Our Summer of Service Needs You!
By Ginny Barnicoat, Senior Warden
Summer of Service: Aside from the cool alliteration, what does this mean for us? Let’s add “Soul Strengthening” and “Stimulating!” There are a number of opportunities for us to work together across generations, to share in the experience of community building, and to demonstrate what service looks like to our kids. I would like to highlight one such opportunity that I am especially excited about, the Summer Food Service Program. In a cooperative mission involving 7 different faith communities, St. Paul’s will assist in providing an evening meal to children in the Carnegie area who might otherwise not receive a nutritious dinner for 10 weeks over the summer.
80% of students in this service area qualify for “Free and Reduced Lunch” during the school year. And, many of these children who rely on school meals struggle to get enough to eat during the summer months. That’s where the SFSP comes in. A free meal will be served to any child under the age of 18, Monday - Friday from June 10-August 16 from 4:00-5:00PM at Saint John Carnegie. (Literally 1 minute away from Old St. Luke’s, making it an easy drive)
You can click here to find out more about the program.
We, at St. Paul’s, are responsible for supplying 3-4 volunteers (or many more!) every Tuesday and Friday evening. These volunteers would arrive at Saint John Carnegie at 3:30PM and help to pass out the bagged meals to children walking across the street from the Carnegie Boys and Girls Club or other local youth who come on their own from 4-5PM...then stay to ensure that trash is placed in receptacles and to wipe down tables for the next night. Volunteers will sit at the tables with the children, share highs and lows for the week, play simple games, read riddles or corny jokes, etc. So, more than just giving food, we are sharing love, and bringing joy and laughter to kids who may need it. (Things that St. Paul’s people are GREAT at.)
Ready to sign up? Click here! (Or, you can just tell me, Ginny Barnicoat, and I will sign you up. You can definitely sign up for multiple nights.)
The other faith communities who are providing volunteers for Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday are: Saint John Carnegie, Carnegie Presbyterian, Chartiers Valley Presbyterian, Good Shepherd, Attawheed Islamic Center, Carnegie Methodist. What a wonderful demonstration of unity!
Saint John Carnegie Address:
601 Washington Ave. Carnegie, PA 15106
Who makes the meals? The bagged dinners are provided by the Keystone Oaks School district and are in compliance with federal nutritional requirements. The district is reimbursed for costs by the USDA, as this is a federally funded, state administered program.
Can kids/families, friends, and or youth groups volunteer? Absolutely!! The more the merrier! All kids can get a free dinner and the adults can pay $2. I love the idea of our children sharing a bit of themselves with potential new friends and helping to serve a meal at the same time. It’s a win - win! (Write the number of meals you would like for your family or group in the comment section of Sign Up so that enough meals will be prepared).
What are the requirements for volunteers? All adults must have clearances. Most of you probably already have these (they are good for 5 years). The additional step of getting fingerprinted is required only if you have not lived in the state for the last 10 years. The clearances take 5 minutes. Links are:
What if Tuesdays and Fridays are bad, but I’d like to do this another night? Great!! The other congregations will be thrilled to have your help. Sign up under “other night”.
How is this being advertised? The local food bank is providing flyers and signs which will be sent to the Carlynton and Char. Valley schools. The Boys and Girls Club will also advertise this opportunity.
Can I bake cookies for people to bring to the children? Yes!! Peanut free of course.