Outreach Ministry at St. Dunstan's: We are Christ's hands.
Every year, during the month of August, you can't help but notice the large rummage bin in the parking lot at St. Dunstan's. In the services, you'll hear a call for volunteers to work as cashiers, sorters and movers. It's Rummage Sale Season at St. D's.
But what's the purpose of all of these efforts? To fund the work of the efforts of St. Dunstan's Outreach Ministry.
The mission of the Outreach Ministry is to meet the physical needs of the parish community, the greater San Diego community, and the world. (That's no small undertaking!) It's our belief that we can be Christ's hands and show His love to others and spread the Word of God.
Giving with a purpose.
St. Dunstan's Outreach Ministry puts prayer and thought into their efforts to maximize results, supporting sustainable programs that create lasting impact in people's lives.
For example, locally, St. Dunstan's sponsors one of the furnished apartments in El Nido, an apartment building owned and operated by the Interfaith Shelter Network. It provides a haven for women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. The women receive counseling and training so they can become self-sufficient.
How do I get involved?
The Ministry meets on the first Wednesday evening of the odd-numbered months. You can call the Church Office at (619) 460-6442 for more information. Also, every Sunday after services, there is a table where you can sign up to assist with the various ministries.
Below is a listing of some of the programs that the Outreach Ministry supports:
Programs at St. Dunstan's
- Angel Tree - Every Christmas, parishioners can pick a gift opportunity tag to support a low-income family identified by the school principal at nearby Green Elementary.
- Teen Tutoring - Patrick Henry High School is right across the street. As an outreach, St. D's offers tutoring after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (and snacks too!).
- Bucks for Books - Every Sunday, recycled books are sold: $1 for paperbacks and $2 for hard covers. Proceeds support scholarships for graduating Patrick Henry High School students.
- Food Ingathering - Parishioners are invited to fill brown bags with non-perishable food to be distributed to fellow parishioners, the Refugee Network, the El Nido family, and the Episcopal Community Services Friend-to-Friend program.
- Blessings in a Bag - Once a month, a lunch sack and assorted non-perishable food items are provided for our parishioners to assemble and take with them. They have the bags ready in their car to distribute to the homeless as needed. A list of nearby homeless shelters and helpful phone numbers are provided on a sheet that is also included in each bag.
Programs in the Greater San Diego Community
- El Nido (ISN Transitional Housing) - St. Dunstan's sponsors one of the furnished apartments in a building owned and operated by the Interfaith Shelter Network. Residents are women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. The women also receive counseling and training for self-sufficiency. When they graduate, they take household items with them for their new life.
- Homeless Shelter (ISN Rotational Shelter) - For two weeks every year, St. Dunstan's hosts a shelter that rotates among several San Diego East County churches in conjunction with the Interfaith Shelter Network to help people get back on their feet. All guests, who have been referred by a social service, must be clean and sober, either working or seeking employment, or making some effort to get their life back together. The program helps people of all ages including seniors, families, and single moms with kids.
- The Teen Shelter
Programs Sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego
- Advent Baby Shower - Volunteers help gather needed items of infant and children's clothing for Refugee Network families.
- ECS Downtown Safe Haven - St. Dunstan's assists graduates of this shelter settle into their own residence by offering housing basics such as cooking utensils, dishes and linens.
- Episcopal Refugee Network - This agency helps newly arrived refugees settle in the United States by providing assistance with obtaining housing, school admittance, employment and other needs.
National and Global Programs
- All Soul's Episcopal Church in New Orleans - Housed in a former drug store in the lower 9th Ward of New Orleans and founded by a St. Dunstan's parishioner, All Soul's was established to provide support to residents returning to the community in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. St. Dunstan's Outreach helps fund after-school programs for local children and their families.
- Christ Church by the Sea – Puerto Vallarta - St. Dunstan's Outreach gathers baby blankets and bonnets and donations to help assist Christ Church's local outreach to an area hospital. Several St. Dunstan's parishioners help make the trip several times a year. St. Dunstan's also helps with the church's building fund to better serve the Christ Church community.