Over this past winter, a group of volunteers worked together to recommend a program to further St. Andrew’s stated mission of providing inspirational and inclusive worship, fellowship, and outreach support to the greater community. Their focus was on community and staying consistent with St. Andrew’s by-laws and the Bishop’s Four Mission Priorities from Convention:
- Address the needs for Congregational and Mission Vitality
- Invest in Leadership
- Support of Ministry to Children, Youth, and Families
- Advocacy for upholding the dignity of every human being
The above provided the basis for a 2017 program of St. Andrew’s Outreach recently approved by your Executive Committee. St Andrew’s is proud to be supporting:
Seacoast Family Food Pantry — Meals 4 Kids
Meals 4 Kids is a community based program that began in 2014 to ensure all children in the Seacoast are food secure 365 days a year. It is designed to be complimentary to and non-duplicative of other Seacoast youth/food programs. Meals 4 Kids partners with the following 11 community organizations: Portsmouth Housing Authority (Gosling Family Housing, Wamesit Family Housing, Greenleaf Recreation Center), New Frontiers Church, Operation Blessing, Portsmouth High School, MC3/21st Century, Hampton Elementary School, Seabrook Welfare Department, Seabrook Elementary & Middle Schools and Seabrook Recreation Department.
$4,500 unrestricted would allow for Meals 4 Kids to continue the expansion of programming through out the Seacoast in the summer.
End 68 Hours of Hunger
End 68 Hours of Hunger is a private, not-for-profit effort to confront the approximately 68 hours of hunger children experience between the free lunch in school Friday and the free breakfast on Monday. 16 million children nationwide go hungry every day, including more than 44,000 in NH. This program provides nourishing food in the hands of children through the weekend. Each bag costs $10 each week and provides 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 3 dinners for a child, with some left over to share.”
$2,500 unrestricted to address the greatest need for children in NH communities
Seacoast Family Promise
Seacoast Family Promise is a nonprofit located in Exeter. They empower families with children experiencing homelessness to achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response, and believe every family should have a home, a livelihood and the foundation to build a better future together.
Volunteers are vital to their mission. They engage over 1,100 community volunteers annually who come from faith communities, businesses and corporations, community organizations and even from groups such as Rotary Clubs. These volunteers donate countless hours, money, meals and needed everyday items. They also provide the compassion, guidance and emotional support so vital to family members on their path to finding a home. More than 87% of Seacoast Family Promise families have secured permanent housing and have remained stable for as long as 14 years.
$1,500 helps to fund this mission for individuals and families
St. Mark’s, Groveton – Extended Summer Enrichment Program, Rev. Tim Brooks
Offer academic and enrichment programming with hands-on-learning through a variety of modalities, while creating and establishing a sense of community and belonging. The program will provide two nutritious meals a day with one snack. Towns served are within the Stratford Public School District, including the following towns: Stratford, Groveton, Stark, Lancaster, Jefferson, Whitefield, Columbia, Colebrook, and Lemington & Canaan, VT
$6,500 towards their need of $8,424 for summer transportation for children to participate in the program.
Church of the Woods, Rev. Steve Blackmer, Canterbury, NH
Church of the Woods is the “spiritual home ground for the nationwide ministry of Kairos Earth — a ministry that draws people to the love of God and to the care of our non-human neighbors in creation, neighbors who are often treated as the least among us.”
$2000 towards their need of $13,000 is to support the constructions of a simple shelter.
St. John’s Choir School Program
The Choir School at St. John’s offers piano and voice lessons for free to the Seacoast community ages 8-12 years-old two afternoons a week during the school year. The students have the opportunity to receive homework help from adult volunteers and high school mentors, and are given a nutritious snack upon arrival after school. The Choir School is developing and training future music lovers, while building a warm, caring community for all student participants.
$2,500 to continue the Choir School’s growth
Christ Church Summer Camp & Theatre Program
The Christ Church Summer Camp & Theatre Program is an ideal place for young performers interested in a fast-paced, supportive, and creative environment. The program is lead by experienced theatre professionals and educators offering a leveled curriculum with training appropriate to age and ability. In addition to rehearsing a musical to be presented to friends and family at the culmination of each session, performers take classes intended to expand their theatrical toolbox. Participants leave with improved skills in acting, singing, and dancing, a better understanding of the rehearsal process and the kind of confidence that comes from socializing with like-minded friends while working together to create something to be proud of!
$2,500 to continue St. Andrew’s support of Christ Church’s scholarship program for their Summer Camp and Theatre Program
Barbara Harris Summer Camp
The Barbara Harris Summer Camp program builds upon the opportunities presented by the wonder of God’s creation found in nature and the camper’s distance from the distractions of everyday life. Based on a “small group approach”, BCH is a place where all campers feel accepted, loved and are able to develop authentic friendships. Counselors work closely with campers to support them in their formation of faith and personal journeys. Campers learn important life lessons and gain new perspectives as they live and play in a community centered on Christian beliefs and values.
$2,500 to continue St. Andrew’s support of the BCH scholarship program
Thistle Farms is a sanctuary for healing for women survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking and prostitution. It is a community of survivors, advocates, employees, interns, volunteers, and friends from all across the world. Thistle Farms believes that in the end, love is the strongest force for change in the world.
$2,000 to continue St. Andrew’s support of Becca Stevens and her work at Thistle Farms
HAVEN, formerly known as A Safe Place and SASS officially merged in July of 2015 becoming the largest violence prevention and support services agency in NH. HAVEN is dedicated to addressing public health through violence prevention and improving the well-being of children and families. Preventing abuse and providing support for those impacted by domestic and sexual violence can lead to healthier and more secure children and adults. HAVEN serves the communities of Rockingham and Strafford Counties.
$2,000 to support the work of HAVEN in the Seacoast, continuing St. Andrew’s pioneering efforts in bringing difficult topics to the forefront of community conversation, first initiated with inviting Becca Stevens and Thistle Farms.
Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle
The Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle was founded in April 2006 by a group of women eager to use their skills and resources to address critical issues facing the Seacoast community. Members contribute annually to a pooled fund and participate in volunteer service projects in the community. Over the course of the year, the board members educate themselves about community issues, identify a cause on which to focus, and select non-profit organization(s) to receive the Giving Circle’s annual gift.
The following organizations have been supported by the Giving Circle: Seacoast Family Food Pantry, Conservation Law Foundation, Families First, New Heights, More Than Wheels, Seacoast Youth Services, Seniors Count, Chase Home for Children, NH Food Bank, Krempels Center, NH Theatre Project, Seacoast Eat Local, Womenaid of Greater Portsmouth, Child and Family Services
$1,500 to support the Giving Circle’s pooled fund. This year the Giving Circle’s identified cause is the arts.
Opportunities to Participate: Support, Volunteer, Advocate, Visit, and Contribute
In addition to St. Andrew’s financial contributions as part of our 5% allocation of funds from our endowment and in accordance with our By-Laws, we recognize the opportunity to be inspired as individuals and families to support these organizations, and their work with men, women, and children.
With each of these initiatives there are opportunities to volunteer, support, visit, advocate for, and contribute both time and financially.
Volunteer opportunities for the Seacoast Family Food Pantry for this summer
The Seacoast Family Food Pantry Meals 4 Kids program needs volunteers Wednesdays and Thursdays this summer — Wednesdays is the day the food is sorted and packed for the kids and Thursday is the day it is delivered out into the community — from Seabrook to Kittery. If you are interested in volunteering please reach out via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603-436-0641. This would be an awesome way for you to further support the outreach work of St. Andrew’s and also to connect with a critically important program in the Seacoast Community.