St. Stephen’s has been a long time faithful supporter of various community and faith based organizations in the world outside of our parish. Our Mission Committee’s purpose is to share our congregation’s strong belief in assisting organizations that help others help themselves, as well as organizations that provide comfort and safety to many who desperately need it. We continue our commitment to our neighbors and friends and want to share some of the highlights with all of you.
Currently, there are 11 mission partners we stand behind: Association for the Blind - Refocus Program, Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, Magdalene House of Charleston, One Eighty Place (formerly Crisis Ministries), Charleston Area Senior Citizens, Florence Crittenton Programs, HIV/AIDS Ministry, Hollings Cancer Center, Star Gospel Mission, and the Episcopal Relief and Development organization, which is global in its scope.
Let’s face it...some need money in the form of donations, and others are just grateful to know that a caring, friendly face regards them highly enough to share their time to volunteer. Volunteering can be so fulfilling!
We help sponsor these organizations with volunteers and/or donations, depending on the need. We hope you keep them in mind when thinking about mission through our congregation. Future letters from the Mission Committee will keep you abreast of upcoming volunteer opportunities and feedback from those we have been fortunate enough to be of service to. Make sure to stop by the Mission table at the Ministry Fair on Sunday, September 21 after the 11:00 service for more information about our partner agencies as well as volunteer opportunities!
On Sunday, September 21, a Ministry Fair took place after Sunday services. We were so glad to see some of you stop by to get information about becoming a more active member of our congregation through the gift of service to others. If you were unable to attend, don’t fret, there are always opportunities to volunteer with or donate to our mission partners.
That said, this letter focuses on Charleston Area Senior Citizens and The Hollings Cancer Center (Patient Support Services), two more of our friends in the community.
Charleston Area Senior Citizens (CASC), primarily needs canned food and non-perishable items for their food pantry. This community gem provides over 10,000 noon meals at the center each year. Considering that South Carolina seniors are at the second highest risk in the nation of going hungry or having inadequate resources for ample nutrition, they gravely need our help.
CASC also provides long term residency for qualifying seniors (62+) through the Ansonborough House - a safe, comfortable place for them to live. Seniors there may take advantage of various programs including the Free Food Mart where a variety of items are available including cereals, canned foods, and paper goods.
CASC staff also make emergency house calls to assess seniors in crisis. Referrals are received from local police departments, pastors, hospitals, concerned neighbors, and family members. Most common problems include no food in the home, threat of eviction, no water or electricity in the home, abusive family members, and disabling conditions such as dementia for a senior living alone.
The Hollings Cancer Center snack cart is coordinated by the Patient Support Services Team and is led by our own Diane Aghapour. The team provides individually packaged snacks and drinks for patients and their caregivers during lengthy treatments. The snack cart makes rounds twice a day throughout Hollings. They also plan to extend services to the newly opened Pediatric Sickle Cell clinic for patients receiving transfusions and other treatments due to the complications of the disease.
Hollings appreciates receiving Chemo Caps for patients, in adult sizes, as well as fleece blankets. We aim to assist them with providing some entertaining distraction as well as extending some comfort and warmth during a very difficult time in their lives.
Last, but not least, we are pleased to unveil our St. Stephen’s Giving Weekends! Each second weekend of the month, the Mission Committee will have baskets at the entrance of the church for canned goods and non-perishable item donations. Baskets will be available starting at the Saturday at 6 Service through the last Sunday service. Baskets will then be sorted for the Senior Center or Hollings and then promptly delivered to the appropriate location.
Senior Center Preferences: Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, and beef; canned vegetables and fruit; hearty soups, spaghetti sauces, pasta, rice, dry cereal, and liquid supplements like Ensure or Boost.
Hollings Preferences: Individually packaged items like granola bars, fruit snacks, Fig Newtons, and peanut butter crackers. Individual juice boxes and liquid supplements like Ensure or Boost.