Mission Focus

Third Quarter Mission Focus: Ryan's Case For Smiles

3rd Quarter Mission

Ryan’s Case for Smiles is a volunteer organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of children and their families as they cope with life-changing illnesses, injuries and experiences. A hospital stay or living in a shelter can be a terrifying, traumatic experience, especially for a child. Promising research shows trauma can be minimized and outcomes improved through experiences that reduce stress. A simple pillowcase can provide seven proven stress relievers for emotional well-being: comfort, distraction/play, choice/control, familiarity, expression, connection and hope. Volunteers create whimsical pillowcases that give an emotional boost to the sick and distressed children reminding them that they are not defined by their situation. With every stitch, every yard of fabric and every pillowcase, Ryan’s Case for Smiles gets one step closer to its goal of helping kids feel better to heal better.

Warsaw FUMC member Shannon Jenks is the coordinator of the South Bend, Indiana Chapter of Ryan’s Case for Smiles, which currently serves six hospitals – Kosciusko Community, Parkview-Warsaw, Parkview-Columbia City, Mishawaka St. Joe, South Bend Beacon Memorial Children’s and A Rosie Place; The Beaman Home; Joe’s Kids; and Strengthening Families. Almost 2500 pillowcases have been delivered in the first five months of 2022, and more than 20,300 pillowcases have delivered over the lifetime of the South Bend Chapter.

Here are some ways you can provide life-changing support for Ryan’s Case for Smiles:

  • Become one of 30+ volunteers! You do not have to sew – there are many steps in the process of creating a pillowcase! Upcoming workshops are:
    • Sept 19 – Thyme to Sew – South Bend – 10a-3p
    • Sept 22 – FUMC – Fellowship Hall – 9a-12p
    • Sept 26 – FUMC – Fellowship Hall – 12p-4p
    • Sept 29 – FUMC – Fellowship Hall – 9a-12p
  • Coins for Cases – fill a prescription bottle with your change . . . “Make change from your change” (bottles provided at both FUMC campuses – Downtown and The Connection) . . . drop off at the Church Office or place in the Sunday morning offering
  • Sunday coin and mission offerings during the 3rd quarter of 2022
  • Contact Shannon for other ways and with any questions: smilessouthbend@gmail.com

Community Kitchen & Closet

Community Kitchen Every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Community Closet Every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (closed 1st Wednesday)

The Community Kitchen and Closet has been relocated to hosting lunch inside!  Come join us at 179 S. Indiana Street.

First United Methodist Church has a long history of serving a soup kitchen out of the Fellowship Hall at our downtown campus.  For many years, that meal was served on the last two business days of each month.  In early 2009, we discerned a change in the needs of the community and began serving every Wednesday.  We have a number of other churches and community groups who partner with us to make these meals possible.

This week's (9/21/2022) Community Closet and Kitchen is closed due to a funeral.

We are always looking for groups or individuals to partner with to help provide Wednesday lunches to those in the community who need them.  If you would like to participate, please contact the church office at busmgr@warsawfumc.org


The Community Closet was opened in the fall of 2009.  Items that are not covered by food stamps (toiletries and cleaning products) are offered as they are available. Contact the Church Office if you are interested in supporting this ministry with your time or donations. Cash donations may be made at the Church office.