HUB marks 10 years of service

The HUB, 1738 N. Branch Ave., Altoona, is celebrating 10 years as a mission outreach with an anniversary celebration from 2-5 p.m. Sunday.

The event will include music, games for all ages, door prizes and food. Toontown Klowns will be on hand for the celebration and Vox Nova will present inspirational music. There is no charge to attend; donations will be accepted.

The HUB is an outreach for Mission Central in Mechanicsburg, a partner of United Methodist Community on Relief. It provides a local facility for volunteers to gather and assemble kits while enjoying fellowship with others.

The event Sunday will celebrate the volunteer support and hard work that helps fulfill the mission of making kits — school, health, layette and cleaning buckets — to be used locally by more than 50 organizations and all over the world in support of disasters and poverty relief efforts.

The local HUB was created as a way to expand the work of Mission Central. Local HUBs enable people from more distant regions of the conference to participate in the kind of volunteer and service activities experienced in Mechanicsburg, without having to travel so far.

HUBs, including the Altoona branch, were created in 2007 as a smaller version of Mission Central that was directed and managed by people feeling called to expand the outreach. An initial vision of an eight-site HUB system has grown into a network of 31 facilities.

Since its inception, the local HUB has assembled kits with a total value exceeding $531,000, organizers said in a news release.

Regular hours for making the kits are from 1-3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and other days by appointment. Individual volunteers or groups are invited to complete the hands-on work that is needed to make the kits.

In addition, groups from schools, senior centers, other churches and other organizations are invited to take part. Training includes how to collect, sort, pack and distribute aid materials.

For more information on volunteer opportunities, call 201-2123.

The local HUB also collects items and materials used at Mission Central, such as household items, toys, educational items and other items depending on what is needed at the time. The local facility ships needed items to Mission Central for inclusion into larger shipments for use outside of the immediate area.

Volunteers learn what is happening locally and how to help fulfill basic human needs — many times in support of other ministries and outreach projects in the area, organizers said. The local HUB has helped 73 different groups including shelters, soup kitchens and more, organizers said in the news release.