"For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me…Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."
(Matthew 25:35-36, 40)
The St. Mary community has been recognized over its many years for a warm welcome to all those who step through the doors. Even as we have grown to include a larger and more diverse membership, that familiar warm embrace continues to be our signature quality. In that same vein, the St. Mary community has historically extended its love to the surrounding community by offering security to those in need of food, essential goods, shelter, and fellowship. One only needs to walk out the door of the church building to see that we are located at the center of a city neighborhood that calls for exactly this kind of attention.
Building on our past, Neighbor Outreach is designed to provide a more consistent response. Individual parish members, families, or organizations commit to prepare and deliver “home cooked”, low-cost, healthy meals to our neighbors. The focus of the ministry is to provide food on a regular basis to maintain stability and build trust.
The bonus has been the resulting fellowship among the participants. When we work together to help others, the natural consequence is building bonds and lifetime memories.
Introducing N.O. 365
Thanks be to God, the impact has exceeded expectations! In 2023 Neighbor Outreach prepared and delivered home cooked, low-cost, healthy meals or fresh groceries to our neighbors on 72 scheduled days per year, with various parishioners committed to cooking on scheduled dates.
There is more wonderful news to share. Neighbor Outreach has once again been awarded the Archdiocese Food for Hungry People and Charitable Outreach grant in the amount of $10,000! But the blessings continue. An additional grant of $6000 from the Orthodox Vision Foundation (OVF) has been awarded to Neighbor Outreach, an amount that will be matched through fundraising, to embark on an extension of the ministry: N.O. 365. The goal is to deliver meals 365 days per year.
There are many ways to participate regardless of cooking skill or financial position! Many have already participated by donating time, efforts, ideas, and financial support. Because of the support and engagement of the parish, in 2023 Neighbor Outreach delivered approximately 700 meals per month with an expenditure of $1800/month. Neighbor Outreach regularly provides meals as follows on the 1st through 4th Sundays and 2nd and 4th Thursdays on each month. See below the plan for February 2024:
Ways to Participate
There are many opportunities to expand your participation.
- Prepare a meal on your own, with friends or family on a committed date or dates, for example twice a year;
- Volunteer by helping with the cooking and delivering on one of the regularly scheduled meal days;
- Coordinate the first Sunday Sub Making event;
- Help with fundraising, identifying donated groceries sources, website or communication roles
Whatever you do, you will receive support, direction, Neighbor Outreach proven recipes, reimbursement for all costs, and best of all, the rewards of helping others.
Meals to Neighbors
The stories and appreciation from those who have received the meals to date are heartwarming. They will not be recounted here because we hope that you will experience them yourselves directly.
Please contact us with any questions or interest in participation:
- Mary Winstanley O'Connor email@example.com
- Jane Gabriel firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mike Guigli email@example.com
You can make cash contributions to Neighbor Outreach on E-give.