Founded in June, 1988 with the support and guidance of Fr. Steven Tsichlis, the Parish Council, and the St. Catherine Philoptochos (Friends of the Poor), this Outreach ministry has sought to follow the command of Christ and the example of St. John the Almsgiver to "feed the hungry."
From the outset, finding elderly and homeless adults and children to feed was, unfortunately, all too easy. Beginning with the First Avenue Service Center in downtown Seattle, the men and women volunteers of the St. John the Almsgiver Society provided hot meals, clothing, toiletries, and other essential items which most of us take for granted. The program then expanded during the next four years and was serving over 2,000 meals monthly.
Soon, the St. John the Almsgiver Society went eccumenical; supporting the St. Martin de Porres Men's Shelter (a homeless shelter for men 55 years old, and older, run by the Roman Catholic Church) and the New Hope Baptist Church, which provided meals to the poor in Seattle's Central District. Also assisting in preparing and serving meals at that time were members of the Gregory Heights Baptist Church.
The St. John the Almsgiver Society is a totally volunteer organization. There are no administrative or fund raising costs. Every dollar received goes to the continuing work of helping to feed and clothe the poor and homeless of Seattle. Your support is appreciated. As St. John Chrysostom once said, "Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead!"
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Monetary Contributions: People are sometimes reluctant to "just give money," thinking that you can't solve problems by merely throwing money at them. However, rest assured that every dollar given to the Group goes to support the program. We have no administrative costs and rely totally on volunteer workers. Quite often, because we have established good relationships with suppliers, we can make a dollar go a very long way. In fact, we are quite proud that we have kept the per meal price a minimum while still serving good, hot, nutritious meals.
Food Contributions: The next time you are out purchasing groceries, pick up an extra turkey or ham and bring it to the church. We will freeze the meat and plan a future meal around it. We can also use large quantities of such non-perishable items as macaroni pasta, rice, canned tuna, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, etc.
Time: Give of yourself and you will be giving the greatest gift possible. Volunteers are always needed to help cook the first two Thursdays of every month. We meet in the church kitchen at 9:30 AM, cook the food, clean up, then sit and spend some time together relaxing and eating lunch.
Volunteers are also needed to serve the cooked meals in the evening of the first and second Thursdays of every month down at the St. Martin de Porres shelter: