Advent’s Outreach Committee is an active group that reaches out to the community with hand’s on work (such as volunteering for Family Promise and offering nutrition programs to young mothers), supporting local children with cultural enrichment and responding to those who find themselves in particular need.
Every summer, Outreach sponsors a parish-wide project. In 2012, we had “PJs for CARA”, collecting and donating pajamas for babies and children. In 2014, we sponsored “Let’s Bag It”, collecting much needed items for local food closets. Every Sunday in August, paper bags were distributed with suggested items listed. The response was extraordinary as were the thanks of those we were able to help.
This exciting project began in September of 2013 and now is in its second full year. Parishioners meet with students from Project TEACH, an alternative high school program for young mothers and mothers to be who are still in school. We purpose is to cook and laugh together. One goal is to help these young women learn how to prepare healthy, tasty, and economical meals using whole foods and fresh produce. We meet two to four times during the school year and cook in the parish hall kitchen.
Every year, Outreach makes donations to Doctors Without Borders and Volunteers in Medicine (VIM). Donations for VIM are earmarked for prescriptions medicines of those in the community who need help. In 2014, an additional donation was made in honor of Mother Joan Jackson, a dedicated supporter of the organization. Donations are also made to Episcopal Relief and Development (ER&D) for emergency relief in the face of natural disasters around the world.
Enrichment for children is a core value of Advent’s Outreach program and covers a wide range of activities. Outreach reimburses the cost of textbooks for undergrad college students. Dance and music lessons are paid for many elementary and high school students, as well as sports and art camp fees. We sponsor local students to attend tours of traditionally African American colleges during the Easter holidays, hosted by the Christian Education Coalition for African American Leadership. Outreach also sponsors elementary school aged students from the Chinotimba Primary School in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Many other activities occur during the year. These include emergency assistance for people/families in need, distribution of grocery cards to families in need twice a year, Ditty Bags for the Seaman’s Church Institute, Caring for Kids presents at Christmas time, participation in Family Promise.