We have never cut back on our financial contributions to local and global charities, even when times have been financially tough. And so much more. It’s in our Baptismal Covenant to work for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being, and we try hard to do just that.
At St. Mary’s, “outreach” is a key component of who we are as a community. A great many of us are quick to say that it is the St. Mary’s community, or the style of worship, or the welcoming nature of our church is the primary reason we come to St. Mary’s. But folks often note as well that they are drawn by all we do in the name of Outreach – that we have an intentional connection to the community in which we reside and beyond.
Below are the organizations we supported financially in 2017
Guardian Project: $500—This organization’s goal is to equip and connect faith forward Minnesotans to stop human trafficking in our community. With the Super Bowl happening in Minnesota in 2018, there is a big push not to allow the human trafficking by the sex trade that often accompanies the event.
Funds are used to provide grants to teachers for special projects, materials, and outings that aren’t covered by the district. St. Mary’s volunteers work with students there on a weekly basis. The majority of kids at the school come from families below the poverty line. Interested in hearing more? Reach out to Jane Wells.
First Nations Kitchen $1,000
Provides weekly meals of traditionally indigenous foods. St. Mary’s volunteers quarterly to serve meals and clean up.. Here is a great video of the partnership we financially support, between First Nations Kitchen, MN Interfaith Power and Light, and Ghandi Mahal restaurant.
An emergency food shelf serving American Indians in St. Paul. St. Mary’s donations our March Foodshare proceeds to this cause.
Episcopal Relief and Development: $1000– All of Episcopal Relief & Development’s international development programs seek to mobilize local resources and expertise toward sustainable, community-led programs that address poverty, hunger and disease.
Gender Justice $500A nonprofit legal and policy advocacy organization devoted to addressing the causes and consequences of gender inequality, fighting any discrimination based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Anti-Gun Violence: $500—Several St. Mary’s folks have been involved for years in the movement to end gun violence. We asked them where they would like us to donate these funds, and suggested Mom’s Demand Action as well as To Protect Minnesota as recipients.
St. Mary’s sponsoring a second refugee family: $2,000—This fall we began sponsoring another family recently immigrated from Somalia. Working through Lutheran Social Services, our funding helps to pay the rent for the family during the first six months that they are in the county as they adapt to their new life here in Minnesota. Members of St. Mary’s serve as mentors, helping them to learn how to accomplish important yet foreign tasks such as using mass transit, shopping at grocery or thrift stores, and doing laundry.
Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul: $1000—Programs supported include Project Home (temporary shelter for the homeless), Department of Indian Work (programs focused on American Indians, including emergency food shelf, diabetes education, and youth programing), Project Spirit (educational and cultural activities for African-American students), and Interfaith Youth Connections. St. Mary’s works with IAGSP on projects such as the annual School Tools drive for school supplies.
Bonne Nouvelle School in Haiti: $500St. Mary’s, along with two other congregations in Minnesota, work in partnership with a church to provide schooling for the community in Bigonet, Haiti. St. Mary’s has hosted visitors from Bonne Nouvelle twice, most recently in 2015.
Angel Tree at Christmas
Ever Advent St. Marianns pick ‘angels’ off the tree and purchase gifts for children and gift cards for adults in need in our local community, mostly through Galtier Elementary, but also through our Somali family relationships.
For many years now we have been making microloans around the world through the KIVA website. In 2016 we made 34 loans totaling $5,950 in 21 countries. Reach out to Paulette Briese for more info.
The first Monday of each month at 9:30 many of us gather to pack food for the hungry around the world. Contact Anne Green for more information.