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SERVING OUR NEIGHBOR

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church has a long history of serving our neighbors through Outreach

Our Mission is to be in relationship with our community, responding to human suffering with compassion and commitment.  We seek to actively discern new ways God may be calling us, listen for the voices of the forgotten, and respond.  We seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us live out these principles and discern where we may go in the future. Two questions help the committee discern where to focus outreach: “What is our heart for the world around us?” and “God, what would you have us do next?”

St. Mary’s continues to respond to our neighbors’ needs for health care, shelter, and food. We awarded emergency grants using early proceeds of the Funding the Future capital campaign’s 10% Outreach Tithe. Other grants continue to be awarded as part of the annual 25% of parishioner pledges and plate offerings.

 

The outreach committee encourages St. Mary’s parishioners to engage personally in giving of their time and talent to organizations.

 

To learn about our grant application process, please contact:

 

Once an applicant submits a written application, it is reviewed in a multi-tiered process first by the Outreach Committee’s Finance Subcommittee, then the full Outreach Committee, and finally the Vestry, which approves the funding decision.

Outreach Committee members, who are appointed by the Rev. Andrew T.P. Merrow, Rector, include: Patty Balestrieri, Mindel DeLaTorre, Paul Douthit, Lynn Fuechsel, Sarah Gregg, Lisa Leibel, Paul Timm, and Ed Wright. 

OUTREACH PROGRAMS
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COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

 

Co-founded by St. Mary’s in 2008, VOICE (Virginia’s Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) is a multi-faith, non-partisan organization dedicated to organizing citizens to bring about social change in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William counties.

GET INVOLVED

  • Email St. Mary’s Parishioner Marjorie Green, vagreenfam@verizon.net, our lead VOICE Core Team volunteer, to let her know you would like to participate in team activities.

  • Watch for VOICE Action-Wide Team Meetings, where St. Mary’s volunteers join other congregations for rallies and issue information sessions. These periodic meetings will be posted in St. Mary’s weekly Coming Up at St. Mary’s emails (click here to read or subscribe) that are issued Thursdays before noon.

  • Visit the VOICE Website to learn more.

VOICE 2017-2021 Organizing Agenda: VOICE will build the power to make the following changes over the next 5 years:

 

Over the next five years, VOICE will organize to increase annual local investment to: 

  • $100 million in Fairfax County by 2030, starting with $50 million by 2021;

  • $51 Million in Arlington by 2025 to fully fund the Affordable Housing Master Plan, which mandates 17% of all County housing be affordable, a standard VOICE helped pass last year.

  • $30 million in Alexandria City and Prince William County to create or preserve 300+ affordable units per year.

 

VOICE will also continue organizing with tenants to address housing code violations and preserve their properties from upscale development.

 

 

Organize with Parents/School Staff/Community leaders to build a power base to Strengthen Public Education, including increased funding to invest in top quality teachers and staff, to address school overcrowding, and interventions to address the achievement gap among minority, immigrant, and low-income students and their wealthier peers as well as to win on specific local and county issues that school/community teams identify– such as transportation for after-school programs so all students can participate.

 

 

Expand Pre-K for low-income families in Prince William County (PWCO), by accessing $3 million in state matching funds annually and winning $17 million to expand Pre-K to the 1000+ low-income students who still need it.

 

 

Organize for Just and Accountable, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, to Combat the climate of intolerance, especially toward Muslims, and to address injustices in housing, schools, employment, etc. faced by our immigrant brothers and sisters, including the state impasse on immigrants obtaining drivers licenses;

 

 

Address Gun Violence and Tackle the Roots and Effects of the Unjust and Inequitable Criminal Justice System through the Metro IAF/VOICE Do Not Stand Idly By Campaign.

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EDUCATION

Education is the prime factor in determining a person’s ability to earn a living, purchase a home, provide for one’s family and help one’s neighbors.

Communities in Schools (CIS) is a national organization with local affiliates that work within public school systems, establishing relationships with administrators, educators, and students. “We…remove barriers that keep students from succeeding in school and life.” Communities in Schools is recognized as the leading dropout prevention program in the country.

GET INVOLVED

  • In addition to financially supporting the work of CIS, St. Mary’s parishioners are invited to get involved. Currently, there are two volunteer tutoring opportunities at Gunston Middle School, located at 2700 South Lang Street, Arlington. Afterschool Social Studies/ Language and Science Tutors; Mon. 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

  • Help 8th-grade students in danger of repeating a grade as well as those preparing for SOL tests. Tutors are matched with a maximum of three students. Homework Club Tutors Tues. & Wed. 2:30-4:00 p.m. Tutors may choose among four subject stations to provide assistance: math; science; social studies, reading/writing.

Dream Project empowers students who have been educated through free public high school but who may be stalled in pursuing college because they lack U.S. citizenship documentation. Without such documentation, these students are ineligible for any federal or Virginia need-based grants and loans to help pay for the higher education. Dream Project uses a combination of scholarships, mentoring, family engagement, and advocacy to assist such students. Ninety percent of Dream Project participants complete their degree.

GET INVOLVED

  • Mentor Northern Virginia high school seniors to help them prepare for and apply to college. The mentoring program meets on Wednesdays, from 5:00-7:00 (except holidays) in Arlington from October – April. Email mentoring@dreamproject-va.org for questions or fill out the Mentor Interest form. Please note that mentors will need to submit to a background check.

  • Network with Dream Project scholars and alumni at the Alumni Mixer, an annual event where we invite all of our newly graduated Scholars to network with seasoned professionals in our community.  If you would like to help a Dreamer start their career, come to our Mixer to talk to an alum about how they can break into your field! Fill out the volunteer intake form: http://www.dreamproject-va.org/contact-us/.

  • Help score written applications to determine which applicants will be interviewed and to participate in interviewing the candidates. Scholarship applications are posted in February/March and are due in April/May. Fill out the volunteer intake form: http://www.dreamproject-va.org/contact-us/.

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FOOD ASSISTANCE

St. Mary’s partners with several food-based charities to help feed the hungry in our community.

A-SPAN Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network works to end homelessness in Arlington. On the second Wednesday of the month, a group of parishioner volunteers gathers in St. Mary’s kitchen at 9:30 a.m. to make 100+ bagged meals. At 5:30 p.m. on that same day, parishioner volunteers deliver these bagged meals to the A-SPAN serving location at the corner of N. Oakland Street and N. 9th Street, near the Virginia Square metro station. Volunteers typically work in pairs and use St. Mary’s van to deliver the food. This is a great opportunity to provide direct assistance to the homeless in our midst.

  • Can you give 60-90 minutes in the morning or evening of the second Wednesday of the month? Can you help with the once-a-month shopping trip to get the sandwich supplies? Go to St. Mary’s Sign-Up Portal to volunteer with A-SPAN. Lay Leader Contact: Lynn Fuechsel, lynn@stewartcrs.com.

 

 

AFAC Arlington Food Assistance Center is a community-based nonprofit supplying a source of supplemental groceries to nearly 2,200 Arlington residents every week. St. Mary’s collects non-perishable food items throughout the year. Children can bring in a canned food item as their offering during Children’s Chapel. We coordinate AFAC outreach throughout the month.

  • Can your family bring in a canned food item on Sundays? Can you help deliver our collected food to AFAC once a month? Can you help distribute food to AFAC clients on the third Thursday of each month, from 9:15 am to 12:15 pm at AFAC’s headquarters at 2708 S. Nelson Street in South Arlington?

  • Can you help once a month at AFAC on the third Thursday of each month from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.? We meet at the St. Mary’s parking lot at 8:45 a.m. and carpool over to AFAC (2708 S. Nelson Street Arlington, VA 22206) together to help sort and pack food. Please wear closed-toe shoes.  Go to St. Mary’s Sign-Up Portal to volunteer for the 3rd Thursday’s at AFAC. Email Lay Leader George Covucci at covuccigeorge@gmail.com to learn more.

  • St. Mary’s Youth has a year-round shift to bag raw chicken at the AFAC facility the fourth Wednesday of the month? Can you volunteer to help drive our youth to the AFAC facility on the fourth Wednesday of the month? Contact: Sue Cromer, Sue.Cromer@StMarysArlington.org.

 

 

SOME So Others Might Eat is an interfaith, community-based organization that exists to help feed the poor and homeless in our nation’s capital. Last year, SOME served 388,213 meals! St. Mary’s has a twice-a-month Monday 6:30 a.m. food preparation shift at the SOME facility at 60 O St NW, Washington, DC.

 

 

THANKSGIVING  FOOD DRIVE  Last year our St. Mary’s collective effort resulted in 207 filled bags and 200 Giant Food $20 gift cards distributed to six (6) local organizations: Arlington View Terrace, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Doorways, Offender Aid and Restoration, Samaritan Ministry and AFAC.  All Thanksgiving donations must be received exactly one week before the holiday.

  • Can you fill a bag of needed groceries for Thanksgiving? Can you donate money for a $20 Giant Food gift card? Can you help deliver the bagged food to our outreach partners? Download our Thanksgiving Food Wish List and Grocery Bag at St. Mary’s. Call St. Mary’s parish office, 703-527-6800 if you have any questions.

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HEALTHCARE

St. Mary’s supports several healthcare organizations to help answer the great need in our local community.

GET INVOLVED 

A portion of your stewardship pledge makes it possible for us to provide such grants. Visit the following organization’s Websites to learn about events and opportunities to lend support.

Culmore Clinic
Founded by a multi-faith collaborative in 2007, the clinic provides health care access in the Bailey’s Crossroads area including nearly 1,200 patient visits and more than $1.3 million in donated services and time annually.

 

  • If you are interested to make an impact, the clinic asks its volunteers for a six-month commitment. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact them here.  Generally, the areas of greatest need are specialists in cardiology, dentistry, dermatology (see the Website for more specialists), counselors, nurses, medical assistants, and medical interpreters in Spanish and/or Arabic.

  • Attend Culmore Clinic’s annual open house for breakfast and a facility tour Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Click here for tickets and to learn more!
     

Arlington Free Clinic
The clinic fills a critical gap in basic medical services to those in need in Arlington and has been supported by St. Mary’s since 1994 through volunteer work, board service, and financial aid – including funds for the clinic’s Nurse Practitioner Program, and more recently, the organization’s mental health program.

 

Arlington Pediatric Center
The organization provides consistent, comprehensive, affordable, quality health care to children through 18 years of age in Arlington County with family incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

 

 

HOUSING / HOMELESSNESS

Safe, affordable and accessible housing for individuals is a priority for St. Mary’s.

GET INVOLVED 

A portion of your stewardship pledges goes in support to each of these non-profits. Your donation does a lot. Visit our outreach partner’s Websites to learn more about how you can volunteer with these organizations.

Rebuilding Together
St. Mary’s largest outreach event is an annual event where the local Rebuilding Together non-profit identifies a local homeowner in need of critical housing repairs, accessibility modifications, energy upgrades, and landscape improvements.

 

  • Save the date for the last Saturday in April, when our St. Mary’s parishioners led by our St. Joseph’s Ministry jump in for one day only–rain or shine–to re-build, re-pair and re-beautify the chosen home. A link to volunteer on the Sign-Up Portal will be posted at the beginning of April.

 

Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH)
Founded in 1989, APAH is a nonprofit developer dedicated to developing, preserving and owning quality affordable housing in Arlington; this is a goal St. Mary’s has supported for years through volunteering, advocacy, and financial aid.

 

  • Click here to learn about St. Mary’s Reading Hour at the Columbia Hills for young children.

  • Watch in late July for St. Mary’s call for backpacks and school supply drive to benefit the families connected with APAH.

 

Back on My Feet 

Combats homelessness through the power of running, community support, and essential employment and housing resources. The organization recruits program participants at homeless shelters and residential facilities. They commit to run three days a week in the early morning, accompanied by volunteers. After 30 days in the program, members with 90% attendance earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job training, employment partnership referrals, and housing resources. This unique program’s running-based model aims to demonstrate that if you first restore confidence, strength, and self-esteem, individuals are better equipped to tackle the challenges that lead to jobs, homes, and improved lives.

 

Culpepper Garden 
A nonprofit retirement housing community, Culpeper Garden provides low and moderate-income seniors ages 62 and older with an affordable housing option.

 

Doorways for Women and Families 
This organization provides women and families a nurturing, confidential and secure home where they can escape domestic violence and homelessness and receive holistic services that provide the best chance for long-term success.

 

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

L’Arche Greater Washington, DC  is an  inter-denominational Christian community welcomes people of all backgrounds to share life together, centered around four communal homes and 16 members who have intellectual disabilities, known as “core people.”
 

GET INVOLVED 
 

  • Volunteer: Lend a hand on a regular basis, or bring a small group and discover the joy of relationships in L’Arche.

  • Join L’Arche for dinner: There is a place at the table for you. Fill out our dinner form and we’ll be in touch with a formal invitation to eat with us.

  • Pray with l’Arche: Discover the spirituality of L’Arche at our informal prayer nights.

Sprout Therapeutic Riding & Education Center Sprout is a mission-based non-profit organization providing equine-assisted activities and therapies to individuals seeking opportunities for growth. Sprout seeks to raise public awareness about special needs and to provide dynamic learning, recreation, socialization, and therapy opportunities for individuals and groups in a farm environment.

GET INVOLVED 
 

  • Serve for a day on the farm with you St. Mary’s youth group, or scout group or create a team with neighbors or co-workers. In most cases, you must be 14-years-of-age to volunteer.

  • Volunteer to help to plan Sprout’s exciting events and fundraisers during the year.

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

Your stewardship dollars have an incredible impact in providing direct assistance to our neighbors in need. St. Mary’s Outreach works with community organizations and directly with members of our community.

GET INVOLVED 
 

Lay Assistance Ministry 
Administered by St. Mary’s parishioners in face-to-face meetings, this program provides applicants with up to $150.00 of emergency financial assistance. Seeking to be more than ‘just another social services agency,’ St. Mary’s partners with other parishes and community organizations (including Arlington County’s Department of Human Services) to provide prayerful support and pastoral counseling in our time with those seeking assistance. The program runs twice a month.

  • Contact Ned Leonard, Ned.Leonard@StMarysArlington.org if you are interested in welcoming our neighbors in need of assistance and help the LAM team from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at St. Mary’s. We are especially in need of parishioner volunteers who are fluent in Spanish and other foreign languages.
     

Arlington Thrive
This is the only organization in the county that provides same-day, emergency financial assistance to Arlington residents experiencing sudden financial crises due to temporary unemployment or illness. Most clients either are considered to be “working poor,” elderly, disabled and living on a fixed income, or homeless (or formerly homeless) people requiring Thrive’s assistance as a safety net until they are able to get back on a firmer financial footing.

  • In your volunteer time, you will take calls from social workers 1-2 weekday afternoons a month. Arlington Thrive provides a cell phone, laptop, training, and on-call support. Time commitment: 1:00-4:00 p.m., one or two weekdays per month. Skills needed: Computer skills to enter client data on Arlington Thrive’s laptop computer. Ability and willingness to drive/ drop off computer bag to the next volunteer. To get started, email volunteer@arlingtonthrive.org.

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TRANSITIONAL SERVICES 

 

St. Mary’s outreach supports organizations with systematic, positive programs that help people striving to rise above a disadvantaged background find work.

 

GET INVOLVED 
 

Together We Bake 
Together We Bake is a comprehensive, workforce training and personal development program for formerly incarcerated women looking for an opportunity in the food industry, from bakers and chefs to marketing and business.

 

  • Sign up for a Together We Bake volunteer nights (one-off opportunities) on a quarterly basis; the activity generally involves stickering packages, which is a fun activity that can include kids ages 12 and up.  Additional opportunities such as volunteering as a job counselor are needed.

  • Purchase Together We Bake cookies, granola, and other foodstuffs at Whole Foods.

 

Shirlington Employment and Education Center (SEEC)

SEEC provides assistance to Latino and Latina day laborers using an orderly process for hiring opportunities, assisting with job referrals, and collection of unpaid wages from unscrupulous employers. SEEC provides vocational education, teaches green cleaning techniques, and skills related to construction while teaching English as a second language.
 

  • Watch for St. Mary’s call for adult work gloves (Dollar Store gloves appropriate for outdoor yard and construction work) and scarfs during Advent. A “Mitten/Workgove” tree will be placed in St. Mary’s Glebe Road lobby from which you can hang your glove donations.

 

Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington 

Founded by 12 Episcopal churches in 1986, the ministry is a community partnership between homeless people and others in need, with support and volunteers from churches, including St. Mary’s, to improve the lives of all. Goals include: promoting awareness of community needs, fostering partnerships at all levels, breaking down barriers imposed by poverty and developing participants’ abilities to help themselves to better lives.

 

Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR)

OAR is a community-based, restorative, justice organization, blending compassion and accountability to assist offenders in leading productive and responsible lives, to the benefit of all.

 

Friends of Guest House

Founded in 1974, Guest House provides female ex-offenders with comprehensive support for a successful transition, including housing – the only program of its kind for women in Northern Virginia.