News from the Mission and Outreach Ministry
As we all are learning to cope with the ‘new normal’ presented to us because of COVID-19 in Denver and the US, we want to share some news from our mission partner, Project Education South Sudan (projecteducationsouthsudan.org). We have recently learned that Daniel Gai, who oversees the project and visits us once a year, is suffering from malaria. He is receiving treatment and hoping that the rest in his family will not also contract the disease. Although COVID-19 had not yet hit Daniel’s city at the time of the letter, all schools in South Sudan are closed, public gatherings are banned, and there is a curfew from 7PM to 6AM. We are reminded that we are truly part of a global community and COVID-19 knows no boundaries.
Metro Caring (metrocaring.org)-Metro Caring continues to provide food boxes via a drive-thru or walk-thru in the parking lot. Although the free choice market is closed, they are beginning to provide a few choices in the types of boxes received, such as gluten-free or vegetarian. They are also now adding a delivery service for high-risk individuals, including those over 65 and those who are immunocompromised. Virtual services now include a 4-week online diabetes management program and cooking classes and contests online. The number of people served continues to increase—last week, almost 64,000 pounds of food was distributed in over 1300 boxes, with 410 of those being emergency walk-ups. Metro Caring anticipates a long, deep impact from this pandemic and the need to provide increased service for quite a while.
Metro Caring’s greatest need is financial support as they now are purchasing additional cleaning supplies, protective equipment for volunteers, and work to assure adequate food supplies.
SAGE at The Center-The Center is currently closed and SAGE has moved all of the groups to virtual meetings via the GoToMeeting app. They continue to reach out by phone to members to help address the isolation that many elders are experiencing due to the stay-at-home order.
CHARG (charg.org)-CHARG is providing telehealth services for individual treatment, group supportive services and medication management. They are also providing food boxes, hand-sewn masks, and some financial assistance to consumers in need. Many of CHARG’s consumers are elderly and vulnerable out in public and have relied on the food bank and meals throughout the week when the center is open. CHARG is now working to try to drop off food items to consumers, so they do not have to go out. CHARG’s greatest needs include financial support, grocery store gift cards, and food items.
Family Promise (familypromiseofgreaterdenver.org)-Family Promise currently has 8 families in the program. All of these families are now being provided housing in motels. The organization has been receiving many calls from families facing financial hurdles, such as being late on rent for the first time because of this pandemic. All staff is working from home until the stay at home order is lifted and doing their best to meet the challenges of this situation. Family Promise’s greatest need is financial support.
Irving Street Residence for Women (voacolorado.org)-Irving Street is working hard to protect the women residents—the women residents who are 65+ are now being housed in individual hotel rooms so that they can social distance more effectively, all women are wearing masks in the building, and they are taking daily temperatures. Fortunately, there have been no cases to date at the facility. Irving Street’s greatest need is for volunteer assistance in administration and for meals. As part of Volunteers of America, the staff at Irving Street forwarded information about other needs: volunteers at the new 24-hour shelter at 4600 Humboldt for women experiencing homelessness that will open on April 20, making cards for Meals on Wheels volunteers to deliver along with meals to isolated adults, and financial donations.
St. Elizabeth’s School-The school is still closed with no re-open date available.
St. Francis Center (sfcdenver.org)-St. Francis Center remains open and provides day time shelter and resources for those who are unsheltered in our community. Over the last 3 weeks, the number of individuals coming for shelter daily has increased by 25%, from 800 to 1000. St. Francis has opened an additional temporary annex next door to provide more space for the increased numbers of guests. St. Francis’s greatest needs include healthy volunteers under the age of 60 and financial support.
Episcopal Relief and Development (episcopalrelief.org)-ERD continues to work with partners around the world to support them in reaching out as the COVID-19 challenges develop. This includes areas such as technology and food procurement.
The generosity of St. Andrew’s has always been evident and amazing! We are certainly facing new challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you feel moved to support any of these mission partners, please feel free to contribute directly to them or make a donation to St. Andrew’s that is designated for Mission and Outreach. And…every one of these mission partners values your prayers and support.