Basic Needs: The 2nd Sunday of each month has been dedicated for the collection of “personal care” items (shampoo, soap, sanitary napkins, toothpaste, etc.). The 4th Sunday of each month has been dedicated for the collection of non-perishable foods. Items from each collection will assist organizations, such as the pantry at Grace Episcopal Church [Syracuse] and the Samaritan Center.Episcopal Fund for Human Need: This funding from the Diocese of Central New York provides financial assistance to individuals/families for things such as rental assistance. The funds are distributed upon a request from the local parish. Due to its location in a large urban setting, requests are often reviewed and processed through St. Paul’s.
Foundation Cristosal: Cristosal is a human rights and social justice organization that works in El Salvador. The Diocese of Central New York has enjoyed a long-standing Companion Diocese relationship with the Episcopal/Anglican Church of El Salvador. In addition, there are many personal friendships between people of St. Paul’s and Salvadorans (visits to El Salvador and welcome of guests from that country to Central New York). For many years, financial support raised by the First Friday Dinners at St. Paul’s has been given to Foundation Cristosal. Typically, those funds have been matched with grants from the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York. Samaritan Center: For over 30 years, St. Paul’s served as home to the Samaritan Center. What began as an informal feeding program providing bag lunches and soup to a small number of individuals has grown to become an independent, tax-exempt organization serving over 120,000 meals per year. The space was provided rent-free to the Samaritan Center. In addition to the provision of space and financial support, many parishioners served as volunteers at the Center when it has been our turn to serve [3-4 times per year]. Each time, cookies and the entrée are prepared, meals served and dishes are washed. This activity is so popular that former parishioners, and, friends and extended family members of parishioners routinely participate. Although the Samaritan Center has moved to 215 N. State Street, Syracuse, service and financial support of the Center continues to be a priority for St. Paul’s.
South Sudan: Syracuse is home to a large, new refugee population each year due to this area being recognized by the U.S. federal government. Local organizations providing Refugee Resettlement services include Catholic Charities of Onondaga County and InterFaith Works. InterFaith Works receives significant financial support from the Episcopal Migration Ministries of the national church. Why South Sudan? In the past, members of the congregation have worked with InterFaith Works to assist new refugee families [including some from South Sudan] with their resettlement into the Syracuse Community. At present, weekly Sunday services are held in the Dinka language at St. Paul’s, a representative of that community serves as a liaison to the Vestry of St. Paul’s, and several joint celebrations are held annually. Financial support is given to the John Dau Foundation that provides services at a medical clinic in South Sudan, and most recently, financial assistance has been given to individuals to be reunited after many years with their family members in South Sudan.