We want to make our local community a better place to live for everyone
The focus of the Community Outreach Committee is to support our community (Merriam Park neighborhood and the Twin Cities), build awareness of the needs of our community andprovide opportunities to help with those needs. We recognize the interdependence and interconnectedness of all of our lives; we recognize the injustices and darkness of life and seek to bring hope, offerings and compassion. The Community Outreach Committee works primarily in three ways: organizes drives to meet specific needs of the community, builds partnerships within the community and offers social educational programming.
Here is a summary of our impact in the community for 2016
The Outreach Committee provided donations at the end of 2016 to several organizations as part of St. Mary’s annual giving. Many of the organizations we support are also where St. Mary’s members are active in volunteering, deepening our commitment to those causes. Below is a listing of organizations where we donated:
- First Nations Kitchen: $800—Provides weekly meals of traditionally indigenous foods. St. Mary’s volunteers quarterly to serve meals and clean up.
- Galtier Elementary: $800—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.
- Bonne Nouvelle School in Haiti: $2000—St. 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.
- Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light: $500—MNIPL works to engage faith communities in caring for God’s creation and for social justice, especially around the issue of climate change. MNIPL has previously taught classes at St. Mary’s on how to engage with others on this issue, and helped to organize trips to Standing Rock Reservation around resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- 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.
- Beacon Interfaith Housing: $400— Beacon is an interfaith collaborative of congregations committed to ending homelessness through housing, temporary shelters, and public advocacy.
- Department of Indian Work Food Shelf: $500—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.