Volunteering at Furniture Friends, Growing to Give, and Partners for World Health
Serving the wider community St. Bart's parishioners are involved in many organizations that help those in need in the wider Portland area. Our newly established Reimagining Outreach Committee strives to better understand local needs to assess specific things we can do to help love and serve our neighbors. Read below for further information on how we provide our time and talents. Click here to learn more about our recent contributions.
OUR OUTREACH MINISTRIES Saint Elizabeth’s Jubilee Center & Essentials Pantry St Elizabeth's Jubilee Center operates a non-food essentials pantry located in the lower level of St. Luke’s Cathedral in Portland. St. Bart’s is one of eight Episcopal Churches in the Greater Portland area that sponsors St. Elizabeth’s. These Churches provide St. Elizabeth’s with financial and in-kind contributions, many volunteers including board representation, and prayers for this Mission.
Recently, St. Elizabeth’s has experienced a near doubling in the numbers it serves. What normally would be 150 neighbors arriving each week, is now as high as 273 due to the influx of asylum seekers. Warm winter coats, boots, hats, scarves, gloves, sox, toothpaste, toothbrushes, diapers, bars of soap, laundry detergent, feminine pads, and blankets are among the essential items St. Elizabeth’s has distributed to help sustain these new Mainers during their first winter here. During 2022, St. Elizabeth’s distributed 51,000 diapers, 25,750 rolls of toilet paper, over 10,000 bars of body soap, 45,500 feminine pads, and enough detergent for 37,650 loads of laundry. St. Bart’s generous donation from the Art Show was most gratefully received! For more information about the ministry of St. Elizabeth’s Jubilee Center and Essential’s Pantry and our current donation needs, or to learn how to make in kind donations or to provide financial support, check the St Elizabeth's website. If you would like to be a volunteer, please email Linda Draper, the St. Bart’s Board Representative
Volunteering at St. Elizabeth's Essentials Pantry
Friendship House Friendship House is an organization committed to helping men seeking to overcome their addictions, mainly by providing guidance, encouragement, and a family atmosphere. This is accomplished by staffing the house with loving, compassionate, individuals who understand addiction and live with the guests. Herb Blake is the Executive Director. Friendship House is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors committed to providing the best home possible. It is located at 390 Lincoln St. in South Portland. Financial donations can be mailed to this address.
St. Bartholomew’s (families and individuals) have for more than 25 years supported this mission by preparing and delivering a meal (entrée, salad, bread and dessert) on the third Thursday of each month for 15 men and the house manager and his wife (17 total). Financial support is also provided from our fundraising efforts (Annual Lobster Bake and Art Show).
An ongoing Wish List includes: towels, sheets, toiletries, cleaning supplies, silverware. Clothing donations are also welcomed. Items may be left in labeled boxes outside at the church.
Yarmouth Compassionate Housing Initiative (YCHI) joins NMAP The Yarmouth Compassionate Housing Initiative (YCHI) has joined forces with New Mainers Assistance Program (NMAP) to consolidate efforts that support New Mainers both with housing and other needs. YCHI was founded in 2015 in response to the temporary housing shortage, due to the influx of asylum seekers in Portland. St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, First Universalist Church Yarmouth, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints collaborated on this effort. We partnered with the City of Portland, Chestnut Street Family Shelter and Maine Medical Center to house families and mothers with newborns who could not be adequately housed through the shelter. From 2015 to 2020, over 50 families (well over 150 individuals) were housed with families living in Yarmouth, North Yarmouth, and Cumberland. We provided a welcoming sanctuary for families while connecting them to resources to support their health and wellbeing. Once housing became available, families were transitioned to apartments or rooms at the Chestnut Street Family Shelter. YCHI followed families into permanent housing, ensuring that homes were furnished, and other material needs were provided for. Relationships have continued with those who chose to stay in Maine and even with some who have moved outside of Maine.
YCHI expanded to include ESL classes at the Merrill Memorial Library and Mother’s Circles at the Chestnut Street Family Shelter in partnership with Birth Roots. YCHI partnered with First Universalist Church Yarmouth to develop housing for 4 single adults in the former church parsonage. YCHI also provided leadership during the mass influx of asylum seekers in 2018 at the Portland Expo, partnering with MIRC, GPCOG and others to help communities stand up temporary housing efforts across Maine. As COVID-19 took hold, YCHI ensured that families had the essentials to protect against the virus including access to masks, thermometers, testing and vaccines. NMAP has stepped into this space to consider long term housing strategies for this latest wave of new arrivals. YCHI joins in this effort, maintaining the YCHI name. We will continue to support new arrivals and are excited about this collaboration. Carla Hunt and Peter Sillin join the NMAP board to continue to expand upon the work. We are grateful for the many volunteers and generosity of the St. Bart’s community!
Yarmouth Food Pantry The Yarmouth Community Food Pantry serves over 60 families a month during open hours which are Tuesday and Friday 10-12noon. The pantry delivers to over 20 families which is an increase from 2021. The First Parish Church continues to generously share their multi-purpose room as a staging area for the pantry to prepare the grab and go bags for the patrons. There is still no inside shopping for patrons. Patrons wait outside and come to the Pantry door to pick up a bag of food. They are offered additional items such as meat, bread and bakery products, produce, deli, milk and eggs. Hannaford’s $25 gift cards are being given out once a month to each family as well.
The pantry is grateful to all of the St. Bart’s members that volunteer at the pantry doing so many important jobs including distribution of food during regular open pantry hours, delivering food weekly to families, picking up donated and rescued food from Good Shepard Food Bank, Hannaford and more, helping with food drives and contributing food to the Thanksgiving and Holiday food baskets.
The pantry is grateful for all the ways St. Barts members contribute and support the pantry. We couldn’t do it without you. If you are interested in volunteering or making a donation, don’t hesitate to to reach out to Anne Ball email, Yarmouth Community Food Pantry Steering Committee.
Click here to learn more about our recent contributions to all our outreach ministries.