There are over 500 people in Carlsbad and Oceanside living in homelessness: 15% of these are veterans, 19% report a serious mental illness, 35% have a physical disability. The number one reported reason for homelessness is the loss of a job. [i]
In the St. Michael’s parish family there are currently 431 members, many of whom are veterans. Also among us are parishioners familiar with mental illness, physical disability, and/or the stress that comes with losing a job. As a parish community, we help each other through these challenges.
However, as a spiritual family it is important that our support extends beyond the walls of the church and into the greater community. St. Michael’s mission statement calls us to be “beacon[s] of God’s truth and love.” St. Michael’s can’t solve homelessness. What we can do is feed the hungry. We can direct people to where they can find specialized services. We can show people the respect and dignity they may seldom experience. We can love them.
The Sack Lunch Ministry is working to do just that! Thanks to the dedication of many volunteers and a budget dedicated specifically to this outreach, the Sack Lunch Ministry has grown tremendously. It is expected that St. Michael’s will have served over 4,000 lunches by the end of this year; that’s roughly 75 lunches each week! In addition to lunch, our volunteers provide hygiene products, dog treats, gently used books, and information about other local community services. Perhaps most importantly, through their actions, our volunteers shine the love of Christ to those who come to St. Michael’s in need.
There are several simple but impactful ways for parishioners of all ages to keep this ministry moving forward. These are easy and gratifying ways to do outreach.
SACK LUNCH VOLUNTEERS
Monday-Friday, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Parish Hall Kitchen
Parishioners of all ages choose a convenient weekday shift (children require adult supervision). All you need is one hour per month, and a smile! Contact the Sack Lunch Ministry to get involved.
2ND SUNDAY SACK PACK
2nd Sunday of Each Month, after 10:00 Mass
Parishioners of ALL ages are invited to assemble the non-perishable portions of the lunches. For more information contact the Family Minister.
Trial size hygiene products
Books and Magazines
[i] Robertson, C. (2015, August). 2015 WeALLCount Results. Retrieved from San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless: http://www.rtfhsd.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Final-Regional-Report-for-website.pdf
Written by Becky Gleason, Children’s Minister.