Avondale Samaritan Place is a joint vision of Avondale and Canterbury United Methodist Churches for outreach and mission in the Avondale Community.  Our two churches formed Avondale Samaritan Place in 2013 to be a “Community Hub for Christian Service.”  Housed in the Avondale UMC gymnasium building, ASP brings together people from Avondale, Canterbury, and the surrounding community to facilitate the sort of connections between neighbors (businesses included!) that improve everyone's lives.

The work of ASP focuses particularly on helping people who are on the margins.  ASP offers ... food assistance to food-insecure individuals and families in the area ... social workers who help with healthcare support and utility assistance ... home repair and yard maintenance for those who are unable to do the work themselves ... after school activities ... care and support for the homeless in our neighborhood ... job creation for those whom we serve.  As the community continues to grow, be revitalized, and transform, ASP’s work is essential in helping everyone in Avondale to experience the love of God in Christ and to understand that all are welcome at God’s table.

For more information ... email mike@avonumc.net ... or call 205.868.3345.

  • Leigh Ann Sisson
  • Jeff Bowman
  • Javonia Darling

Panera Pick-up

ASP benefits from a partnership with Panera Bread in that we are able to pick up all the leftover bread and pastries from Panera in Vestavia Hills each Saturday night.  We then give the bread and pastries to our coop families on Monday mornings when they come to receive their monthly groceries.

We need volunteers to help with pick up.  The commitment would be to pick up the bread at closing time on Saturday night at 9pm.  Then you can bring all the bread and pastries to the church on Sunday morning to be left in the ASP kitchen.  Bonus … your car smells like fresh bread for a while after you do the pick-up & delivery.

Food Cooperatives

We provide groceries and hospitality for food-insecure individuals in the Avondale community.   The individuals and families that we serve take home food that ASP purchases for cents on the dollar from the Food Bank. They take home fresh meat, vegetables, and canned and dry goods.  In 2022, it cost just $175 to feed a family for an entire year.

Crisis Clinic

Our social workers provide support and assistance to people in crisis in our community.  Some are low-income individuals/families, and some have no home.  They help folks develop a long-term plan and walk with them on the journey to getting back on their feet.

Homeless Lunches

We offer a free meal and conversation to our friends in the community who struggle to maintain safe, affordable housing.  In addition, our social workers seek to help these folks develop a plan for improving their circumstances.  They’ve helped several find housing and secure jobs.

Senior Services

We help seniors access services and sustain quality of life thanks to a grant from Beeson Senior Services.  The program works with clients to help identify needs -financial, social, medical, transportation, etc. – and to link them with community resources to help resolve these needs.

Summer Literacy

Coming this summer (2023) we will host our first Summer Literacy Camp for local elementary students.  Through fun learning activities, certified teachers will help students improve their reading comprehension with the goals of preventing learning loss that can happen in the summer and helping students gain confidence in their abilities as they become stronger readers.

After School Program

MOVE IT engages students physically through movement and play. This program is led by the teachers and students of the UAB Kinesiology Department and is open and free to all Avondale Elementary School students.

Christmas Village

Each December, the halls of the ASP gym are decked to become a Christmas Village where low-income parents can come shop for Christmas gifts for their children.  We offer brand new toys at greatly reduced prices thanks to the generosity of our church family and larger community.  The Christmas Village gives parents the opportunity to pick out the gifts for their children.  It also offers them pride and dignity as they’re able to pay a little bit for the gifts they give their children.  In addition, the Christmas Village creates job opportunities as it is staffed by folks from our community.

Interested in Learning More or Getting Involved?

Reach out to our Director of Programming, Leigh Ann Sisson (LeighAnn@avonumc.net) or our ASP Director, Mike Higginbotham (Mike@avonumc.net).