Over the years, St. Philippians have been extraordinarily generous with their gifts to Outreach’s Children’s Christmas Project. The schools who benefit from our donations serve among the poorest children in our city. In Rio Vista and Holaway Schools, more the 90% of the children qualify for federally funded school lunch. Imago Dei, an Episcopal school which provides a quality and loving education entirely from donations, survives through acts of faith from many people and parishes like us. For all three schools, our gifts go, in many cases, to fulfilling the most basic human needs, and in others, making life and the future just a bit better for the children and their families. These are just a few examples of the good works that have been performed with the generous donations from St. Philippians.
Imagine that you are a parent who recently had your work hours cut. Prior to that, you were barely making ends meet. Your rent is due in a few days and your electric bill is overdue. Without help, your choice is to lose your electricity or perhaps lose your home. With gifts such as ours to the school emergency fund, the school social worker can provide the funds necessary to keep you in your house with the lights on. Your child can continue to do his or her homework, secure again at home,
Imagine you are a teacher who notices that several children in your class have a terrible time concentrating in the morning, particularly on Mondays. You finally pry out of them that they have hardly eaten all weekend because there was no food at home, despite both parents working. You report the situation to your principal, knowing that, because of the emergency fund, those children will go home with cans of meat and other food to help them and their families through the weekend.
One of the children who attends our After School Music Program has a very difficult time in school because reading gives her a terrible headache. Her parents know that she needs glasses, but so far insurance to pay for those glasses been not available. Our gifts make it possible for the school to help her parents, and those of other children in the same situation, to obtain glasses so they may learn and grow.
Many of the children who attend Imago Dei come from very troubled households, and because of that, have had trouble in school due to anger management and other issues. The atmosphere of total acceptance and the special attention given to each child there makes it possible for those children to thrive and grow, both as students and as people in their own right. In return, they become more loving and helpful in their own families and communities, truly “paying it forward.”
The Outreach Commission will begin collecting for the Children’s Christmas Project on Sunday, November 11, between the various morning services, and will continue collecting every Sunday through December 23. Please consider making a donation during this time so that children and families such as those in the examples above can feel the joy of Advent throughout the year!
We would also appreciate anyone who can volunteer to help collect donations at any time and for any amount of time during this period. Please contact Peg Anderson at 575-8929 or Nancy Atherton at 269-0699.
Peace and thank you!
—Nancy Atherton, Outreach Co-Commissioner