Outreach Hands On Programs

Church of the Redeemer provides a variety of opportunities for parishioners to engage in “hands-on” community service.  These opportunities range from one-time events to ongoing activities at varying time intervals throughout the year.  We invite you to take part in one or more of the following Outreach community endeavors listed below.  To participate, please respond to the contact information that is provided at the end of each description.

Join us in the Joy of Serving Others . . . .

What Can I Do During COVID-19?

Food insecurity is one of the most pressing problems created by the pandemic. Five local nonprofits would be very grateful for our support. The Redeemer’s Outreach Committee continues to support organizations such as those listed below, and our Vestry has allocated additional funds beyond our current budget to support increased demand as well. 

Ardmore Food Pantry (at St. Mary’s Church, 35 Ardmore Avenue, Ardmore) is in greater need of food donations. Directional signs lead to a porch where donations can be left any time. Greatest needs are: cereal, spaghetti sauce, canned meals (e.g., chili, ravioli), peanut butter, jelly, canned tuna or chicken, canned beans or vegetables, mac and cheese, small boxes of raisins, granola bars, instant oatmeal packets, hot chocolate and toilet paper individually wrapped. If you don’t want to do the shopping, send a check to the Ardmore Food Pantry at St. Mary’s or donate $10 gift cards to Acme, Trader Joe’s or Giant.

ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth’s Ada Mutch Food Pantry (9 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr) makes food and personal care products available to residents living with low incomes. The number of people needing assistance has increased as a result of the pandemic. The following donations would be most appreciated: canned meats (chicken, tuna, turkey and SPAM), canned pasta meals, peanut butter, and cereal. Also needed are incontinence aids, tissues, paper towels, shampoo/conditioner and toothpaste. Donations can be dropped off at the food pantry (in Ludington Library parking lot) on Tuesdays and Thursday from 10 to noon and 2 to 4 pm. To avoid doing the shopping or arranging an online delivery, consider sending a donation to ElderNet.

Interfaith Hospitality Network: In a non-pandemic world, we would be hosting IHN at St. Mary’s this week. Thank you to everyone who has already signed up to help cover the cost of housing, feeding and providing support services to the program participants who are staying at IHN offices. There’s still time to help. Click here for more detatails.

St. Gabriel’s Mission (101 East Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia) is also in need of food for their food pantry. The Redeemer continues to provide food for Saturday lunches once a month, and food pantry donations can be delivered then. For information, contact Jan Clarke.

St. James School’s (3217 W. Clearfield St., Philadelphia) Welcome Table provides nonperishable food for students, their families and the surrounding community. Greatest needs include peanut butter, canned meats (tuna, chicken), and canned vegetables. Donations can be delivered to the school or dropped off at St. Christopher’s Church (226 Righters Mill Road, Gladwyne). The school also has an Amazon Wish List, which allows people to purchase items that are shipped directly to St. James (Amazon Wish List). The list is long, but the most important items are toward the top – peanut butter and canned meats (tuna and chicken). Monetary donations are always welcome; e.g., $30 buys a box of oranges, $75 buys a case of chicken.

COVID-19 has also reached Malawi in Africa, and the projections are dire. With only 25 ICU beds in the country, Malawi’s healthcare system is not capable of handling an epidemic.

African Children’s Mission’s partner, Global Aids Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) has launched critical preventive measures to:

1. Protect Mobile Health Clinic operations, adding staff to manage patient flow and hygiene protocols and procuring vital Personal Protective Equipment;

2. Educate rural communities on hygiene, distancing and other pandemic prevention; and

3. Deliver COVID-19 prevention supplies, including locally tailored masks, water stations and soap for tens of thousands of households in the highest risk areas.

Right now, armed with inexpensive health messaging, soap and masks, we can make a difference. To donate toward this effort, please send a check to GAIA, 2171 Francisco Blvd. East, Suite 1, San Rafael, CA 94901.

More information about these organizations follows below.

African Children's Mission

African Children’s Mission - If you have a sense of international mission and want to make a difference in the lives of orphans in Malawi, join the ACM.  The African Children’s Mission funds and visits community-based projects organized by local leaders to benefit infants and children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Malawi.   The ACM partners with Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) which not only identifies worthy projects but also provides oversight of the funding to ensure that funds are indeed applied effectively and efficiently. Activities range from visiting Malawi as part of a travel team to helping with fundraising efforts and education here at Redeemer. Meetings are monthly.  For more information or to make a donation click on the African Children’s Mission page.

Contact: Priscilla Bradshaw

Christmas Meals/Baskets

Christmas Meals/Bags - Each Christmas season Redeemer families generously contribute bags of food to local needy families and help bring cheer to our community. This program, supported by our Outreach Committee, provides food for community groups we work with throughout the year, such as ElderNet and St. Barnabas Mission. Outreach grocery shopping provides an easy, inexpensive way to involve yourself in the joy of bringing a meal to someone who otherwise would not be able to afford traditional holiday fare. For parishioners with young children, it provides a chance for kids to go shopping for the groceries and gives families the opportunity to discuss how rewarding it is to help others.

Shopping bags will be available with a recommended list of groceries. (The list is also available on our website.) Please shop, fill the bag and return it to the parish house by the mid-December date specified. Only non-perishable items are needed; the church will provide the turkey or ham and fresh produce. The bags will be available for pick-up in the Narthex. Please take as many as you can fill and return! 

If you have any questions or are available to help deliver the food please, contact Jay Einspanier. Volunteers are especially needed to deliver the food.

Contact: Jay Einspanier

Click here for more details and a shopping list of items.

Church Farm School's "Alumni Program"

Church Farm School, located in Exton, opens its doors to families of boys in grades 9-12 who may not have otherwise been able to financially afford this college preparatory opportunity.  Their “Alumni Program” is designed to track and encourage CFS graduates.  In support of this effort, spend an evening with fellow parishioners writing notes and creating “Care Packages” for CFS students now in college. Donate items for the “Care Packages” – toiletries, snacks and gift cards.  Watch for an announcement of the next gathering in the Redeemer News.

    Contact:  Barbara Billings or Jeanne Holeman


Church of the Advocate

Church of the Advocate - To make a difference in the lives of people in North Philadelphia, an area affected by deep poverty, offer your skills and time at the Advocate. Work with their clothes closet, help with their food service in the Café, or serve as a docent of this historic structure. This is a year-round opportunity.

Contact: Barbara Billings

Darby Mission

Darby Mission, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, serves between 300-500 youth and adults in the Borough of Darby each week.  There are opportunities to tutor in the After School Program or to participate in a “Darby Dinner.”  The After School Program meets in a local school while the dinners take place in the Recreation Center on the first and third Tuesday of the month.  About 100 community members come together for a meal sponsored by a different church or church-related group.

Putting on a “Darby Dinner” entails a variety of skills and offers many different opportunities - planning and organizing the meal, purchasing food, preparing dishes ahead of time, setting up, serving the food and mingling with guests. Watch the Redeemer News for the next “Darby Dinner” notice.  In the meantime parishioners are always welcome to attend a community dinner on the spur of the moment.

Contact for tutoring:  The Rev. Doris Rajagopal, Vicar, Darby Mission

Contact for participating in a Darby Dinner:  Barbara Billings or Jeanne Holeman

Diocese of Pennsylvania City Camps

Diocese of Pennsylvania City Camp - Participate in a rewarding summer experience by yourself or with others. Help to prepare, serve, and clean up the meals at an urban day camp. City Camp connects parishes of the Diocese to their local communities. Locations are throughout the Diocese of Pennsylvania.


ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth

ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narbeth – Your talents, time and experience can make a huge difference in the life of an older or disabled adult living in Lower Merion or Narberth. Founded in 1976 and staffed by professional social workers and trained volunteers, it helps people with low to moderate incomes remain independent, have access to healthcare and an improved quality of life. Help by providing rides to doctors' appointments and grocery stores, or assisting with odd jobs, errands or yard work. Visit clients in their homes. Keep the food pantry at the office in Bryn Mawr stocked and running smoothly. Using ElderNet’s on-line scheduling system, you decide how, and how often, to volunteer.

    For more information and to sign up, go www.eldernetonline.org.

Episcopal Community Services

Episcopal Community Services – The official outreach arm of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, ECS operates or oversees more than 30 outreach projects and programs in the Philadelphia area. Opportunities abound:

  • Community Cook-Off – Meet at St. Barnabas Mission, 6006 West Girard Ave., Philadelphia, on the third Sunday of the month to assemble 200+ dinners to be distributed to frail aging adults in the City of Philadelphia.
  • Be a Companion – A helper is carefully matched to an isolated aging adult living independently or in a nursing home or assisted living facility in the city or suburbs. Location is matched for your convenience, and the time commitment is based on your schedule.
  • Afterschool Tutor - Assist elementary and middle school students in the ECS Out of School Time program with reading, writing, math, homework, and study skills in West Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, or Darby, PA on weekdays from 3:00pm-6:00pm.
  • Children’s Party/Activity Host – Host a children’s party at St. Barnabas Mission. Bring snacks, crafts, and/or games for a fun-filled Sunday afternoon. The Mission is located at 6006 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia.
  • Speed Networking Panelist - Share your career story with the young men and women in RISE, the ECS workforce development program. Speak to the young adults about your occupation and the steps you took to get there. Quarterly meetings take place from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the ECS main office, 225 S. 3rd St, Philadelphia.
  • Lead a Goods Drive - Help ECS provide necessities to their participants by organizing a donation drive at your place of worship, workplace, or in your community. Some of the most needed items include: non-perishables, canned goods, condiments, baby food, books, and diapers.
  • Community Food Cupboard – Individual helpers or small groups up to three are needed to organize the food pantry and assist with food distribution at St. Barnabas Mission, 6006 Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, between 9:30 and 11:45 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

                       ECS Contact: Anna Gerrity

Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN)

Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) – The mission of IHN is to help momentarily homeless families achieve lasting independence, stability, and self-esteem. In the interim the local network provides safe, temporary housing, a hot evening meal and support services. Hosting responsibilities rotate weekly among currently participating interfaith congregations. Join with parishioners of all ages in hosting IHN guests when they visit Redeemer. Prepare a simple dinner, spend time with the parents and children after dinner, provide comfort and security by staying overnight at the church, or shop for extra groceries.  For more information, click on the links on the IHN page.

Parish contact: Mary Hopkins

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels – Deliver nutritious meals to the aged, convalescents, homebound, and handicapped persons who are unable to shop or cook for themselves Monday thru Friday. Participate on a weekly basis or even less frequently. Enjoy getting to know the recipients!

Contact: Anna Gerrity

St. Gabriels Mission Lunch Program

St. Gabriel’s Lunch Program – Redeemer partners with members of St. Gabriel’s Mission on Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia, to provide a nourishing lunch to our hungry brothers and sisters on the fourth Saturday of each month. Volunteers meet at 9:30am and carpool to St. Gabriel’s Mission, where they prepare and serve a nourishing meal as well as engage with guests of all ages from the surrounding community.

Contact: Jan Clarke

St. James School

St. James School – Give your time and talent to the youth at this faith-based Philadelphia middle school in the Episcopal tradition, which is committed to educating traditionally under-resourced students in a nurturing environment. Tutor, assist with Garden Club, homework, nutrition support or computer projects, or lend your talents in a way that is comfortable for you.

Contact: Mary Hopkins

Other Opportunities

If you have not found an opportunity that works for you, be assured there are many more, and we will try to help you find the right one based on your needs and desires. Do you have special skills, knowledge or experience that you want to put to good use?  Is there an age group or an activity that appeals to you?  Do you want to work solo or enjoy the company of others?  Is there a certain range within which you are willing to travel – one’s driving circle?  Do you want to be physically engaged, or are you more interested in participating on an advisory board?  Each of us has God-given gifts to share; we want you to be able to share yours.

Contact:  Barbara Billings, Chair, Outreach Community Service Committee