HOW TO HELP IN THE TIME OF COVID-19:
The global Covid-19 pandemic has created many urgent needs for the most vulnerable people living in the Washington, DC area, and there are myriad opportunities for us all to help.
Here are ways to assist local partners of St. John’s that are working at the front lines of the crisis. To read more about these organizations, scroll down this page.
Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys
What: $50 Giant grocery gifts cards to aid families in need
How: To make a donation, click on the button below. At “Leave a comment,” indicate that the donation is for Giant Gift Cards.
Contact: Andrew Clarke care of firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communities in Schools
What: Cash donations to help the most vulnerable students and their families
How: Click on the button below. Click “donate” and note that the gift is for emergency relief.
Questions: Selamawit M. Washington, email@example.com
What: To safely provide food in our current environment, St. John’s is supporting the ministry by providing pre-prepared boxed lunches to be delivered from local businesses.
How: To sponsor one or more $10 boxed lunches, please contact Jess Sanchez and Eleanor Odom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refugee Committee at St. John’s
What: St. John’s is continuing to safely provide support to the refugee community in the DC area in this tough time. To find out more about the work of this committee, please contact Jess Sanchez at email@example.com.
Bishop John T. Walker School
The Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys (BWS) is a tuition-free Episcopal school for children from traditionally underserved communities. The school nurtures the spiritual, intellectual, social-emotional, artistic, and physical development of its students in a Christian community of learners that welcomes boys of all faiths and beliefs. Working in close partnership with students and families, the school strives to create an environment where each boy is challenged to reach his full academic potential and receives the structured support necessary to develop his unique gifts.
BWS is primarily funded through the generosity of the philanthropic community, receiving funding from individuals, parishes, foundations, and corporations. There are numerous ways to get involved and support the school’s mission, from making a gift to volunteering as a Lunch Buddy or in the library. St. John’s has played an active role in the development of the school with consistent financial contributions as well as the annual Christmas book drive. Several St. John’s parishioners serve as representatives for BWS, including Andrew Clarke and Wande Johnson on the school’s Governing Board, Cay Buser on the Advisory Board; and JD Hague and Desiree Stolar on the Auxiliary Council. James Lowe served on the Governing Board until 2016.
Communities in Schools
Communities in Schools of the Nation’s Capital is the local affiliate of a nationwide dropout prevention program which harnesses community support for the most vulnerable students in the public schools. During the 2019-20 school year, CIS has been serving nearly 6,000 students in 13 DC public schools.
Parishioners can contribute to this ministry by participating in a variety of initiatives:
Cardozo Education Campus
- The Connected Closet – donate snacks, school supplies, and other items for needy students.
- Family Markets – assist with the distribution of food to families experiencing food insecurity.
- Report Card Conferencing – meet one-to-one with students to review their report cards.
The Journal Project
Small groups of students, meeting once a week for about eight weeks, to enhance their writing, artistic, and social skills by creating journals centered on universal human themes. The final session is a trip to the National Gallery of Art.
Watch for further information in The Word and the Sunday bulletin, or contact ministry leaders Ann Gardner, Susan Lewis, and Livy More.
On the third Saturday of every month, St. John’s parishioners volunteer with our partners at Grace Church, Georgetown’s Grace’s Table to provide a meal to our homeless neighbors. To volunteer, please contact Eleanor Odom and Jess Sanchez. They may be reached by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org, noting “Attention Eleanor Odom and Jess Sanchez” in the subject line of your message.
We also provide casseroles for SOME (So Others Might Eat), a ministry to the homeless and low-income individuals in D.C. You can pick up a casserole pan at church, and leave your casserole in our big freezer for SOME to pick up.
On Sandwich Sundays, parishioners gather in the dining room after the 11:00 a.m. service and create assembly lines to make 1000 sandwiches for the homeless. Watch The Word and the Sunday service bulletin for dates for Sandwich Sundays.
St. John’s parishioners annually join together to repair and refurbish a house in the District of Columbia as part of the nationwide “Rebuilding Together” program. The program meets a critical need of elderly,
disabled and low-income homeowners to preserve affordable housing by providing skilled services, volunteers, and materials to rehabilitate homes and revitalize neighborhoods for one day in April every year. Painting, landscaping, and repairs of all sorts, and fellowship are all part of a day’s activities that help a deserving member of the broader community. For more information, visit Rebuilding Together’s website.
We are in the midst of the largest refugee crisis in history. There are almost 26 million refugees worldwide, over half of whom are under the age of 18. The command we have been given as Christians is to welcome strangers to our community with hospitality and respect. As followers of Christ, we are committed to showing compassion, mercy, and love to our neighbors of all religions, knowing that every person reflects the image of God and deserves to be treated with dignity. The SJC Refugee Committee builds relationships with refugees and immigrants in the metropolitan Washington community, learns their stories, and works to discover ways that our congregation can provide assistance. What kinds of things do we do?
- We provide direct support to refugees in our community. For example, through Lutheran Social Services’ Good Neighbor program, SJC has prepared apartments for multiple incoming refugee families. Provided ten laptops and two scholarships to refugees taking job development certifications or classes.
- We support refugee efforts of local non-profits and religious organizations. For example, leveraged the annual SJC Lenten Food Drive to collect items specific to refugee needs (basmati rice, garbanzo beans, vegetable oil, and kitchen items) to support the non-profit No One Left Behind. Hosted a coat and blanket drive for Syrian refugees in conjunction with the drive led by the Northern Virginia Relief Center. Volunteered at the Refugee’s First Thanksgiving Dinner, hosted by the Ethiopian Community Development Council, and the One Journey Festival hosted by St. George’s Episcopal Church and NoVa Friends of Refugees at the National Cathedral.
- We attend refugee focused exhibits and discussions as a group to educate ourselves on the issues. For example, visited the Newseum’s REFUGEE exhibit, hosted a screening of Salaam Neighbor (journalists document their visit to a refugee camp), read and discussed “City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp,” brought in Rev. Canon Mark Stevenson (Director, Episcopal Migration Ministries) to speak about the refugee crisis and the response of the Episcopal church.
For more information or to receive email updates about Committee efforts and upcoming events and meetings, contact Jessica Sanchez.
Toy, Clothing, and Food Drives
Clothing and food drives are held several times a year.
In November and December, St. John’s parishioners donate 100s of toys and clothing items for the church’s Angel Tree Gift Drive for children and young adults who would otherwise go without gifts at Christmas. Each year, we partner with local organizations to bring joy to children in need. Each child provides a wish list of toys, books, and/or clothes that he or she is hoping to find underneath the Christmas tree, and the church community never disappoints with its generosity! To volunteer, write to email@example.com, noting “Attention Angel Tree” in the subject line of your message.
Washington Interfaith Network (WIN)
St. John’s is a member of Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), a faith-based grassroots organization dedicated to improving the life of all residents of the District of Columbia. Founded in 1996, WIN is multi-faith, multi-racial and non-partisan. It has nearly fifty church, synagogue, union, and public-school members, representing 25,000 families in every section of the city.
WIN is affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the oldest and largest community organizing network in the United States with more than 60 faith-based community organizations across the nation, including BUILD in Baltimore, MD and AIM in Montgomery County, MD.
Visit the Washington Interfaith Network website for more information.