In our first installment of the SAPC Missions Spotlight Series, SAPC’s own Maggie Kane, founder and executive director of A Place at the Table (APATT), tells…
How We Can Help During Covid-19:
The Mission Committee wants to give you a brief update on how we are monitoring the needs of our mission partners. We have been meeting twice a month (Zoom, of course!) to share how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed our partners’ needs and how we can best support them. Please know that your continued SAPC pledge donations are the front line of support and enable us to contribute to these needs. However, if you are able to contribute more during this crisis, please do!
As you are aware, it’s much more difficult to support those in need when social distancing is a must. As always, we are amazed at our partners’ commitment to support their clients and their ability to adapt to the changing needs during this difficult time. We would like to share how these incredible ministries are changing to continue to serve those most vulnerable. Please pray for our mission partners, those whom they serve and for our community as a whole! Included you will find links to each ministry to learn how you can help a neighbor in need.
● Meals on Wheels – Daily warm meals have been replaced with a weekly delivery of 5 frozen meals in order to decrease risk to 1,400 elderly or homebound Wake County neighbors they serve. All production of these meals is taking place in the downtown warehouse according to CDC guidelines for social distancing. At this time, no volunteer drivers are needed, but please visit wakemow.orgto learn how you can help.
● Raleigh Rescue – Due to Covid-19, the RR has had to close its thrift store and can no longer host volunteers. However, they are in constant need of personal care items to continue to care for the homeless. Please visit raleighrescue.org to learn where to deliver donations.
● Faith Ministry/Mexico – Our partners south of the border are currently not building houses due to travel restrictions and social distancing. Because they are not able to host teams at this time, their resources are being turned toward providing to-go meals to the colonia, sewing face masks for the community and supporting those showing signs of the virus in their medical clinic. As many of you know, their resources are finite. Please visit faithministry.org to learn how to help.
● Brown Bag Ministry – BBM supports 150 families in our neighboring Cedar Creek community by providing a bagged lunch twice a month. Due to cancelled school and lay-offs, food insecurity is the most pressing issue facing these families at this time. Food and cash donations are needed. Luckily, the kind folks at Refugee Hope Partners have a network set up to distribute food to those in need; you can even ‘adopt’ a family to help! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
● Loaves and Fishes – Our partners at Loaves and Fishes ask for prayers for their kids and families. It is difficult for the families, volunteers and staff to be separated from each other when they are extended family! Like most vulnerable populations, food insecurity is a real and dire threat to these families. To learn how to help spread the love, please visit lafchildren.org.
● Back Pack Buddies – Due to school being out, the BPB program is not packing bookbags at this time. However, some food goods collected prior to the pandemic have been allocated to our mission partners already, with enough held back in case school resumes. This food will go out also if school does not resume this year.
● North Raleigh Ministries – With so many of our neighbors in need at this time, the NRM Crisis Center is working overtime! Proceeds from the thrift store usually help support the crisis center with much needed cash and food. With the thrift store closure, they are depending on donations of stable pantry items and money to help support their clients. To learn how to help these front-line workers keep people in their homes and fed, visit www.northraleighministries.com/give or drop off food at the crisis center.
● Haiti Reforestation Partnership – The planting continues! However, as in most places around the world, the open-air food markets have been closed down. This will create a serious food shortage because most Haitians have no refrigeration to store food, and all of life’s essentials are obtained in the community markets. To learn how to help our brothers and sisters at CODEP, please visit haitireforest.org.
● Rise Against Hunger – Due to social distancing, RAH has cancelled packing events for now. But, as in any global crisis, vulnerable communities are at even greater risk. RAH is striving to continue to reach those they serve with nutritious meals and medical aid. To learn how to help meet the critical needs of those facing hunger, visit www.riseagainsthunger.org.
● A Place at the Table – APATT is continuing to serve our hungry community with fabulous, nutritious to-go meals on a pay-as-you-can basis. So, order a meal to-go for your family and, if you’d like to learn how to give a little extra, visit tableraleigh.org and pay it forward.
● Shepherds Table Soup Kitchen – ST is still out there serving the homeless with a boxed lunch to go! Visit Shepherds-table.org to learn how to help feed our hungry homeless.
Feeding the Hungry
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle seeks to alleviate hunger by developing systems to recover, prepare and distribute wholesome, perishable food for the area’s poor, hungry, undernourished and homeless. Opportunities for service include helping pack food that is delivered to seniors across Wake County and children in need at schools. Saint Andrews packs food in backpacks for the BACKPACK BUDDIES Program at the church typically at the end of the month. The food is then delivered to River Bend Elementary School. Saint Andrews also sends volunteers to Interfaith Food Shuttle near the Farmers Market to pack food for the Backpack Buddies Program (Monday mornings (9:30 to 11:30).
Supporting Our Community
North Raleigh Ministries reaches out to individuals and families of North Raleigh by providing food and financial assistance to those in need. They help to bridge the gap for hungry families, renters who face eviction and residents who can’t afford to pay for heat in the cold winter months. North Raleigh Ministries (NRM) is comprised of three components: a Food Pantry, a Crisis Center, and a Thrift Shoppe. All of this is made possible by a faithful network of volunteers from local churches. Saint Andrews has committed to provide volunteers for 20 hours a week, to giving financial support and providing food for their food pantry twice a year. We have also promised to assist in and support special fundraisers. Volunteers work in the Thrift Shoppe, the food pantry and the crisis center. Training is provided before volunteers begin. Opportunities to serve Mondays through Saturday.
One Saturday a month, Saint Andrews hosts a support group for refugee women from countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan. These women come to support each other and to learn how to make this major life transition to our country (e.g. housing, jobs, education). Most of them live near Saint Andrews in Cedar Point Apartments on Sandy Forks Road. Additionally, we can always use help with transportation and light breakfast items.
Delivering Meals in Raleigh
Meals on Wheels of Wake County provides nutritious meals to the homebound elderly and persons with disabilities in Wake County in an effort to improve health, reduce isolation, and prevent inappropriate institutionalization. Serving close to 1,300 meals daily to homes and nutrition centers, Meals on Wheels provides the frailest of our citizens with a voice to achieve healthful independence. Saint Andrews serves as the site where meals are delivered, then redistributed by volunteers. Drivers and substitute drivers deliver meals – you pick the driving schedule that works for you (Mondays – Friday; volunteer every day, once a week or just once a month). Pick up meals at Saint Andrews between 10:30 am – 11:00 and complete the delivery within about 60 minutes.
Supporting At-risk Youth
Loaves and Fishes is a local non-profit organization providing long-term support for low income children needing individualized assistance in the development of academic and social skills. Serving children in grades K-12, Loaves and Fishes currently supports 40 children and their families from facilities at Mount Peace Baptist Church on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Raleigh. Volunteers share God’s love through tutoring, relating stories of faith, engaging in enhancement experiences, and building resilience through personal relationships. The out-of-school program operates primarily Monday through Thursday, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., and is an opportunity for those of high school age and older. You can volunteer one afternoon or many, as it suits your schedule, with other opportunities for service also available.
Feeding the Hungry
Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen serves approximately 350 hot meals each day to men, women, and children in poverty of every faith and ethnic group, no questions asked. It takes 600 volunteers and about 152,000 pounds of food each year to feed the hungry at the Shepherd’s Table. Help prepare and serve lunch at the Soup Kitchen downtown, Tuesday mornings (8:30am – 12:30). Volunteers age 13 and older are welcome.
Saint Andrews has extended its support to this local group of refugees by helping St. Philip Lutheran Church, our neighbors, with the packing and delivering of lunches to Cedar Point Apartments on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. As part of the Brown Bag Ministry, St. Philip packs over 400 lunches each Saturday to deliver to these families (many of whom are refugees). This is a great service opportunity for entire families (with school-age children), youth and individuals to participate together in the community. Sign-up here to serve http://tinyurl.com/sapcbbm
Serving Dinner at the Mission
Raleigh Rescue Mission serves “men and women battling life-controlling issues, women and children needing emergency shelter, those who thirst in the summer and shiver in the winter, those who never had a second chance and those who need a second chance.” Saint Andrews helps to prepare and serve dinner at the Mission the second Saturday of every other month (from 2:00pm – 5:30) in February, April, June, August, October, December.
Offering Support in Kenya
Staff of Hope serves people in remote areas of Kenya and Tanzania, Africa, assisting with health care, education, agriculture, and drilling of water wells. The ministry was founded by Jeff Spainhour, who participated in Saint Andrews’ first youth mission trip in the 90’s and is now an ordained minister at Triangle Presbyterian Church in Durham Saint Andrews supports Staff of Hope with prayers and donations, including collecting and shipping enough library books to create a library at a local Kenyan high school.
Building Homes in Mexico
Faith Ministry (Ministerio de Fe) focuses on creating a community of faith in the border colonias of Reynosa and Miguel Aleman, Mexico. Specific ministry initiatives include housing, evangelism, medical care and education. For a decade, adults and youth from SAPC have journeyed to Mexico to assist in the home building and church growth of Faith Ministry across the Texas/Mexico border.
Haiti Fund and CODEP (the Comprehensive Development Project) envisions a land of plenty in the mountains of Haiti where the people live in peace and have embraced a plan to restore God’s creation. In this place the residents enjoy good health, quality education and economic stability so that they can live together as a thriving community of God’s people. The work of CODEP has broadened to include a wide variety of interests/skills that include learning, teaching, gardening and Christian education so that a broad cross-section of folks can participate beyond those with construction skills.