The Alleluia Fund distributes funds collected from individuals and parishes across the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, as well as funds allocated to outreach within the diocesan budget. These funds assist the most vulnerable of God’s people in our diocese by supporting programs that provide food, housing, education, and other services in our diocese and abroad. In 2020 the Alleluia Fund was able to make grants totaling $145,000 to 28 nonprofits in New Jersey and internationally. In 2021 Calvary designated funds to the Alleluia Fund, which will be distributed at the diocese’s discretion.
The mission of the Apostles’ House is “to provide comprehensive social services to homeless and at-risk families and individuals in the Newark area in an environment that encourages and enables self-
sufficiency.” The Food Pantry at Apostles’ House helps to prevent severe hunger in Newark. Calvary has provided food and financial support to Apostles’ House in the past and is planning to Adopt a Room at Apostle’s House in early 2022, meaning we will update the furniture and decorations for that room and write a letter of encouragement for all who stay in that space.
Bridges is a Summit based organization that reaches out to the homeless in Newark, Irvington, and Summit, New Jersey every week. Over 2,000 volunteers each year help deliver 65,000 meals, seasonal clothing, and necessities without question and with genuine respect. In 2021 Calvary supported Bridges financially, and Calvary’s high school youth group is planning to go on a run in early 2022 to provide lunches and hygiene packs to the homeless.
The Community FoodBank of NJ serves over 800 local soup kitchens and food pantries in 15 counties to fight hunger and poverty in NJ. They purchase and collect food for distribution, help people with SNAP applications, bring mobile pantries to communities with limited resources, run a 14-week culinary job-training program, and provide hygiene products monthly. In 2020 they distributed food for more than 85 million meals, 25% of which was fresh produce. In 2021, Calvary designated funds to support Community FoodBank’s work.
Family Promise is a nonprofit organization committed to helping low-income families achieve lasting independence. At Calvary, we host five families for 2 weeks in the fall and spring. We provide food, shelter, support, and encouragement for these families as they strive for a better life. Our volunteers provide food, fellowship, and stay overnight with our guests.
Calvary recently filled and distributed Welcome Baskets filled with cleaning supplies to ease the stress of moving and welcome the families graduating from the temporary shelter program into their own homes. During Advent, Calvary also collected toys and other gifts through our Giving Tree to ensure the families have a festive holiday season. And in 2021 Calvary provided financial support for necessary repairs to Family Promise’s offices after damage from Hurricane Ida.
GRACE (Giving and Receiving Assistance for our Community’s Essentials) meets community needs with community resources to enable good health and success of our vulnerable and underserved neighbors in the Summit area. GRACE distributes approximately 16,000 pounds of fresh food and supplies to an average of 430 households each week. GRACE also uses community networking to help families meet other needs, such as school supplies, medical checkups, immigration support, etc. Early in the pandemic, Calvary provided financial assistance to GRACE and collected shelf stable food items for GRACE’s weekly distribution before they shifted back to fresh food.
Hosted by St Teresa’s Catholic Church in Summit, Loaves & Fishes stocks nonperishable food items for weekly distribution to approximately 60 local families. Each week Calvary collects food items in baskets at the back entrance of the church and delivers them to Loaves & Fishes once the basket is full.
Morris Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates houses in partnership with families in need. They are currently working on a new construction project which will result in 12 affordable condos on Morris Avenue in Summit for low- and moderate-income families. In 2021 Calvary financially contributed to this project, and we plan to organize volunteer groups to help with the finishing touches of the build in the Spring of 2022.
The Diocese of Newark’s Prison Ministry runs several programs benefitting incarcerated individuals and their families. These initiatives include a Bible study within Northern State Prison, a pen pal program, and PATCH (Parents and their Children), which supports children of incarcerated parents by accompanying them on visits to see their parents, hosting Saturday mentor programming, and collecting supplies for school and gifts for Christmas. In 2020 Calvary collected Christmas gifts for children of incarcerated parents. In 2021 Calvary participated in the backpack ministry, collecting and filling 27 backpacks full of new school supplies for children of incarcerated parents.
Sage is the only organization in New Jersey to provide a full range of eldercare services under one roof to help older adults remain living in their own homes. SAGE provides a wide array of services, such as HomeCare, Medicare counseling, Spend-A-Day Medical Adult Day Program, Care Planning, Meals on Wheels, Information & Referrals, and assistance with errands like grocery shopping and laundry. In 2021 Calvary provided financial support to assist with SAGE’s reopening of the Spend-A-Day program and continuation of the Meals on Wheels program throughout the pandemic.
The Summit Interfaith Clergy Fellowship formed a task force of clergy, public officials, and concerned citizens whose goal was to assist homeless and at-risk homeless not served by other programs. SHIP has served breakfast and provided a sack lunch every weekday using Calvary’s facilities since October 1991. SHIP provides over 16,000 meals annually.
Founded in 2020 by the Summit Interfaith Council, this fund is specifically designated for undocumented immigrants and families in need who were not able to benefit from government-issued stimulus checks. In 2021 Calvary financially contributed to this fund to make sure all eligible candidates were able to receive support.
This ministry has been known by other names, such as Summit Hospitality Initiative and Code Blue, but regardless of the name its mission has remained the same. Since the winter of 2019, Summit Warm Hearts has invited our “neighbors without address” into our local houses of worship to provide a safe and warm place to share a meal and spend the night. The program is currently run through the Summit Interfaith Council and hosted by Beacon Unitarian Universality Congregation. The day program runs 7 days a week from mid-November until late-March, providing lunch, snacks, a shower, coordination for laundry, and connection to vital services like medical care and social services. Overnight shelter is provided at an offsite location with support from Bridges Outreach and Grace. Throughout the winter season Calvary’s parishioners participate in this vital ministry by serving as onsite hosts, providing fresh lunches, and helping coordinate laundry.