This Easter, we are praying for learning about, and financially supporting our Easter offering recipients Backpack Buddies, Episcopal Relief and Development, Grace to Go, and The Highland Education Project
Backpack Buddies (BPB) connects our resources, congregation, and community to provides more than 1,200 bags of food each week to the one in six Loudoun County school children who are food-insecure, meaning they have limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food. St. James’ Church helps to meet the nutritional needs of 250 food-insecure children at Evergreen Mill and Frances Hazel Reid Elementary Schools. On weekends, every child receives six meals so students are not distracted from learning due to hunger.
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) partners with Episcopal dioceses for the long-term as they work with the underserved in their communities, helping them to make full and sustained recovery. South Sudan and Sudan remain torn by political instability; millions of people have fled or have been internally displaced within the country. ERD assists with refugee resettlement, and serves some of the 4.9 million in urgent need of food, nutrition and agriculture assistance. In the U.S., ERD provided assistance to victims of the catastrophic flooding in Louisiana last fall. Following Hurricane Matthew, ERD supported disaster response in Haiti and the U.S. last October.
Grace to Go (G2G) provides approximately 200 nutritious meals to the many members of our civic community who are food-insecure. Volunteers assemble and cook meals at Deli South on Sunday afternoons from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. The meals are then distributed on a first-come, first-served basis each Monday at 5:00 pm in the St. James’ parking lot to anyone who is hungry. Started by St. James’ in 2009, the ministry now involves St. David’s Episcopal Church in Ashburn, Leesburg Evening Rotary and Daybreak Rotary, Leesburg Presbyterian Church, and the Knights of Columbus.
The Highland Education Project (HEP), a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, serves residents in one of the poorest regions in the U.S., just six hours from Leesburg. HEP’s programs include distributing donated clothing year-round, assisting with home repair and maintenance, and help with medical costs and heating bills. Started as an educational ministry in 1940, HEP has evolved into an outreach agency; HEP’s Premier Learning Center, assists many people in Welch and surrounding communities.