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 in the greater community. Their focus was on community outreach and staying consistent with St. Andrew’s by-laws and the Bishop’s Four Mission Priorities from Convention:
Addresses 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 our programs of Outreach recently by your Executive Committee. Here are some of the places St. Andrew’s is proud to support:
Gather (Formerly Seacoast Family Food Pantry) 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 complementary 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.
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.
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.
To support an Extended Summer School Program for Coos County youth launched with support and leadership from the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire, and a unique partnership with local public schools. The Diocese, through the summer chapel at St. Mark’s in Groveton, partnered with leaders and educators from the Stratford Public School (serving Stratford, NH and Bloomfield, Brunswick, VT), and the schools in Stark and Groveton, to offer an enrichment program for six weeks in the summer.
Episcopal Relief & Development works in collaboration with church partners and other local organizations to facilitate healthier, more fulfilling lives in communities that are struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. They also work around the world and here in the US responding to and rebuilding after disasters. Programs impact the lives of over 3 million people annually. They respect the dignity of all people and view them as neighbors, working alongside participants regardless of religious affiliation or background.
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.
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 led 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!
Barbara Harris Summer Camp 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.
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.
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.
OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE: SUPPORT, VOLUNTEER, ADVOCATE, VISIT & 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. Please click each organization to learn more.