"Send us out to do the work you have given us to do!"
In addition to our participation in national and international organizations such as Episcopal Fund for Human Needs, Episcopal Relief and Development and the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund, St. John’s responds generously to requests for donations, services and volunteers with “boots” on the ground. During these months of limited outreach due to the Pandemic, here are a few of the projects we could support:
Afghan Refugee Project: The 2nd half of 2021, St. John’s joined forces with a group of Crawfordsville churches, headed up by Pastor John Van Nuys of Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church to assist with the critical needs of 6,600 Afghani refugees who arrived in our state. These individuals, fleeing for their lives, arrived with nothing. Half of the refugees were under the age of 20; about 1,000 were under age 4. St. John’s provided thousands of diapers and wipes, children’s toys, clothing, coats, shoes and luggage galore. We are currently taking donations of yarn and knitting supplies as we await the assignment of an Afghani family that will settle in Indianapolis. St. John’s will be hosting a kitchen shower for our family in the very near future.
Summer Lunches: This community summer program feeds about 70-75 children per day over 6 or 7 weeks each summer to children who normally receive free or reduced fee lunches during the school year. But for this program, these children might not have a lunch. St. John’s is responsible for at least 3 days and other groups use our kitchen to prepare the lunches for additional days. During these days, parishioners donate, prepare and pack lunches and deliver them to the children in the community.
FISH Food Pantry: We collect non-perishable food items which are given to the FISH Food Pantry for distribution from their local food bank location. Food collections are ongoing throughout the year and in 2021, St. John’s donated over 600 pounds of food.
Food Finders Mobile Food Pantry: St. John’s partnered with other church communities to staff distribution of food as well as pass out additional information about assistance to those receiving food. Food Finders brings its tractor-trailer full of food to a Montgomery county location for distribution.
Meals on Wheels: Several St. John teams deliver hot and cold meals throughout the year to members of the community who are not able to get out.
Lunches Provided to Essential Workers: St. John’s continued to recognize essential workers in our community by providing lunches, snacks and thank you’s. Some of these included the street department and vaccination volunteers for the county health department.
There are a variety of other Outreach projects supported by St. John’s prior to the Covid 19 pandemic. These have included “Dancing with the Stars” which raises funds for the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau, provided volunteers to the Indianapolis Christ Church Cathedral Strawberry Festival which raised funds for the local Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic, and hosted a booth at the Crawfordsville Strawberry Festival with funds donated to Nourish, a local food insecurity backpack program for children in Montgomery County.
Many of the members of St. John’s serve on over 91 local not-for-profit organizations that offer support services such as the Animal Welfare League, the Crawfordsville Library, the Lew Wallace Foundation, the Friends of Sugar Creek, Montgomery County Health Department Vaccine clinic, sewing quilts for refugees, clothing and gift collection boxes for local residents struggling with mental health issues/complications and many, many more. One of our parishioners spent several years volunteering at an orphanage in China. Each of these is an opportunity for St. John’s to be visible in the wider world, sharing the love of God with our neighbors and all in need. The Lord has blessed St. John’s in so many ways; giving back is simply who we are!