While adapting to the changing needs of the world, St. Jude has maintained its commitment to being a welcoming community of faith throughout the past 55 years and in doing so has grown exponentially. As we have grown in God’s love, St. Jude has continually sought out new ways to help its parishioners become more involved with our neighbors and develop even stronger inter-faith partnerships. We look to continue to do all in our power to connect with and help the communities we serve.
In November/December, as Christmas approaches, we come together to help those less fortunate. Through St. John’s Episcopal Hospital Outreach, St. Jude “adopts” several different families and individuals. We are given a list of items that each person needs and our parishioners sign up to help bring joy to their holiday season by supplying these new gifts for underneath their Christmas trees.
At its launch in 2002, The Ali Forney Center was just six beds in the basement of a church. Today it is the largest and most comprehensive program in the nation dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless LGBTQ youth. Their mission is to protect these youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. The Ali Forney Center helps nearly 1,400 young people per year through 10 housing sites and a multi-purpose Drop-In Center. At St. Jude we are always looking for ways to work with the center and the young people they are working to protect. One way we help is to deliver hot meals during the holidays to the kids residing at the center.
In partnership with the local New York Blood Center, one of the largest community-based blood, cellular therapy and transfusion medicine research centers in the world, St. Jude holds an annual blood drive to support and participate in helping to save lives and strengthen our local communities.
During the month of August, as we prepare our own children for back-to-school, we take time to remember that there are many families all across Long Island who have difficulty purchasing the necessary school supplies. We collect everything from crayons and pencils, to notebooks, backpacks and folders and donate them to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital Outreach to benefit local families in need.
Christmas Card Mailbox
Each year, at Christmas time, St. Jude has an internal “Christmas Card Mailbox.” For a small donation of just 10 cents per card, volunteers organize a card delivery system and we are able to exchange greetings and Christmas cards with other church members. All proceeds collected are donated to a charity chosen by the Sunday School.
Held each year two Sunday’s before Easter, the Sunday School children organize a sale to raise money for their chosen charity. All of the items for sale are hand made by the children!
Mother’s Day Baby Shower
Each Mother’s Day, the church comes together to collect as many new baby items as possible for children ages newborn to one year. The items are displayed at a coffee hour event hosted by the Sunday School and then donated to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital for distribution to new mom’s from the surrounding local areas.
St. Francis Pantry Collections
On a weekly basis, St. Jude parishioners bring donations to the food pantry located at St. Francis de Chantal Roman Catholic Church. The pantry provides food, clothes, and basic provisions to those in our community in need of assistance. In addition, each year before Thanksgiving, during Sunday School, the children of St. Jude decorate 12 boxes with fall and thanksgiving stickers. At coffee hour that same day parishoners are invited to help create 12 centerpieces out of baskets and fall flowers. The centerpieces are each paired with a decorated box. They are then given to the pantry to be used to deliver Thanksgiving food to households in the area to bring a bit of Thanksgiving cheer to those who receive them.