At St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, we aim to serve Christ by offering our assistance to all persons in need both locally and globally through volunteer work and financial aid. We support a wide range of programs, all of which strive to improve the conditions of those suffering. By reaching out we do God's will by working to create a better place to live for those who are less fortunate. We invite our parishioners to join in these efforts by donating their time, talent, and energies and we are always open to suggestions on how to best help others. Our congregation is currently active in various outreach programs, paying specific attention to the following:
"Food for Friends" Barrel: Dry pantry items can be donated to the Food Pantry at St. Paul's in Paterson, NJ. The Food Pantry is the second largest in Passaic County, providing emergency food support to those in need. Contents are delivered monthly, including turkeys which can be donated to families in need at Thanksgiving. The food barrel can be found in the narthex. http://www.stpaulscdcnj.org
UTO: The United Thank Offering addresses compelling human need through grants to projects that alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally, within the Anglican provinces, dioceses, and companion dioceses. At St. Matthew's, the United Thank Offering ingathering is taken twice yearly. http://www.episcopalchurch.org/uto
Blanket Sunday: On Blanket Sunday, parishioners contribute $5.00 to purchase new blankets through the Church World Service, who distributes them to those in need, locally and globally. http://www.churchworldservice.org
North Porch Women and Infants' Centers: North Porch is a project of the Episcopal Church Women in the Diocese of Newark, and serves women of all faiths. North Porch provides emergency seven-day supplies of formula, baby food, diapers, clothing, bed linens and other supplies for needy mothers and infants in the Newark, Paterson and Dover areas of northern New Jersey. Donations are collected in the appropriate basket in the narthex and delivered to North Porch monthly. http://northporch.dioceseofnewark.org/
Christian Children's Fund (CCF): St. Matthew's sponsors Elisandro Rodrigues Gadelha, a Brazilian boy, to help provide him with food and clothing. Donations can be made in the box with his name and picture in the back of the church. We receive letters from him updating us on the progress he has made. http://www.childfund.org/
Peter's Place: St. Matthew's supports this safe haven shelter for homeless adults located at Christ Church in Hackensack, NJ. The facility hosts up to 25 people, 7 nights a week. We collect and donate new socks, underwear and toiletries throughout the year. A box for your donations can be found in the narthex. http://www.petersplc.org/
Holley Center: Halloween and Christmas goodie bags and Easter treats are generously donated by a friend of the St. Matthew's Family and supplemented with donations from the congregation. Hats, mittens, scarves and toys are donated and delivered to the Holley Center for Children located in Hackensack, NJ. The Holley Center provides housing and counseling for 48 children, ages 6 through 12. http://www.ycs.org
Mitten Tree: Every December, our small Christmas Tree is adorned with hats, mittens and scarves by the parishioners, the Womens' Club of Paramus and the Koenig Family. Items from the Mitten Tree are distributed to North Porch, the Holley Center and St's Paul's Shelter. Look for the tree in the rear of the church.
St. Paul's Church: We continue our commitment to support St. Paul's Church in Paterson, NJ where emergency shelter, clothing, and food are provided to as many as 50 homeless men a night. Six times a year, we prepare and serve a complete hot meal to the homeless men who sleep at St. Paul's' Shelter. Parishioners generously donate food (including turkeys and hams) and dessert. We are thankful to our faithful meal planners, cooks and servers. This program is a huge success and we could not do it without you! http://www.stpaulscdcnj.org
Seamen's Church Institute: The Seamen's Church Institute cares for the personal, professional, and spiritual needs of mariners around the world. It was founded in 1834 and it is the largest mariner's service agency in North America. Leave your donations in the basket in the narthex and they will be delivered to the seafarers. We are currently collecting; toiletries pens/paper, calendars, magazines, and playing cards. http://www.seamenschurch.org/
Hospitalized Service People: This outreach program is organized by a dedicated parishioner, who collects pre-paid phone cards and sends them to military personnel overseas to call home. The phone cards are packaged in well-wishing cards lovingly designed by the Sunday School children. Cards are sent to bases in both Kuwait and Afghanistan. Hundreds of cards have been donated so far.
Bergen County Animal Shelter: The Sunday School and SMYO (St. Matthew's Youth Organization) hold various fundraisers to purchase and donate supplies for the animal shelter. http://www.co.bergen.nj.us/bcas
Loose Plate Collection: At St. Matthew's, the second Sunday of every month is designated as "Loose Plate Collection for Outreach". In addition to the usual plate offering, parishioners make donations to aid specific outreach programs that are pre-determined by the Vestry. In the past, loose plate collections have been used to help fund transplants, provide assistance with medical bills, and supplement programs to help the hungry and homeless in addition to other local and global ministries.