St. James, Kemp was the 2022 Trustee’s Awardee. Their report below tells the story of how they were able to expand their program with EFD’s gift.
Two years ago, the congregation at St. James on the Lake was introduced to a program at the local high school designed to provide food, clothing, and personal hygiene items to students in need of a helping hand.
The project was begun by the head of security at the school, who was able to see and know where the need was the greatest. Our church joined the program from the beginning and has since helped to provide these basic needs for the students. Funds have also been made available for the various items that are not kept on hand on a daily basis.
Having seen the success of the high school program, we wanted to be able to provide a similar program for the local elementary and intermediate schools. The grant that was received from the foundation last fall has made that vision possible. We have assigned a contact person from the church to work with the counselors at each school. Following our initial meeting with the various counselors we made a major shopping trip to Sam’s Club where a wide variety of clothing of all sizes along with mounds of food was purchased and delivered to each school. The supplies will vary from school to school depending on the needs of each school as determined by the counselors. An inventory of all these items is then maintained at the church so that they may be promptly resupplied as needed. The counselors also know that they can contact their liaison with specific needs as they may arise.
We have also provided backpacks to each school so that students may have food for the weekend as needed. We have contacted local medical facilities who have offered to provide their services as needed and the counselors are providing us with families that can benefit from an extra helping hand at Christmas.
The counselors and their principals have expressed their appreciation and gratitude for our efforts in supporting their students. We have been touched and surprised to learn of the large number of young people who are in constant need of assistance. Many come from single parent families. Many are living with a grand parent and some move about from week to week with little or no stability in their lives. And many go without the basic items that we so often take for granted on a regular basis.
The grant has provided us the ability to begin a new outreach ministry to the schools that we can support into the distant future. It also provides us with the funds to expand this ministry as the need arises.
It is difficult to determine at this time the actual number of students and families that have benefited to date, however we can see this to be a program that may well grow in the days to come.
St. James Church has been known for its numerous outreach ministries within the community for many years including its Angel Food program and its Adopt-a-family ministry and the Kairos Prison ministry. We are thankful for the support of the Episcopal Foundation of Dallas, and we look forward to being good stewards of the gifts we have received.
Christ told his followers that when they reached out to those in need it was if they were doing that to him. We take that statement seriously; and we are seeking to lend a helping hand to those in our midst who are in need each day.