On a Wednesday morning following Bible study, a small group of church folk, all members of the outreach team, gathered in the rector’s office to make decisions about how we would disburse our outreach money raised in 2022. This money, all $8,456*, was generated by our outreach fundraisers over the past year, including Purdy’s Chocolate sales, the Boulevard sale, and the Christmas Fair.
Over the years, the outreach team has disbursed these annual funds to support a great variety of non-profits and community ministries in the greater Vancouver region, including a few that have national and global reach. More recently, we’ve made the strategic decision to focus our disbursements on fewer organizations, in order to make a larger donation to each organization, and so have a bigger impact on their work.
There are many factors that weigh in on the outreach team’s decision, including the history and/or relationship the organization has with St. Faith’s, how their work aligns with our own stated mission goals, the perceived need of the organization, and whether the organization serves the local community or a broader constituency. After much conversation, the team decided to disburse the following funds for 2022.
*This total does not include money raised at special events with stated recipients, such as the Halloween Fundraiser for Directions Youth Services or the Ukraine Benefit Concert. It also does not represent donations made by parishioners to charities through St. Faith’s, as those funds were already designated.
Highs and Lows Choir: $500
The Highs & Lows Choir is a peer-managed four part choral group that seeks to promote mental health and wellness by providing folks with lived experiences of mental health issues with access to low-barrier choral singing, musical activities and instruction. St. Faith’s has a long history of providing funding to help support their work.
HomeStart Foundation is a non-profit Christian humanitarian organization helping people re-establish a home. Working in partnership with over 70 member agencies, HomeStart donates home furnishings to people in need.
St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, located in Marpole, has a vibrant and active food ministry. Their food hub is currently serving 160+ families in our neighbourhood who are either homeless or facing food insecurity. In addition, St. Augustine’s operates a weekly hot meal for anyone seeking nourishment and community. St. Augustine’s and St. Faith’s have a long history of working together on mission and ministry.
UNYA’s focus since its inception in 1988 has been to provide meaningful opportunities for Indigenous youth (Aboriginal, Metis, Inuit, First Nations, Status, Non-Status) in the urban setting. Our goal is to be a safe place for Indigenous youth to come and find out about programs and services at UNYA and in the broader community. UNYA strives to support Indigenous youth by providing a diverse continuum of advocacy, preventative and support services that respond to their immediate and long-term needs. Today, UNYA delivers 20+ programs, with 175+ volunteers, 100 staff, and more than 300 community partners.
The mission of WISH Drop-In Centre is to improve the health, safety and well-being of women who are involved in Vancouver’s street-based sex trade, with a vision for every woman to have access to opportunities to make free, healthy and positive choices. Street-based sex workers can come to the nightly Drop-In Centre and emergency Shelter 365 days per year, and find a safe place to rest, have a hot meal, shower and connect with community. In addition, they check the safety of women working on the streets, and offer harm reduction supplies, through a Mobile Access Project (MAP) Van which drives across the city every night. Participants also have access to far-reaching opportunities designed to enable longer-term support, such as our Learning Centre, Supportive Employment Program and Music Therapy Program.
The Westside Anglican Neighbourhood Ministry is a partnership of several Anglican churches in Vancouver seeking to serve the homeless community on the West Side. Their work includes street outreach, providing bagged meals to people without access to housing, a mobile care unit that partners with medical services at UBC to provide medical care, and as well as access to transitional housing.
The Feather Dance Project is a reconciliation program of St. Hildegard’s Sanctuary at St. Faith’s. Feather Dance is an Indigenous-led, Indigenous-settler collaboration in textile arts, with a focus on storytelling, wisdom sharing, relationship building, and community handwork. In the words of Rikki Kooy, the Indigenous lead artist for the project, “‘Feather Dance’ is a work of hands extended in friendship, reaching out to each other as we walk the journey of faith together.”
This is a new effort at St. Faith’s to become more involved in the work of helping resettle refugee families in metro Vancouver. This work requires a great deal of money–enough funds to support a family during their first year in Canada as they put down roots, get settled in schools, and find jobs. Our intention is to start a fund with this money, allowing others to donate to it, and to grow it with some of our annual outreach funds, until we have enough money to sponsor a family, either working with the Diocesan Refugee Unit, the Flourishing Foundation, or other resettlement effort.
If you are interested in contributing to the Refugee Resettlement Fund, please visit our Giving page to learn how to make a donation to St. Faith’s.
In addition to the disbursements decided by the outreach team, we held two major events in 2022 to raise money for particular organizations. The Halloween Party raised $500 for Directions Youth Services through the sales of hotdogs. In addition, at the start of December, the Ukraine Benefit Concert raised $6,000 for the war relief efforts being organized through the Primate’s World Relief & Development Fund. These monies were previously disbursed to their respective organizations.