Cathedral Outreach continues to grow .Thanks to our dedicated and faithful lay volunteers and leaders, as well as the care and support of all the Cathedral staff, we continue the work of Outreach programs.
A major component of outreach is the Food Pantry. Families living in the 87102 area are able to 'shop' for staples like pasta, veggies, and flour as well as eggs, hot dogs, fresh fruit and veggies, which are distributed weekly. Donations are obtained from the congregation, through Roadrunner Food Bank, and from Walmart. We serve 20-30 family units each week.
During the Fridays in Lent Concert Series, sponsored by The Friends of Cathedral Music (www.fcmabq.org) attendees were encouraged to bring food items for the Food Pantry. This collaboration of the Music Department and Cathedral Outreach garnered many baskets of food at each concert. These donations helped the Food Pantry and offered concert-goers the chance to offer a gift of love, in the form of food, to those less fortunate.
The Back to School Back Pack Program provides brand new back packs and school supplies to many of the children of clients of the Food Pantry in time for the start of school. I emphasize “brand new” because unlike so many of us, these kids rarely have anything that is new and truly their own. Every Christmas the Angel Tree project presents gifts and food boxes to many of the Food Pantry clients. The annual Cookie Bake Off in December supplies fresh cookies to each of these families, as well.
The Thrift Shop is the gift that keeps on giving. It continued to bless its patrons with clothes and many different items for the home. Also, once again, it gave very generous financial support to our outreach programs.
Volunteers staff an Outreach Desk on Wednesday and Thursday morning to offer assistance and referrals to individuals and families who walk in and ask for help. We provide all sorts of referrals for community and Cathedral resources. Although we cannot meet all the needs, we offer a listening ear and help as we are able. During the cold weather months, volunteers give out scarves created by our Knitters' Ministry and warm socks donated by the congregation.
During the week, Front Desk volunteers distribute Snack Sacks to people who otherwise might not have a meal that day. This outreach, started by the Daughters of the King and administered by the Front Desk volunteers, provides a simple sack lunch to the homeless clients who stop by during the week. Each lunch bag has individual sized items that are easy to open and to eat. You can donate individual serving packets of cheese crackers, fruit cups, and granola bars for the Snack Sacks.
Even though we are doing well in our Outreach efforts, please know that all of our programs need volunteers! The time requirements are flexible and few, and the rewards are immense! Come join us!