Update - Friends of St. Andrew outreach to the homeless and food insecure of Sidney.
After a trial of 2 months, the Parish Council approved support for this community outreach. We Officially launched FRIENDS of St. Andrew on September 17th, 2021. We currently have 10 volunteers who either prepare food or deliver food, in teams of 2, to our food in-secure clients.
The intent of the parish outreach program is to build relationships with clients in the community, whilst providing basic food items (coffee/ homemade soup/ sandwiches/ muffins, etc.) twice a week, every Monday and Friday afternoon. We have supplies of rain ponchos, survival blankets, socks and personal wipes which are given out as needed and $5 Tim Horton cards for our regulars when we encounter them on non-delivery days.
We have been dependable, not missing one Monday or Friday during the year, including holidays. We even made deliveries on Christmas day.
Many have had promises made to them in the past which weren’t kept, so it has taken time to build trust in us and the continuity of the program and we are reaping the benefits of some very rich relationships. Our clients are finding us to be trust-worthy and often share with us of their life struggles, trusting us to be non-judgemental and showing them kindness and dignity. We don’t preach but live the gospel. They know who we represent and, if asked, we do have some very rich conversations with them about our Lord.
To date we are building relationships with 24 people. Some are regular participants and some are transient through the area. They are much appreciative of our help and we’ve found them to be generous in spirit, looking out for and sharing their resources with each other. We see the heart of Christ within our Friends. Some ask for our prayers for other members of the community and voice their wish to give back to St. Andrew in some way, as they can of their resources. One member has consistently given us money to donate to PWRDF – Ukraine, from their meager funds.
This outreach ministry of the parish is serving people who often are not comfortable in any group setting or gathering, such as soup kitchens– they simply don’t feel safe.
Thank you for your generous donations over the past year, we use every penny toward the work, we have had very little wastage, and we ask that you continue to remember and support the Friends of St. Andrew outreach ministry in your prayers and when you consider your charitable giving. To date we have received $5,408.25 in donations and have spent $2,040.18. We are currently looking for a couple more volunteers – the time commitment would be 1-1.25 hours once every week or two weeks. Please call the office if you’d like to help. (250-656-5322). Thank you.