giles can continue attending their regular school and remain with their friends.  This reduces the trauma involved in entering foster care and being removed from their biological family.  Additionally, social workers can build a better relationship with the child and provide more support. This can be difficult when a child is placed in a home that is hours away. It is also easier for biological parents to participate in visits with their children and participate in family-centric services when the child is close by.  Many biological families do not have transportation and/or the financial means to be able to travel outside of the county.

Becoming a foster parent and providing a child with love and support during a traumatic time is a difficult yet rewarding experience.  Former and current foster parents are available to speak with interested individuals to answer questions and share experiences.  If you or someone you know is interested in more information about becoming a foster parent, please contact Caryl Allen with the Giles County Children’s Services Act (CSA) at (540) 921-2525 or