St. Christopher’s Church maintains an active Outreach program that is designed to improve the lives of disadvantaged people locally, nationally, and throughout the world. In particular, we seek to use both cash grants and direct involvement to support organizations that empower the less fortunate to reach their full potential.
The centerpiece of the Outreach effort is a program that provides cash grants to organizations that work to alleviate hunger and poverty and provide services to people who are in need. Much of the funding for this program is provided by the proceeds from Azalea Day, an annual country fair in which much of the congregation is involved in a variety of different capacities. Additional funding comes from income generated from the investment of the church’s endowment. Last year we supported over 25 organizations with grants or direct involvement and support.
The grant program is administered by a committee that includes both members of the Vestry and representatives of the congregation at large. In making grants, priority is given to charities that are associated with the Episcopal Church and organizations in which members of St. Christopher’s are involved. We also give to children focused efforts through the Bill Wood Fund. Most awards are in the range of $1,000 to $10,000.
To apply for a grant, an applicant must submit a request on an application form which is available by clicking on the link below or by calling the Church Office at (610) 642-8920.
All grant applications must be received by March 1st in order to be considered for funding in this current calendar year.
Committee members and parishioners may remind charities of application deadlines, but they should warn charities that submission of an application is no guarantee of funding. The Outreach Committee makes grants to organizations and programs only. Grants are never made to individuals.
We are pleased to announce that in 2015 we awarded grants that totaled $59,550. The grants were given to the following organizations.
We provide food for individuals and families in need in a variety of ways. Non-perishable food donations are collected throughout the year. This service is carried out by volunteers. Please inquire within to donate your time. Our grant program supports ministries locally and internationally, including:
♦ Church of the Advocate Café
♦ ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth Food Cupboard
♦ St. Barnabas Food Cupboard, Philadelphia
♦ St. Mary’s Church Food Cupboard, Chester
St. Christopher’s supports and provides hands on volunteering for organizations that are committed to providing housing for families in need, including:
♦ Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Main Line (INH)
♦ Episcopal Community Services (ECS)
♦ Habitat for Humanity – The Other Carpenter
Following our mission of helping to empower people, we support groups that provide education to the less fortunate, including:
♦ Friends of Children in Africa
♦ St. James’s School, Philadelphia
♦ Thresholds in Delaware County
Other Communities Supported by St. Christopher’s Outreach
♦ City Camp – Diocese of Philadelphia
♦ Episcopal Church Club
♦ Episcopal Relief and Development
♦ New Horizons Senior Center
♦ Seaman’s Church Institute– collection for ditty bags (personal care items) that are distributed to seafarers.
♦ Servant Year
♦ Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia
Outreach in Action
♦ Azalea Day – Our annual Spring Fair, all proceeds are used to fund our Outreach program.
♦ Epiphany Food Drive – The St. Christopher’s community supports the St. Peter’s Food Cupboard in providing food to the ever increasing number of people living on the edge of hunger, who often must choose between buying food and paying for medicine, or heat. St. Peter’s Food Cupboard has provided food for local families in need since 1987. They distribute supplemental bags of groceries to around 140 households weekly.
♦ Jack Arndt Thanksgiving Turkey Ministry – This annual event is a tradition that was initiated by one of our parishioners. On the day before Thanksgiving parishioners are invited to bring cooked turkeys to St. Christopher’s where we gather to carve and pack them to be delivered to the Church of the Advocate, which provides a Thanksgiving meal to less fortunate families in the Philadelphia are
♦ Christmas Giving Tree – Each year we have a giving tree. People in our church community are able to take a name tag from the tree and purchase a gift for a child or foster parent. The gifts are then delivered to Episcopal Community Services for distribution at their annual Christmas party.
♦ The Other Carpenter – Habitat Philadelphia – The youth of the church and adult parishioners come together to assist low-income homeowners in the Parkside, Belmont and Mantua communities of Philadelphia in the maintenance and improvements to their homes.The program is based on a model of homeowner participation, in which the homeowner works with TOC staff and volunteers on repairs and improvements, and contributes a portion of the cost of materials.
♦ Wintershelter – Working with Trinity Church at 22nd and Spruce, we provide meals and join with the residents at the homeless shelter for conversation during dinner. The shelter is in the basement of the parish hall at Trinity Church.
♦ St. Barnabas Mission – Mother’s Day gift basket collection. Last year we provided 40 baskets of personal care items for the residents. Our Sunday school children visit with the children at St. Barnabas and work together to make art projects.