Read Write Spell will launch Well Read, Well Fed on July 1. Well Read, Well Fed Forsyth was created in response to the disruption in classroom literacy instruction created by COVID-19. In addition to missing out on literacy instruction, children do not have access to books from school or from the public library. Well Read, Well Fed Forsyth is a coordinated collaboration that provides books and literacy resources to the families that receive food from our partners. We will follow the county’s food distribution networks to ensure that we serve the most vulnerable elementary school children in Forsyth County.
Each child that we reach will receive a bag of 3-5 age-appropriate, new books in conjunction with the meals that they receive. We will also ensure that the books are culturally relevant because research shows that children read better and read more often when they have culturally relevant books.
During these unprecedented times, Outreach at St. Paul’s remains committed to being a community partner with our neighbors, particularly our neighbors with housing and food needs. We will continue to safely provide food and financial assistance in the upcoming weeks and here is how you can be a part of these ministries:
1. We are continuing to partner with the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope Family Shelter throughout the summer. We will provide dinner every Thursday night for all shelter guests. The signups are listed below for each week. We are only dropping off the food to their kitchen, not staying to serve. Here are the July signups:
2. On Thursday, July 30th from 5:30-7:30 pm you are invited to join the “Drive Through Donation” event at Christ’s Beloved Community food pantry. They will be collecting donations on Thursday, May 21st from 5:00-7:00 pm. They will have volunteers who will take it from the cars to keep within all safe social distance guidelines, and volunteers wear masks and gloves. The address for the pantry is 3205 South Main St. Winston-Salem, NC 27127.
3. We anticipate crisis financial needs in our community to steadily increase during this time. Job and food insecurities are a byproduct of the necessary precautionary measures taking place to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, and assisting those with acute financial needs is an important part of our outreach ministries. We continue to offer financial assistance to those in crisis via phone interviews and referrals. If you would like to make a donation or learn more about our financial assistance program, please contact Rev. Nancy Vaders at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all so much! Your generosity and support during these uncertain and ever-changing times have been extraordinary, and I’m so proud to be a partner with you in the Gospel call to love and serve our neighbors.
Rev. Nancy Vaders, Director of Outreach Ministries
In the midst of this Coronavirus crisis, one of the most positive things we can do is to look at the needs directly in front of us, here and now, and take action on something we can control.An inspiring example of this has emerged in the past few weeks as several St. Paul’s parishioners have initiated and participated in a project which is making thousands of face masks for local healthcare providers.
On March 20, Melissa Vickers was motivated by a Facebook post about a hospital system in another state requesting its community to sew masks.She saw the opportunity to do the same thing in our area and reached out to other local contacts to confirm the need.Melissa got her answer within thirty minutes when she received a request for 150 masks from the birthing unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.With that, Project Mask – WS was born!
Mask production began that very day as Melissa pulled in friends, including Heather Zifchak who, with her mother Elizabeth Morgan, owns Village Fabric Shop.Heather didn’t hesitate to donate bolts of fabric and yards of elastic and to join arms with Melissa in recruiting a group of volunteers to cut, stitch, and deliver masks.The ladies created a Facebook group, Project Mask – WS, and as word spread, their Facebook group quickly grew to over 1000 people.
In one week, mask requests and support exploded as they organized over 400 volunteers in Winston-Salem and made more than 3,600 masks in fulfillment of requests for over 9,400 masks.Donations for fabrics and supplies also began to pour in, and they raised in excess of $3,500 in donations. Their goal is to pump that money back into the community by supporting local fabric shops and sewing machine retailers.
Each mask is carefully measured, cut, and stitched according to an approved pattern, and takes under an hour to complete.Heather adds that each mask receives a special touch from several people.“The masks are made with love and care by many hands.Many of us have added prayers both silent and spoken as we prepare the masks for battle.” After completion, each mask is washed and tumbled dry for sanitizing. Volunteers pick them up on a sewer’s front porch, and they are delivered to fill requests.
The rewards this group is receiving cannot be measured.As Melissa says, “It is amazing to be a part of this whole endeavor. Every day we are handing out hundreds of masks, and the feedback we are receiving is heartfelt and appreciative.”
Heather notes she got involved “…because I couldn’t watch the news all day and night…I needed to use my energy for something good. This project has given me direction and a purpose during this scary time.I’ve always been a helper, and this is the least I can do to protect local health care providers who are on the front lines fighting this virus.”
With lightning speed, these ladies have harnessed their collective energies to meet a growing need in our community’s response to the coronavirus.Despite social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, they have organized an efficient operation and have even created an innovative method to stitch 135 masks at a time.As Heather says, “Take that, Coronavirus!”
Other St. Paul’s parishioners involved are Megan Speziale, Jenny Ryan, Anne Butler, Lucy Paynter, Lisa Rowell, and Stewart Holmes’ mother.Many others have made donations.Please consider donating to this project by following directions on the Project Mask WS Facebook page or contacting Katie Sonnen-Lee at email@example.com.
Outreach at St. Paul’s continues to be about the Gospel call to love and serve our neighbors, however, this will look a little different in the days and weeks to come. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be volunteering in groups or onsite at community non-profits. However, there are several opportunities in the upcoming weeks where we can make a difference in the lives of some of the more vulnerable folks in our community and we will continue to evolve how to help our community.
1. We are going to partner with the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope, the only shelter in our city that can house children and their families. We will be providing dinner for the shelter guests for the next three weeks on Thursday evenings. We need your help to prepare food for 50 and get it to the Center of Hope for dinner service. We will not stay to serve, only drop off the food at the kitchen door. Here are signups for the next three weeks, and please reach out to me if you have any questions at all.
2. We anticipate Crisis financial needs in our community to steadily increase during this time. Job and food insecurities are a byproduct of the necessary precautionary measures taking place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and assisting those with acute financial needs is an important part of our outreach ministries. Please consider donating to the financial assistance program using this link and clicking on the “outreach ministries” box. Please email me with any donation specific questions or information.
3.We will keep in continual contact with local shelters and non-profits that serve our most vulnerable neighbors so that when opportunities and needs arise, we can be available to offer assistance. As always, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and remember that, even in these uncertain times, we are a community of faith that continues to be a part of God’s healing work in the world.
St. Ruth’s Circle is asking for your support during the 2nd Annual South Fork Elementary Drive for the month of February to provide items that the staff’s budget is unable to cover. Currently, they need donations of snacks to be used throughout the day and after school for children who do not qualify for assistance programs.
Recommended donations include Animal Crackers, NutriGrain Bars, Trail Mix, Goldfish, Rice Krispy Treats, or other individual snack size items. There is an Amazon wish list that can be found here along with a bin at the Goodheart entrance for donations if you have questions you can contact Michelle Krell at email@example.com
Join us on Sun, Dec 1
Prayers will be offered at services this day for those who are incarcerated and their families and for jail and prison employees. St. Paul’s joins Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministries to offer this annual holiday outreach ministry, “In The Name of the Father,” to provide gifts for imprisoned fathers to present to their children.
This program allows inmates at the Forsyth Correctional Center to present their children with gifts at the center’s Christmas party. On November 17, tags will be available in the library for each child whose father qualifies, showing the child’s gender and age. Parishioners choose a tag and buy two gifts for the child; a piece of clothing and a toy, game, or other appropriate gifts. Each gift should have a value of about $20, making the total for each child $40. The unwrapped gifts, with the child’s tag attached, can be placed in the labeled “In the Name of the Father” bins at the Goodheart Entrance through Sunday, Dec 8.
Calling all cookie bakers. Help Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministries Christmas outreach by baking cooking to give to jail inmates. The ministry needs 3000 “sturdy” homemade or purchased cookies; sugar, chocolate chip, oatmeal, or peanut butter (large, about 3-inch in diameter.)