Requests to our parish for charitable support have been growing with each passing month, and to meet these needs, our community takes up a monthly Charitable Works Collection. These monies are used to provide grocery cards to those on fixed income, and to offer bus tickets to those without transportation who have transportation needs related to work or social services.

Each person who contacts our parish with a request is referred to our Charitable Works Coordinator, Sophia Hazell (or alternately, to the Warden, Reader Sean Reid). Sophia goes through a process of assessing each request, determining whether the need is ongoing, and also referring the person or family to other agencies if they require more assistance than we can offer.

To allow this process to work, to the maximum benefit of those in need, and for the best use of our resources, we would ask that the faithful refrain from giving cash or change to any folks in and around the parish who ask for money, but instead, refer them to Sophia or Reader Sean.

This helps in a few ways:

• Ongoing help is available, based on family size and need;

• They'll be assessed to see if they require additional help from local services or agencies;

• Help is given in a form that cannot be directly used in unintended ways, not based on need (cigarettes, alcohol, etc.)

• Our parish will not gain the reputation as the church that "hands out money" (this has been a problem over the last few months, with the parish receiving a number of "referrals", once the word gets out that acquaintances have visited us, and that cash has been given out).

If Sophia or Reader Sean are not available, faithful are asked to give them one of the parish business cards on the donation box, and have them contact the parish phone number to make arrangements with Sophia. In all likelihood, they will find that this arrangement actually nets them more help than simply asking for cash.

Our parish provides hundreds of dollars a year to local individuals and families in need through our Charitable Works Ministry. If you would like to offer additional help to make funds available to those in need, you can place your gift in the donation box, and mark it "Charitable Works". May God bless you for your help!

- FrG+

"Ours must be an orthodoxy of the heart, not just the mind."

-St.Tikhon of Zadonsk