Did you have a good Christmas? Were there gifts under your tree? Thanks to our parish’s generous giving, many families in our community also had gifts to open. Our Angel Tree has several hundred gift tags for over 100 local school-aged children for both needed clothing items and wished-for toys. Local charities such as the BCO, SOCKS, Holy Angels, and Parish referrals share names of children who might be without gifts or need clothing. Gathered items are sorted and then delivered in time for Christmas Eve. Thank you for being such a giving parish. If you would like to be part of this ministry next year, please see Sandy Endicott.
For a number of years, Queen of the Apostles has organized a coat drive. Coats, gently used or new, are accepted, sorted, and then donated to various agencies around the area: Belmont Community Organization, SOCKS, the CRO, As One Ministries and Rhyne Elementary School, one of the poorest communities in our county. “We need to provide the same sense of warmth that we feel when we put on our winter coats to as many as possible.” Each year around 200 coats are collected. Hats, mittens, and scarves are also needed. If you aren’t wearing it, you are keeping it from someone who could be using it! To become part of this ministry, please see Tricia Vasil.
Family Promise Ministry (Interfaith Hospitality Network) is a nationwide organization that has a mission to help homeless and low-income families achieve independence. Here in Belmont, six area churches work together to provide for homeless families as they work to get back on their feet. These resources include available church facilities, donated goods, and volunteers. Queen of the Apostles helps quarterly in providing volunteers to help set up, serve breakfast, do laundry, and staff the building during the families’ stay at rotating churches. Please see Tricia Vasil to help.
Feed the Needy
We are a blessed parish who has much to offer. This gift of sharing is evident the last weekend of each month when you see the large collection of donated items on the altar. Each month we support a different organization such as Belmont Community Organization or Catherine’s House based on their needs. Some months we collect diapers and other months we need canned and non-perishable goods. If you would like more information on this important outreach ministry, please see Tricia Vasil. Look for the reminder banners the week before to help you remember to shop for those less fortunate.
“When I was hungry, you gave me to eat” is the motto of our First Tuesday ministry. A group of parishioners gather the first Tuesday afternoon of each month to prepare dinners. Often, meals are prepared for 60+ people. The meals are delivered to Catherine’s House, House of Mercy, and the Women’s Shelter of Gastonia. Please see Ronnie Rooks if you would like to help in the preparation or delivery of these meals.
Christmas dinner can be a special time for families to gather, and yet, some families struggle with the tradition we might take for granted. With the generous donations of turkeys, hams, canned food, potatoes, sugar, flour, and baked goods, our parish has been able to assist families in the local community with boxes of foods. BI-LO is also a strong supporter in this endeavor. Names are provided by the BCO, SOCKS, and parishioners who are aware of families in need. Each year, over 100 boxes of food are given away. If you know of a family in need, or would like to help in other ways, please see Heather Hart.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Looking for a ministry based on an outreach of compassion and love? Our Prayer Shawl ministry is exactly that! A group of over thirty women share their gift of crocheting and knitting God’s love, care, and warmth into shawls for those in need of comfort in our parish. The group meets on the second Tuesday morning of each month from 10:30 – 11:30am. Several times a year an evening group meets as well. Can’t make the meeting time? That’s ok! You can crochet or knit at home! Please see Elizabeth O’Conner for more information. The ladies also knit hats, scarves and mittens for our coat drive and Christmas remembrances for our homebound.
Weekend BackPack Food Program
The mission of the Weekend BackPack Food Program is to feed children in need during the weekend so they can come to school ready to learn on Monday. A plastic bag with enough food for three meals per day of non-perishable, individually portioned, nutritionally balanced food is taken home in the children’s backpacks on the weekend when school meals are not available. To become a part of this outreach ministry please see Julie Russo.
Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Each year, we provide Thanksgiving Day dinner for many in our community. When individuals are alone, sick, homebound, not able to cook or perhaps financially burdened, we are able to help and share with thanksgiving by providing them with a turkey dinner. Many volunteers are needed to assist with this ministry. If you are interested in helping with our Thanksgiving Dinner ministry, please call the church office.