St. Mark's Outreach Ministry offers a broad range of opportunities for parishioners of all ages to live out their Christian faith in service to the community. Programs highlighted below serve local, regional and international needs. Financial support for these programs comes from a variety of resources, including the general budget, special appeals, fundraising events, and individual parishioners.
MT. KISCO INTERFAITH FOOD PANTRY
Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry (MKIFP): The Pantry provides critical support services to the neediest in our area - including weekly supplemental groceries, bi-lingual nutrition education, free medical screenings, and assistance accessing federal food aid benefits. As the largest feeding program in northern Westchester, the Pantry served 37,960 people in 2016. St. Mark's mission to the Pantry takes many forms. Our parishioners provide hundreds of hours of service each year working at the distributions, delivering food to the homebound and serving on the Board in both executive and fundraising capacities. In addition, for seven consecutive years, St. Mark's has sponsored the Pantry for critical funding from Episcopal Charities. Ann Natale continues to be on the Pantry Board of Directors as a Member, Executive Committee, and Co-Chair, Grants.
For more information, visit www.mountkiscofoodpantry.org
EMERGENCY SHELTER PARTNERSHIP (ESP)
ESP provides overnight shelter, dinner, and a packed lunch to the growing number of local homeless individuals from November through March. St. Mark's is proud to be one of the 17 local houses of worship that participate each year. In the 2017 winter season, we will participate and host from February 13th through February 19th; we anticipate 25-30 guests each evening. Our generous parishioners cook, serve, and pack meals, stay overnight, as well as donate time and money. This year, for the first time, St. Mark's has offered to house the homeless in our Parish Hall for a 2nd week from February 20th - 27th. Three other congregations (St. Patrick's Men's Group, Pound Ridge Community, and Bedford Community Church) will provide service and supply meals. This is a wonderful and worthy collaborative effort and St. Mark's is proud to participate.
For more information, visit www.emergencyshelterpartnership.org.
THE COMMUNITY CENTER OF NORTHERN WESTCHESTER
St. Mark's has been a strong supporter of the Community Center of Northern Westchester for many years. CCNW provides free food, free clothing, and a wide variety of services to needy people in Northern Westchester County. From unsold items from our Rummage Sale and from several Parish-Related Estates, we contributed several thousand pounds of clothing to the Free Clothing Store. We have hosted community meetings for CCNW. In the Fall, we hosted a CCNW OSHA Compliance class attended by more than sixty people trying to enhance their employability, and beginning on January 17, 2017, we will be hosting a Tuesday evening CCNW Carpentry Class for about forty people, who will not be working with tools, but rather will be learning how to read blueprints over the course of twelve sessions. Father Bill Doubleday regularly attends CCNW partnership meetings and served on a task force exploring better access to fresh produce for hungry people in the area.
For more information, visit www.communitycenternw.org
St. Mark's continues to be an active partner in the community coalition which supports A-Home. A-Home provides long-term housing to homeless people at an affordable cost. This past year, St. Mark's hosted a public forum in February where three residents of A-Home housing spoke of their experiences of homelessness and their gratitude for being able to live in A-Home apartments. In October, St. Mark's hosted a Harvest Evening of refreshments which helped to raise money for A-Homes programs. Father Bill Doubleday is St. Mark's institutional representative to A-Home.
For more information, visit www.a-homehousing.org/
BEDFORD WOMEN'S CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
St. Mark's during the 2016 holiday season collects and donates holiday cards for the women to send to their families and friends. We also continue to collect other types of cards during the year (birthday, anniversary, get well, etc.) which are distributed to the women by the Prison Chaplain with the assistance of our former parishioner, Deacon Ann Douglas. In addition, we collect calendars for the upcoming year and include them in our holiday distribution..
MT KISCO CHILD CARE CENTER
MKCCS, a non-profit, non-sectarian child care facility, provides affordable early care and education programs to children three to eleven years of age in northern Westchester. St. Mark's provides support to their need-based scholarship program. Warden Fran Osborne serves as a member of the Board of Directors.
GIFT OF WARMTH TREE
After a successful initiation last Christmas, we again set up a "Gift of Warmth Tree." Parishioners generously trimmed the tree with hats, gloves, mittens, scarfs, sweaters, and fleece vests. These items were then donated to the clothing program at the Northern Westchester Community Center for distribution to children or adults in need.
WESTCHESTER REFUGEE TASK FORCE
The Westchester Refugee Task Force organized in late 2015 and includes representatives from over 30 civic, interfaith, and advocacy groups in the County. The focus is on assisting local communities as they welcome refugee families to the U.S. and help these newcomers become self-sustaining. St. Mark's is a member of the task force, represented by parishioner Susan West.
REGIONAL & INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
St. Ann's Episcopal Church
St. Ann's, our partner parish in the South Bronx, continues to be a key focus of our outreach ministry. Faithfully each Sunday, a team of dedicated volunteer drivers deliver much needed food products donated by local businesses and parishioners to St. Ann's Church. We also hold an annual St. Ann's Picnic in June when St. Mark's hosts St. Ann's parishioners for a day of food and fun. This starts with an 11:00 a.m. Eucharist followed by a delicious picnic meal in the parish hall and a trip to Gedney Park picnic pavilion where adults and children enjoy dessert, games, face painting, and dancing.