Dear St Luke's and Friends of Outreach,
Happy October! You do not need me to list the ways in which our world is drastically different from when we began this year nine months ago, but you'll be glad to know at least one constant remains: St. Luke's cares about our community.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we've attempted to be as flexible as possible in meeting the new and varied challenges which surround us. We've continued to support the work of the GO Program, as students transitioned to remote learning. Art and Acceptance pivoted to a brown-bag program on the weekends, then distributing all week, and thankfully, we've been able to reopen a socially distanced version of the program outdoors on the school playground. You'll see larger updates about the work of these two programs below.
Here's another constant for you: Hunger, housing insecurity, and educational disparities are still with us, and growing. This is why I'm writing to you today.
As we began to distribute brown-bag meals during the week, we found that more and more people dealing with hunger and food insecurity were turning to St. Luke's as a place that they knew would care. We quickly began to stock ready made sandwiches and toiletry kits in our parish house for rapid distribution to anyone who came to our door. As the need continued to increase, we made a decision. Instead of waiting for folks to find us, we'll go to them.
On October 20th, we're excited to launch a new initiative geared toward feeding the hungry 'in our fields'. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we want to gather volunteers in a safe environment to make brown bag meals paired with a face mask, hygiene supplies, and a resource sheet of other feeding programs and food pantries, and then go out to the Christopher Street Piers, the AIDS Memorial Park at St Vincent's Triangle, and portions of Washington Square Park to distribute these meals. The more volunteers we have, the more routes we can create in order to increase our impact on our neighborhood.
This is the final constant: We need your help to serve our neighbors in need. We simply don't have the staff and resources to cover all the ground which needs to be covered without your help. Our plan is to have one pair of volunteers cover each route assigned to them. Your commitment to serving our neighborhood would run from approximately 9 to noon on the day you sign up, inclusive of the time it takes to prepare the meals.
Your participation in this work will enable us to reach more people. It can be discouraging to see the very visible need around us increase — even as we hear of looming cuts to essential city services. Partnering with us in this work is one tangible way you can make a very real difference in the life of a neighbor in need.
If you would like to join in this effort, please mail Simone Richmond ( ) or sign up here. However you choose to support our work, through prayers, donations, or volunteering, thank you. Your partnership in this effort is vital to its success. We continue to be grateful for your commitment, passion, and prayers as we seek to be a reflection of God's love in the Village.