Caring for our Neighbors
HOLIDAY GIFT-GIVING TO THOSE WHO NEED IT MOST
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 12% of Suffolk’s population is below the poverty level. When the housing, food, medicine, and transportation bills are paid, there is very little left for holiday extras. Won’t you help to make a difference in our neighbors’ Christmas celebrations by providing a little extra this Christmas season?
You have lots of options for helping. All of the following projects will begin on Sunday, November 11 and will be due back to church no later than Wednesday, December 12.
- THE ANGEL TREE: One of St. Andrew’s most cherished traditions, the Angel Tree has served as the centerpiece of Christmas giving at our church for many years. Our Mission and Service Committee will receive the names of fifty children whose parents and caregivers have registered with Suffolk’s Salvation Army. Each child will receive two gifts, so there will be one hundred paper angels on the bulletin board in the Atrium from which to choose, beginning 11/11. Each paper angel lists a child’s first name, age, clothing size (if applicable), and specific wish. Choose one or more angels and make this a family project to shop for someone who might receive very little else this Christmas. Return your unwrapped gifts to the marked bins in the Atrium.
- SILVER BELLS: Perhaps you’d like to shop for seniors? Mission and Service also will receive the names of ten senior citizens from the Salvation Army. Take a paper bell from the bulletin board and purchase a gift for the individual listed on the bell. Return your unwrapped gifts to the marked bins in the Atrium.
- CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS: Gather your family or your small group or your office staff and fill a mesh stocking with small gifts for a needy child. Empty stockings can be picked up in the Atrium beginning on 11/11, and filled ones can be returned there as well.
- THE MITTEN TREE: Help keep children, youth, and adults warm this winter. Bring in hats, mittens, scarves, and – new this year – socks to decorate our Mitten Tree. This project is sponsored by the Sunday School classes, and all donations will go to the Salvation Army.
- HYGIENE KITS: Please drop off brushes, combs, pocket tissue packages, and travel-sized deodorants to the marked bins near the Mitten Tree in the Atrium, beginning 11/11. (We have plenty of soaps, shampoos, lotions, and toothbrushes, so no more are needed.) Our youth Sunday school classes will put together hygiene kits to give to teenagers through the Salvation Army.
We would greatly appreciate help delivering all donations to the Salvation Army on Friday, December 14. Contact Karen Topping at church to help deliver.
Opportunities to serve:
- Salvation Army soup kitchen
Church members prepare a meal at the Salvation Army, Bank Street, in downtown Suffolk on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Members are asked to provide cupcakes to be served as dessert. They are due on the Wednesday prior to our Soup Kitchen date.
- Joyful Noise
Funds collected help cover the cost of soup kitchen supplies.
- Reverse Offerings
The collection of non perishable food for the Suffolk Presbyterian Church Food Pantry.
- Adopt-A-Street program
- ForKids, Inc
Made Easter baskets for children in homeless shelter.
- Suffolk Social Services Angel Tree
In December, St. Andrew collects and wraps gifts donated by the congregation. These gifts are then delivered to Suffolk Social Services for their Angel Tree recipients.
- Salvation Army School Supplies Drive
Items needed: bookbags, pens, pencils, graphic calculators, paper, notebooks, tissues, hand sanitizer, crayons, colored pencils, and flash drives. Deposit supplies in the appropriately marked bins in Atrium.
- Compassion Saturday
St. Andrew also hosts a Compassion Saturday each year. This day includes fellowship time for volunteers before they start various service projects, such as street clean-up, meal preparation, Prayers and Squares quilting, card making, ForKids support, and toiletry kit assembly for the Western Tidewater Free Clinic.
- Saint Andrew in Mission (SAIM)
St. Andrew in Mission promotes and coordinates the mission outreach of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, both locally and world-wide. This includes financial support of many varied mission causes and "hands-on" service projects. In July 2017, SAIM supported the Rise Against Hunger church-wide event at which St. Andrew members packaged 17,000 meals! Also in July 2017, SAIM coordinated home repairs for a local Suffolk woman.
- Meals on Wheels - Suffolk Meals on Wheels, established in 1987, delivers meals to residents living in the city of Suffolk and the Isle of Wight County regions. The food is prepared by the Sentara Obici Hospital Food Services. St. Andrew provides volunteers to deliver meals on each Friday of the month. St. Andrew has 5 delivery teams, with 2 people in each team, who transport the meals from the hospital to the recipients' homes.
- Rise Against Hunger – For the past two years St. Andrew has partnered with Rise Against Hunger in their program to end hunger internationally. We convert our Atrium to a meal-packing assembly line, and we have turned out over 10,000 nutritional meal packages in just two hours each year to be sent where the need is greatest. There are jobs and fun for everyone, including children
- CAPS Night Stay Program – Coalition against Poverty in Suffolk (CAPS), a partnership of churches in the Suffolk area, provides housing and meals for homeless people during the coldest months of the winter. St. Andrew served as the host church from Wednesday, 10 January through Wednesday, 17 January 2018.
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.