Ongoing Outreach Programs
FARMINGTON FOOD PANTRY
The Farmington Food Pantry is located at Amistad Hall in the First Church of Christ Congregational. The Pantry provides food and personal care items to eligible families in town. As part of our Outreach Commission, St. James parishioners donate food and funds in January and June and fresh vegetables during the summer months. The 400+ square foot pantry averaged 161 client visits per month in 2016 and distributed an average of nearly 50 pounds of food per client per two week period. Clients are allowed to pick the items they like and need rather than being given a prepackaged bag of food. With donations from the Farmington Community Chest and other funding the Pantry is able to purchase fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables every week. The Pantry has made a commitment to supply milk and yogurt in honor of one of the pantry’s founders. Non-perishable, non-expired food may be dropped off at the Pantry in Amistad Hall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Many thanks to all for your most generous non-perishable and cash donations for the Farmington Food Pantry in 2017! St. James provides donations for the months of January and June. The estimated value of our donations collected for the month of January was $1,089. For the month of June, the estimated donations were valued at $602. The grand total for the two months was $1,691 (included in that figure was a cash donation of $455)! Please note, the pantry welcomes donations all year round. Outside of our two designated months, simply drop off your non- perishable donations to First Church next door. Inside Amistad Hall near the School Street entrance, they have a corner set up with a wagon for donations. If you choose to write a check, make it payable to St. James, and in the notation section, write Farmington Food Pantry. Again, the Outreach Committee says Thanks!
CHURCH BY THE POND
In 2018, St. James will continue to participate in a new way for Church by the Pond – instead of providing lunches, we will be provide toiletry bags.
Here are some ways you can be involved in this important ministry:
Sign up to donate travel-sized toiletry items. Items most needed by our friends in Hartford: body wash, deodorant, shaving cream, toothpaste, sunscreen. A sign-up sheet is in the narthex. The marked donation bin is in the narthex.
Sign up to make a financial donation (as little as $25) to purchase the items listed above.
On your travels for business or pleasure, collect the small toiletries from your hotel room and place them in the donation bin.
Please contact Jessica Watkin with any questions and see for more information on this ministry!
2017 On July 29 a group consisting of Bob Raupach, Ann Monroe- Baillargeon, and the Watkin family celebrated the Eucharist in Bushnell Park before handing out toiletry kits to 47 of our neighbors in Hartford, including two families with young children. Christ Church Cathedral was also very grateful for the large box of toiletry items that folks donated from their travels, which they will distribute when they serve lunch at Cathedral House every Sunday A second team including Fr. George, the Churches, Dolans, and Watkins participated in a celebration of Holy Eucharist on November 4th, and then handed out 40 cold-weather personal-care kits that included shampoo, soap, moisturizer, bandages, deodorant, lip balm, hand warmers, survival blankets, rain ponchos, and tooth care items. Thanks to the generosity of St. James Parish we were able to give a financial gift of $120 to Christ Church Cathedral to support Church by the Pond in addition to the kits. The day was topped off by a ride on the carousel for the children of St. James and the children at Church by the Pond.
2016 On August 6, when the predicted thunderstorms never arrived, members of St. James Parish worshipped in the great outdoors in Bushnell Park and then served bagged lunches to sixty citizens of Hartford. (see photo below) Jesssica Watkin wrote "I am so grateful for the shoppers who dropped groceries off in the kitchen in advance or baked delicious desserts for the lunches, the sandwich crew who assembled the lunches at St. James, and the crew at the park, who refused to wilt in the hot sun. For me, the best part of the day was greeting each of our lunch guests during the time of the Peace; as Church by the Pond says: “We are all God’s children and greet each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.”
2015 On Saturday, June 6, St. James volunteers made and distributed lunch to more than 50 people at Bushnell Park.
CHURCH STREET EATS
At certain times of the year, St. James will serve lunch at Cathedral House in Hartford. All the food is provided; we just need to show up with smiles on our faces, ready to serve. We need a team of 8–10 total; Contact Jessica Watkin if you are interested in helping out.
St James parishioneers helped 10 families in Farmington have a very happy Thanksgiving. The food for the baskets was much appreciated! And we had a fun time putting the “baskets” together after worship on November 19. Thank also to Deb Agrella and Bob Raupach for delivering the bags and turkeys to the Town in time for Thanksgiving feasts
SOLE HOPE PROJECT
On Sunday, February 28 2017, young people from the Farmington Valley came to join St. James Parish youth to be part of a shoe cutting party to benefit Sole Hope. Using templates provided by Sole Hope, the young people will be cutting up 600 pairs of (donated) jeans into soles that will then be sent to Uganda to be sewn into protective shoes.
Sole Hope is a North Carolina based non-profit whose objective is to eradicate debilitating jiggers that infest the feet of youngsters in Uganda. Jiggers come from sand-fleas which burrow into bare feet of children. When the eggs hatch, terrible worms emerge, affecting foot development and preventing children from walking.
Sole Hope sends volunteers to village clinics where they wash the children’s feet, remove existing jiggers, and educate the children about remaining jigger free. Children who are extensively infected are brought to Sole Hope Outreach Clinic for extended removal and healing. There is a staff of 35 Ugandans including nurses, educators, tailors, shoemakers, accountants and social workers. Sole Hope cooperates with the Ugandan government and works within the local communities.
For information about the Sole Hope organization, go www.solehope.org.
YOUR PLACE AT ST. MONICA'S
On July 10 and July 24 2017, members of our parish, including a number of our youth, made lunch for the program at Your Place, St. Monica’s, Hartford. Your Place was founded by the Rev. Tracy Johnson-Russell, St. Monica’s rector, to provide a safe place for disadvantaged young people to experience community and activity during the summer months. After making lunch with donated food, the St. James folks led the group of campers in the program, and their teen counselors, in a fun and creative craft activity. The children really, really enjoyed making “God’s eyes” on the 10th, and prayer boxes, among other things, on the 24th. Thank you to Tracey Roberts, Ann Monroe-Baillargeon, and Linda Reynolds for planning the activities. Many thanks to Trish Guglielmo and her sons, Mitch and Joey, Bill Church, Dona Waugh, Mia Flynn, Linda Larkin, Chloe and Olivia Roberts, and Vanessa Reynolds for helping cook and assisting with the craft!
ST. JAMES HEELERS
St. James Heelers take part in walks such as the Walk Against Hunger. The Walk, organized by Foodshare, supports many regional charities including the Friendship Service Center (FSC).
MASS ON THE GRASS
The Outreach and Mission Ministry of St. James generously allocated $300 to help purchase supplies for children connected to the Friendship Service Center in New Britain. On August 11, bookbags and necessary school supplies were purchased for seven young people, male and female, ranging in grades from pre-K to 11. On August 12 the bags, with the supplies in them, were distributed to Deacon Don Richey, founder and leader of the Mass on the Grass Ministry, located at the Friendship Service Center. Deacon Don reports that Barbara Lazarski of the FSC was very pleased to receive our donated bookbags and the additional bags with supplies given by Don’s parish, St. Gabriel’s in Berlin. A total of 14 children, whose parents could not afford school supplies, received what they needed to begin their school year.