At St. Stephen’s our outreach efforts are central to our identity, as we seek to serve Christ in all people. We find it is important to have a hands on approach to caring for people in need. Our community regularly volunteers at the local food pantry, collects donations and presents for the community Christmas Gift Drive for children in need, and performs clean up at the local animal shelter. This year our monetary contributions to worthy causes total more than $12,000. We do so by contributing half of the income from Treasures Thrift Shop and also by collecting financial and material contributions throughout the year.
All are invited to participate and experience the grace filled joy of caring for others.
Programs we support:
As one of twelve founding member churches of the food pantry, we are intimately involved with this essential local ministry. Members of St. Stephen’s serve on the Board of Trustees. We volunteer monthly to help distribute food to people in need. We contribute by collecting goods the pantry needs and participating in their Thanksgiving food drive.
A residential home in Yonkers for men recovering from substance addiction, Fessenden House offers a supportive environment for those with nowhere else to turn. Founded by Episcopal Brothers in 1995, the Brothers live in the house with the residents and share their lives. This organization runs only on donated funds, and has a far higher success rate than comparable programs: the typical relapse rate is between 75% and 90%, while at Fessenden House it is 26%.
This organization provides a home away from home and support for families of critically ill or traumatically injured children. A critical part of a child’s treatment is family, and they provide a safe and comfortable home-like setting just steps away from the hospital. Staff and volunteers offer support and resources to families at a most challenging time.
Adopt-A-Dog animal shelter
Adopt-A-Dog is our local animal shelter. In anticipation of the Blessing of the Animals in celebration of St. Francis Day, we collected blankets, toys and treats for the animals there. Last year the youth Group volunteered at the shelter to help and played with several of the dogs. Also, our Treasures Thrift shop contributes the blankets and towels that they receive to Adopt-A-Dog.
This local organization offers shelter, services and support to abused women and their children, and works to help them overcome barriers to safety. Hope’s Door seeks to end domestic violence and empower the victims to achieve safety, independence and healing.
As a sponsoring Parish, we contribute to the ministry of Incarnation Camp in Ivoryton CT, the oldest co-ed camp in the country. An affordable summer camp with a diverse population of campers, our contributions mean that children can attend camp who might not otherwise be able. New York Times columnist David Brooks calls Incarnation Camp “the most successful institution I’ve ever been involved with” and remembers his 15 summers there as “instrumental in my own growth and the flourishing of dozens of my friends.” We have also participated in volunteer clean up days.
This organization places trained service dogs with disabled veterans who can gain independence with the aid of a support dog. This was the first organization to be invited to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to display how dogs can perform tasks for combat veterans.
As the outreach arm of the Diocese of New York, Episcopal Charities coordinates and supports all the ways that Episcopal Churches seeks to feed, house, and clothe people who are in need in our area and around the entire diocese. One of the programs supported by Episcopal Charities is the Interfaith Food Pantry, a ministry close to the heart of St. Stephen’s Church.
Junior League of Northern Westchester Christmas Program
Every Christmas, through the Junior League, St. Stephen’s sponsors families who have children and are unable to buy Christmas presents. Everyone in the church is invited to purchase desired items leading up to the holiday. Our youth group always has fun sponsoring one of the families by going out and shopping together. In addition, we donate funds to this holiday outreach.
For the past two years our Youth Group raised money with a Frosty Day bake sale, with all proceeds devoted to MSKCC. This year we added a Christmas bazaar on Frosty Day, and included the earnings from that. All funds are earmarked for biliary cancer research.
Each fall, as our children prepare to start back to school, we invite them to purchase extra school supplies to donate to the Chiro Mission. On a special Sunday in September we bless the donated school supplies alongside the backpacks of our St. Stephen’s students. We have teamed up with Chiro Mission, a local organization, to send these supplies to a school for Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic.
Fighting childhood cancer is the mission of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, with most of their funds devoted to new research and cures. Their lemonade stands encourage children to get involved in the fight, and make a difference for children with cancer.