December was a whirlwind at St. Luke’s, including three outreach projects we undertook which met with wonderful success!  Here are some results your Outreach Team would like to share, along with gratitude for your generous hearts.
Advent Giving Tree – benefiting Santa Maria Urban Ministry and St. Luke’s Food Pantry
Barbara Stafford and Pat Welch delivered bags and bags of toys, gift cards, and other presents to Santa Maria Urban Ministry, helping bring cheer to 400+ children and youth at Christmas time.  Programs Manager Alfonso Mendez writes, “With your help we were able to hand out 427 toys to our most needful families this holiday season.”
The Giving Tree also bore fruit for our St. Luke’s Food Pantry guests, in the form of Safeway gift cards.  The Pantry Program is an amazing organization with many community partners who donate sleeping bags, coats, gift cards, meals, and other items needed by our homeless and temporarily-housed neighbors.
Chanukah Dreidel Board – benefiting Jewish Family Services clients including newly-arrived refugees, senior shut-ins, and families in need throughout Silicon Valley
St. Luke’s participated for the first time in this worthy community endeavor by hosting a Dreidel Board in our parish hall.  We did our part to ensure a season of abundance for many in need: kitchen items for a newly-arrived family, grocery store gift cards for seniors in need of assistance, cold-weather coats for family members of all ages, and much more!  As noted by Lori Cinnamon at JFS, “You help us help each other make our world, or at least our little slice of it here at JFS, a better, warmer, welcoming, nurturing place for every single person, every single day.”
Grocery Outlet Gift Cards – benefiting homeless and food-insecure students at San Jose State University
We collected $1,050 in eight days!  The money was used to purchase gift cards from the Grocery Outlet, for use by students in the weeks between semesters.  The Rev. Deacon Kathleen Crowe wrote, “Dear Ricardo, please let your congregation know how much this support has meant to me and above all to our students!”  She also noted, “Three students graduated at the end of the fall semester 2019. … You had a big part in their success because without your generous donations, these young people would have had a very difficult time achieving their goals and dreams for the future.  The reward of seeing a young person able to fulfill more of his or her full potential as God intends is simply beyond price.”
God bless you all, and may your generosity bring abundance to your life.