Throughout the year
Christ Church is able to meet some day-to-day needs by providing $15 Hannaford Food cards to help people who come to the door or call the church looking for help. Helping Hands food boxes donated by Hannaford’s are received in November/December to supply us for the year when we’re out of gift cards. Guests can receive help once every four months.
April: Easter Project
Christ Church supports an international fundraising effort at Easter time. Past recipients have been Grassroots International and the Bishop Masererka Christian Foundation’s Children’s Tuition program. Read more on the Masereka Foundation website. Rev. Sara visited BMCF in December 2012 with a diocesan trip headed by the late Bishop Tom Shaw.
May: Mother’s Day Walk for Peace
In collaboration with our diocesan B-PEACE work, we walked in support of the Louis Brown Peace Institute’s work. Louis Brown Peace Institute has partnered with the Harvard School of Public Health in their Peace Zone Curriculum for middle and high school youth. They hold the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace as an annual fundraiser to support survivors of violence and their ongoing peace education. In our diocese, along with support of the walk, the other aspects of the B-PEACE program are summer jobs for youth and anti-gun work.
July: B-SAFE: Bishop’s Summer Academic Fun Enrichment Program
Bishop Shaw started the program about ten years ago to provide a safe summer refuge for inner city children. It began with one location at St. Stephens Church in the South End and has continued to expand in both locations and number of people attending ever since. The program has thrived because parishes throughout the Diocese have stepped up and become sponsors. In 2013 over 440 students participated at six sites.
About seven years ago, Christ Church made the decision to get involved and we chose to assist at St. Augustine in Roxbury. We often partner with All Saints Brookline to provide a full week of lunches and companionship and in 2015 will partner with Church of the Good Shepherd, Waban. After lunch we spend about 30 minutes reading, sometimes with a small group, sometimes with an individual.
On Fridays there is always a field trip. The group has frequently gone to Houghton’s Pond in Milton. In 2013, we went to Walden Pond and in 2014 we went to Lake Cochituate. We meet the bus there and spend the day with the kids. Usually they spend the day in the water. They have a full staff and our only responsibility is to have fun and to provide lunch.
The first time you go and spend time with the kids, you will look forward to doing it again and again. Our service days for 2015 will be July 14-17. Please contact Emma Atwood for more information or to volunteer.
November: Thanksgiving baskets
These food baskets are delivered to families in need from the local Plympton School. Organized by Sally Lobo and the Fowlers. Usually around 25 full Thanksgiving dinners with a gift card for a turkey and canned goods of all the fixings.
Children of Incarcerated Parents
Christ Church has also supported the Children of Incarcerated Parents program, which supplies children with backpacks and school needs.
We raised money for the Heifer Project in buying an Easter llama and a water buffalo.
In 2010, we worked with Grassroots International with their Creole Pig re-population program for Haiti.
St Mary’s in Dorchester
Christ Church participated by supplying food and a summer outing for kids based at St Mary’s in Dorchester.
Likewise, Christ Church joined with other parishes in our community to assist with Project Bread. This program helps provide nutritious lunches for low income students during the summer.
We joined with several other Waltham Congregations as part of the nationwide 350.org movement to fight climate change. With them, we displayed a banner reading “Climate Change is a Moral Issue” and gathered on Waltham Common.