Community Outreach strives to minister to individuals, groups, and organizations who serve those less fortunate. We focus on the areas of education, health, and nourishment in local communities, as well as throughout the world. ~ Susan Doherty
Community Outreach At a Glance
- Church Family Support – St. Mark Church Family Support offers support and comfort to church members in need. We provide meals to those who may be faced with illness, hospitalization or death in their family. Please contact the church office if you or if someone you know in the congregation would benefit from this ministry.
- Church Women United Food Closet– Non-perishable foods and toiletries are collected and delivered to St. Luke Methodist Church in Yorktown. Financial contributions are collected on various $1 Sundays.
- Thrive Peninsula (formerly DUCO – Denbigh United Christian Outreach) – Volunteers are needed to assist/counsel clients in need.
- Farm Fresh 1-2-3-4 – Over the past 15 years, Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy® has donated Millions of dollars in free school equipment and supplies to our local schools. We are pleased to continue supporting this program for this school year. Every time you shop at Farm Fresh and scan your key tag, St Mark Preschool will automatically earn points! For more information on how you can support St Mark, visit www.farmfresh1234.com.
- Pray Shawl Knitters – We would like to invite all members who knit or crochet to join us on Monday mornings, 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon for fellowship and crafting. We have made items for homeless women, vets at the VA Center in Hampton, the China Orphanage, the children at the Refugio in Ecuador, the St. Mark Christmas Glove/Mitten tree, and blankets for infants who are baptized at St. Mark. We meet in the Library. Come and join in the fun. If you do not knit or crochet, but would like to learn, we can teach you.
- Quilts of Honor – Wednesday workshops are held to cut, sew and assemble Quilts of Honor. Quilts are then shared with wounded military members in local hospitals.
- Pop a Can to Lend a Hand – Drop off aluminum pop tops in jars on the Community Outreach table. Sales of these recycled tabs assist with operating expenses of the Ronald McDonald House in Richmond.
- St. Paul’s Episcopal Homeless Mission – Volunteers are needed to serve a hot lunch and prepare bag lunches.
- Sharing Our Bounty with Others – St. Mark offers a Thanksgiving potluck meal on Thanksgiving day. All are welcome to attend.
Support for our Troops!
The Support Our Troops project provides “Care Packages” for military members deployed to hostile areas around the world. Military members appreciate these Care Packages, especially during the Christmas season.
Ronald McDonald House
For families so they may stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost. The average stay at the Richmond Ronald McDonald House is approximately three weeks.
How can we help?? By simply dropping off your aluminum pop-tops at St. Mark in support of the “Pop a Can to Lend a Hand” program we can assist these families. All money raised from the recycling of these pop-tops goes directly to House operations. The Pop-Top Program was shared with us several years ago by past Vicar DJ Dent. Since then we have collected and delivered over 100 pounds of pop tops.
The Richmond House consists of nine bedrooms, kitchen, living and dining rooms, a computer room with internet access and a playroom stocked with toys. Located on Monument Avenue, this is a place families may stay and relax in an environment of hope and recovery for children.
Mended Hearts Pillow Project
February is Heart Month which was an opportune time for the St. Mark Community Outreach Committee to host making heart pillows in support of Mended Hearts Chapter #119 and the open heart patients at Riverside Regional Medical Center. See how Mended Heart Pillows are made by members of St. Mark! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhWHuk6qovY
St. Jude’s Ranch Card Collection
During January and February, Community Outreach sponsors a collection of greeting cards to be sent to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, where children learn entrepreneurship skills by making new cards using the fronts of recycled greetings cards. Members of the congregation donate Christmas and other holiday cards, as well as thank you and birthday cards. A large box of card fronts is mailed to St. Jude’s Ranch at the conclusion of our collection.
More than 10 million children go to bed hungry each night… To raise awareness of poverty, hunger, homelessness and injustice, Souper Bowl of Caring was founded in 1990 by a seminary intern, Brad Smith, at a Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Brad opened with this prayer: “Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.” This year over 5,538 organizations banded together on Super Bowl Sunday to make a difference. With football helmets in hand, our St. Mark teens collected donations to fight world hunger . The Souper Bowl of Caring is supported and endorsed by 9 NFL owners and 2 U.S. Presidents with 100% of the money going to charities of the groups’ choice.
Kairos Prison Ministry
We at St Mark support the Kairos Prison ministry in several ways. First and most importantly, we pray for the ministry. Our prayers are offered in the hope that God will provide the resources needed to assure the success of the ministry. Secondly, many of our members bake cookies for the inmates which provide an excellent ice-breaker when the team goes into the prison. Our youth draw posters expressing care and concern for the inmates while our children draw placemats that are used at mealtime. The cookies, posters and placemats are very important to the ministry because they show the inmates that they are not forgotten. They show that people on the outside who don’t know the inmates are mindful of them and pray God’s blessing for them. Third, many of our members contribute financially to the ministry. It costs approximately $6,000 to conduct each of the ministry’s 4-day prison weekends. St. Mark’s financial support has been outstanding and has greatly contributed to the success of the program at Nottoway Correctional Center. Finally, two members concurrently participate on the team that goes inside the prison. This is also an important part of the ministry because these are the men who take the Gospel of Jesus the Christ to the inmates. The Kairos Prison Ministry offers opportunities for all to become involved. We pray that you will become part of the ministry at one or more of the above described areas. ~ Floyd Hooks
Warm Hands, Warm Hearts
Each year in December, St Mark members decorate our Warm Hands and Hearts Tree with mittens, gloves, scarves, hats, and socks. Items collected are distributed to clients at York/Poquoson and Newport News Social Services, THRIVE Peninsula, and Family Focus
Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child is one of the projects that Samaritan’s Purse sponsors. Samaritan’s Purse was founded in 1970 by Bob Pierce. After Mr. Pierce’s death in 1978 Franklin Graham became president of Samaritan’s Purse a year later. He continues to head the organization to date. Samaritan’s Purse mission is “to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the work, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ”. In addition to Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse sponsors distribution of food, provides medical assistance and other assistance to people in need. The organization provided relief this year after tornadoes hit Missouri, Alabama and North Carolina. The organization also provided relief to people in Japan after the tsunami. Over 130 countries have received assistance from Samaritan’s Purse. Last year over 8 million shoe boxes were distributed to children. Thank each of you who filled a shoe box for a child. St. Mark members are once again touching lives.