The Human Concerns Committee discerns human needs, identifies resources to meet these needs, and enlists the active participation of each parish member in various projects relating to justice and peace on local, national and international levels.
The Committee also works collaboratively with community groups and other parishes to meet immediate needs, as well as discern and act upon the root causes of social problems. Human Concerns topics include Employment Direction, Food Pantry, Hospitality, Life Chain, Parish Nurse, Prayer Shawl Ministry, Respect Life, Saint Ben’s Meal Program, St. Vincent De Paul, Share Program, Sister Parish, Sleeping Bags for the Homeless, and the Social Justice Committee.
To help with this committee, contact Greg Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Ben’s Meal Program
Six times a year more than 50 St. Matthias volunteers cook, purchase, and serve the meal for St. Ben’s Meal Program downtown. St. Ben’s serves an average of 340 homeless and hungry people each day, year-round. Towards the end of the month when the working poor can’t make their checks to cover expenses, St. Ben’s sees up to 500 people and lots of children. St. Matthias volunteers bring a menu of hot vegetable casserole, cold vegetables, large jello with canned fruit, fresh fruit, canned vegetable, and dessert (all recipes provided). Those who cook drop off their food at a central location close to St. Matthias and volunteers deliver it downtown. St. Ben’s is always looking for volunteers to cook!
To help with this Ministry, contact Deb Schall.
Sleeping Bags for the Homeless
This ministry creates sleeping bags for the homeless and delivers them to shelters and homeless outreach groups. They deliver on average 100 sleeping bags a year. There are between 10-20 volunteers who meet one Saturday a month from 8: 00 am -12:00 pm (normally the first Saturday). The volunteers create 7 ft. square sections made up of whole or partial blanket donations. Volunteers layer blankets for warmth, then fold and tie off the sections in a sleeping bag style, roll them up, and deliver them. They are always looking for gently used blankets, sheets, mattress pads, comforters, and neckties (to tie the bags). Sewing is NOT required to volunteer – consider bringing your school-aged child or Boy/Girl Scout Troops.
During the Advent season, St. Matthias has Christmas trees in the back of the church with hanging cards. All parishioners are invited to select a card and purchase specifically requested gifts for individuals in need. On average we keep around 1,100 gift tags. We partner with 17-20 organizations that receive these gifts. Around this time St. Matthias also collects gift cards and cash for our Parish, as well as St. Vincent de Paul for families who need extra help with heating and food costs.