The purpose of Community Outreach is to have a sustained impact on alleviating the plight of the destitute and poor, primarily through the provision of food and blankets/clothing.
This aligns well with our Parish mission which calls on us “… to know, love and serve God more, as disciples of Jesus Christ”. The Community Outreach committee strives to help with this mission by focusing your contributions on the poor.
Caring for the poor is enshrined in the Doctrine of the Church, which comes from Christ’s teaching to us as we see in scripture.
And Pope Francis continually reminded us of our responsibility for serving others, especially those who are the weakest in our society.
“We are … individually responsible for serving others, especially the weakest.”
NEW STRUCTURE FOR OUTREACH COMMITTEE
In the past there has been a small Outreach Committee doing outreach using a tithe from Parish funds. There were also several separate programmes, like the Bags of Love, Winter Warmers, etc that were run separately and relied on parishioner donations.
This has now been restructured to fall under one committee and you can see from the members that, apart from Fr. Robert and Deacon Mike, it includes representatives from the PPC, the Finance Committee and the old Outreach Committee. Thank you to all on the committee for their invaluable contributions. The committee meets quarterly with a smaller Disbursement Committee meeting more frequently to ensure we service the poor and needy as timeously as possible.
As mentioned, outreach is consolidated into one organisation under one single committee. We would like to bring awareness of what we are doing closer to you with regular feedback and involvement where possible from other parishioners.
- One Organisation
Community Outreach will handle all projects (including major campaigns previously run separately e.g. Winter Warmers and Bags of Love).
- Raise the level
Raise the level of community outreach by the parish and keep them informed of the impact their contributions are having.
- Touch those in need
Outreach projects, where possible, should be used to bring members of the parish closer to the needs of under-privileged communities.
- Reputable partners
Work with reputable partners, who we evaluate and monitor, to achieve goals where necessary – we don’t always have the expertise in all areas.
Our faith is the cornerstone in all that we set out to do. So, we set ourselves ethical principles to focus on as we strive to better help the poor and needy in a loving and empathetic manner whilst remaining accountable to you, the parishioners.
- Respect in all relationships
- Compassion and empathy
- Welcome and serve all with understanding and without judgement
- Justice – fair and impartial
- Stewardship in administration
- Accounting standards
3 BROAD FOCUS AREAS
There are three broad focus areas, namely:
- Hunger is real
- Clothing and Warmth
- Discretionary Outreach
Hunger is Real
Hunger is Real will be those campaigns where we receive cash and food donations. Thank you to everyone in the parish for the amazing effort to date to support the Hunger is Real campaign.
The funds and food from these campaigns is being used exclusively for hunger relief.
To date we have raised over R758k from the Hunger is Real campaign which has made a huge difference to 29 communities in the Cape. However, the situation of the poor in our surrounding areas remains dire and we want to continue with this campaign, particularly now with the 3rd wave of COVID infections, and the devastation and impact on jobs caused by the taxi violence. Every cent counts no matter how small or big the donation.
We have compiled a summary of the donations we have made to date from the Hunger is Real campaign, which is available on the website. You can see from this document the amazing difference you have made in these challenging times.
Bags of Love
This is an ongoing annual campaign now in its 18th year, run before Christmas. In 2020 we collected 600 bags of food (each bag feeds a family of 4 for a week).
Below are some visuals from letters of thanks from our latest Bags of Love campaign.
Clothing & Warmth
Clothing and warmth will be campaigns for clothing, blankets, etc, like the Winter Warmers campaign that Barry reported on recently.
Again, the funds and goods will be used exclusively for the purposes set out in the campaigns.
Thank you again from the Community Outreach Committee for your generousity with the Winter Warmers campaign. It is an annual campaign (in its sixth year) run just before the start of winter. The 2021 campaign provided support to 14 beneficiaries and collected/donated 100 bags of clothing and 1400 blankets.
The Discretionary Outreach funds are derived from any excess funds out of the Parish. First and foremost the Parish must ensure the costs of running the Parish are addressed. Surplus funds can then be used for Outreach. These funds will be used for projects that fall outside of the other two main categories and include a small fund for Fr. Robert to use for needy individual.
An example of Discretionary Outreach is the recent donation made to Nazareth House to help them with cooking equipment they sorely needed to cater for the needy they look after.
To ensure transparency and for good governance the diagram below shows how funds will flow.
We are in the process of setting up a separate bank account for Community Outreach which we will update you on later. In the interim please continue to use the Parish bank account indicating as always – Winter Warmers, Hunger, etc.
Hunger is Real funds will come directly from campaigns we run, and we will report back to you on how the donations are used.
Similarly Clothing and warmth will be separate campaigns and as we did for Winter Warmers, we will report back to you.
Discretionary Outreach will be topped up from surplus parish funds at the discretion of the Finance Council. We will support ad hoc projects that meet our Social Justice mission.
There will be a small fund for Father to use for emergency relief.
There will also be the option of applying these surplus parish funds to the other two categories.
Once again, a big thank you to everyone who has donated in the past and we hope, that as a community together, we can continue to make a difference.
Please feel free to send any questions or suggestions to Don Bowden via the Parish Office.
For more information contact:
Chair, Community Outreach Committee
via the Parish Office on 021 794 5185 or email@example.com
Constantia Catholic Church
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch Code: 025 309
Current Acc #: 07 169 8965
Reference: Please add sepcific project e.g. 'HUNGER'
Fr Robert Bissell – Ex Officio Parish Priest *
Mike Brooks – Ex Officio Deacon *
Don Bowden – Chair *
Rose Keanly – Vice Chair & Finance Council representative *
Barry Smith – Social Justice PPC Member
Karen Parkin - Marketing
* Disbursement Committee (DS)
Click here to watch the Community Outreach Introduction Video on our Parish YouTube Channel.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH OVERVIEW
Click here to download
HUNGER IS REAL REPORT - 30 JUNE 2021
Click here to download
In the words of St Teresa of Kolkata
“I cannot alone change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
This provided the inspiration for the Community Outreach logo – and we have seen that through your generousity, we can start ripples that will make a difference.