Midnight Run is a volunteer organization dedicated to finding common ground between the housed and the homeless. Throughout the year, Midnight Run volunteers distribute food, clothing, blankets and personal care items to those experiencing homelessness on the streets of New York City. The late-night relief efforts create a forum for trust, sharing, understanding, and affection. That human exchange, rather than the exchange of goods, is the essence of the Midnight Run mission.
In addition to the Midnight Run, Christ Church also offers Breakfast Runs several times a year. Younger children, generally middle-schoolers, distribute breakfast and essential items to those experiencing homelessness and hunger.
HOPE Community Services
HOPE (Help Our People Eat) opened its first soup kitchen in 1984, and has since grown to become the largest emergency food pantry and soup kitchen in the region. Although HOPE Community Services was founded to respond to hunger in the community, it quickly became apparent that food was not the only thing their clients were lacking. HOPE expanded its services to meet the needs of its diverse client population, and its services now include clothing, language skills, emotional support, immigration services, and other daily necessities. Christ Church partners with HOPE in many ways, including cooking for and serving in their soup kitchen, volunteering at special events, and organizing the food pantry.
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Covenant House was founded in 1972 with the simple, profound mission to help homeless kids escape the streets. Today they are the largest privately funded charity in the Americas providing loving care and vital services to homeless, abandoned, abused, trafficked, and exploited youth. Their core services are comprised of a wide array of in-house training programs, including healthcare, educational support, GED preparation, job readiness and skills training, drug abuse treatment and prevention, legal services, mental health services, the Mother/Child program, life skills training, and aftercare. These programs are designed to provide our youth with a holistic approach to leaving the streets and achieving independence. Our EYC, alongside the youth group at neighbor Reformed Church of Bronxville, is partnering with Covenant House this year to support their programs. Group activities include throwing once a month birthday parties for the Covenant House residents. Other ideas are hosting an open-mic night, a movie night, or a weekend day outing like bowling or laser tag.
Project Linus is a national organization of volunteers that makes quilts and blankets for children in emotional distress. Project Linus at Christ Church is funded by Jody Maier and Randy Frost who also lead the Parish wide events. Parishioners are also welcome to work on their own. If you crochet, knit, sew, or work with fleece and would like to participate in Project Linus contact Jody Maier or 914-377-4939.
Center Lane is the only LGBTQ community center for teens in Westchester County, serving as a place of emotional and social support. The center serves about five hundred kids a year, ages thirteen to twenty-one, through three locations, counseling programs, and educational opportunities all over the county. Center Lane hosts daily drop-in hours, weekly organized groups, and special events throughout the year. In addition, the kids are encouraged to be advocates for their community and the center in various public settings. Christ Church supports Center Lane in a variety of ways throughout the year, including through our LGBTQ and Friends Fellowship Group.
Westhab was founded in 1981 by a group of real estate professionals and activist clergy frustrated by the growing affordable housing crisis in Westchester County, NY. An early partnership with the Westchester County Department of Social Services led to the development of a new method of housing the homeless – using public assistance funds to preserve and expand good, low-income housing rather than continuing to pay for expensive and inadequate motel shelter. Westhab initiated community-based youth and employment programs as well as community resource centers, and has expanded to the Bronx. Their real estate development pipeline includes a greater proportion of mixed-income, senior, veterans, and special needs housing. Christ Church has a growing relationship with Westhab, which began over Christmas when we partnered to bring Christmas presents to families in need. Volunteers can distribute cans to clients at their food bank. Westhab will also need volunteers for the Dayspring Community Center in Yonkers.
Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy
The Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy is a member-based non-profit organization which was founded in 1997 and is dedicated to supporting the County of Westchester in its stewardship of the Bronx River Parkway Reservation. The Conservancy is an advocate for the protection and preservation of the unique multi-faceted character of the Reservation, a park listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It provides volunteers and funding for projects that enhance the Reservation's natural beauty, contributes to the quality of its environment and educates the public about its historic nature. Christ Church participates in regular clean up efforts of the Bronx River and Bronxville Lake.
Ushering at Christ Church
Ushers joyfully greet the congregation, new and old, as they arrive to church. They help visitors find seats, direct children to Church School, and collect and count donations. Like many of our members, they are excited to share why Christ Church is a wonderful place to belong.
Altar Guild at Christ Church
The Altar Guild prepares for all services involving a Eucharist by setting out the various vessels used by the clergy. Members also care for, clean and maintain the vestments, altar linens, silver, and books. Meetings to discuss upcoming liturgies and the church calendar are held periodically from September to May. The Vestry purchases wine, wafers, candles, linen and housekeeping supplies, while donations are used for new vestments and altar arrays.