ACMS Foundation Feature: United Methodist Church Union

The Mission of the United Methodist Church (Church Union) is to transform communities, lives, and hearts. This past April, Church Union celebrated its 130th Anniversary of empowering change in this region! Given our name, most people mistake us for a church or perhaps a union of churches. Still, we are actually a social service agency (501(c)3) focusing on 3 key areas: Nutrition, Education, and Housing for Low-Income Seniors. We have offices in Pittsburgh’s Northside as well as the South Hills. Typical to most nonprofits, our funding comes from donors, foundation grants, denominational grants, the government, fundraising events, and corporate sponsors.

Many people are unaware that Church Union brought Goodwill here to Pittsburgh. In fact, the Goodwill President was also the Church Union president for almost half a century! To this day, the Church Union President has an ex officio seat on the Board of Goodwill. We have a long history of ‘giving birth’ to many organizations such as Ward Home, Bethany House Academy, MUSA, Metowers, Methouse, and (most recently) Kidcelerate.

One of our longest-running programs, Daily Bread, serves delicious meals three times weekly to those experiencing homelessness, folks who struggle to balance their budget, and anyone who is hungry—no questions asked. Daily Bread is located at Trinity Lutheran Church on West North Ave in the heart of the Northside.

Allegheny County Medical Society has been a valued supporter of our child-centered programming, which includes Kids Meal Network (summer food), Reading & Mentoring (in-school reading enrichment), Learning Hub (afterschool tutoring and enrichment), and the newest program – the Green Thumb Project. The Learning Hub and the Green Thumb project are based in Northview Heights, a low-income housing community in the Northside, where Church Union has been a fixture since the 1960s. We are dramatically expanding the garden space in the rear of our Northview property with the plan of offering in-the-garden educational experiences and fun for the participants in the Learning Hub, the children attending the Early Childhood Center (Pittsburgh Public Schools) on our property, and the neighbors.

We continue to seek partnerships with individuals and organizations that wish to serve the community either through volunteer hours, gifts in kind, or financial support. Connecting people with opportunities is what we do best! Here are some of the ways that you can get involved: Host a Kids Meal Location, provide services or enrichment at a Kids Meal location, become a reading mentor at one of our partner schools, volunteer to help with our afterschool and/or summer programming at the Learning Hub, become a garden volunteer, serve a meal at Daily Bread, or simply ask “Where can you use me?”.

Reach out to [email protected] for more information.


Cheri Pogue

Chief Operating Officer, United Methodist Church Union

Executive Director, Kidcelerate