Volunteers Packing Food

Outreach

 

The Outreach Ministry sends God's love out into the community and the world. The ministry is comprised of several community programs that are supported by A&HT. For any questions or for more information about a particular program, please contact the outreach member in charge of that program.

 

Community Programs

Valley Interfaith Community Resource Center, 420 Wyoming Avenue, Lockland
A&HT is a founding supporter of this ministry, which has grown into a lifeline for 12 zip codes in the Mill Creek Valley. It provides food, household essentials, and emergency assistance, connecting people to essential social services and the skills and mutual support to build the futures they want. Current volunteer roles are limited for safety reasons, but absolutely vital. Contact Melissa Monich at monich.melissa@gmail.com for more information.
 
Tikkun Farm, 7941 Elizabeth Street, Mt. Healthy
A thriving hub where people of all backgrounds from urban teens to Bhutanese refugees come together to garden, prepare food, and grow in physical and emotional wholeness. Many roles available from planning logistics to chopping ingredients at home for community crockpot meals. Contact Robyn Gibboney at robyn.gibboney@gmail.com for more information.

Habitat for Humanity + HOPE Coalition
The Episcopal team of Habitat of Greater Cincinnati, will welcome A&HT volunteers for a new build this summer at 1803 Baymiller Street near Findlay Market in the West End. To get in shape, sign up for Rock the Block on April 10 to work in small, socially distanced groups on projects throughout Greater Cincinnati. Click here to volunteer at a work site. Email Christina Brandewie at cabbrandewie@gmail.com if you can help organize and deliver lunches to volunteers.
 
Heartfelt Tidbits
Heartfelt Tidbits is an extraordinary network of volunteers inspired by Wyoming resident Sheryl Rajbhandari to welcome immigrant families to Greater Cincinnati and help them navigate a new culture, language, schools, jobs, and friendships. COVID-safe volunteer opportunities include Virtual Buddies (weekly conversations with a school child), tutoring adults in English, or helping people prepare for their citizenship exams. Sign up here.
 
Matthew 25 Ministries
M25M is our major way of supporting Sustainable Development Goals projects abroad. It is a logistical miracle, and a joy to be part of it. A&HT’s volunteer day is the third Wednesday of the month. Learn more about volunteering and the COVID safety protocols, including the need to pre-register. Contact Mary Melville at marymmelville@gmail.com for more information.
 
St. Paul Village
St. Paul Village is one of Episcopal Retirement Services’ affordable senior housing communities, and our parish volunteers have a monthly commitment of serving lunch, organizing games or entertainment, and conversing with the residents. Volunteers sometimes also serve at monthly parties for residents which can include bingo and hilarious contests, or special event parties such as a Halloween Costume Party or a “Senior” Prom. St. Paul Village is in Madisonville and Wyoming parishioners usually carpool there. Contact Noel Horne at anghorne@aol.com or Kathy Kessler at kak318@aol.com for more information.
 
Mill Creek Valley: ACTS
As one of four Episcopal congregations near the Mill Creek, we are teaming up with Lincoln Heights parents to document the environmental dangers (lead dust, toxic sound) created by 300 days a year of gunfire on the Cincinnati Police Firing Range as the stakeholder municipalities continue negotiations to implement their commitment to relocate it. We’ll keep you posted on opportunities to learn and help build safe and healthy ground. Contact Ariel Miller at arielmillerwriter@gmail.com for more information.

 

Current Outreach Events

Maple Knoll: Holy Eucharist

First Thursdays of the Month
4:00 pm
Maple Knoll Village [11100 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45246]

Fr. Eric will be celebrating Holy Eucharist in the Maple Knoll Village Chapel at 4:00 pm on the first Thursday of each monthAll are welcome because all belong!

St. Paul Village

Volunteer Opportunities with Low-Income Seniors

Since 2013, we at A&HT have provided volunteer support for the mission of Episcopal Retirement Services in creating an enriched quality of life for the low-income senior residents at St. Paul Village in Madisonville. Our normal monthly commitment is serving lunch, organizing games or entertainment, and conversing with the residents. Sometimes we are called upon to assist with special events such as a Halloween Costume Party or a “Senior” Prom. COVID-19 disrupted this volunteer ministry following our early March 2020 visit.

Happily, St. Paul Village is opening up for visitors again and so, we are renewing our monthly volunteer-support commitment. Generally, our stint at St. Paul Village runs from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm, and we carpool from A&HT for those volunteers who find this convenient. In advance of each monthly commitment, once we learn the planned activity and how many volunteers are needed, we poll our established list of volunteers to see who is available.

More volunteers are always welcome. If you would like to be a part of this ministry, or if you would like more information, please contact Noel Horne [anghorne@aol.com] or Kathy Kessler [kak318@aol.com].

 
drum circle 1 July 22.jpeg

ACTS Peace Leaders Camp

by Ariel Miller

The ACTS Peace Leaders camp concluded with joyful energy on the Friday, July 22, 2022 closing ceremony. The Lincoln Heights middle school students are now equipped, commissioned, and blessed to serve as peer mediators in their school and community. 38 children practiced conflict resolution skills during the week-long camp hosted by Christ Church Glendale. They were guided by peer mediation trainers Bob Kelly and Cheryl Edmondson from the Center for Socio-Emotional Learning (CSEL), teacher Amber Harris-Reed, and seven dedicated counselors from Lincoln Heights.
 
Rev. Mike Pearl, Director of St. Monica’s Recreation Center in Lincoln Heights, gave the students a rousing call to action on the first day, telling them they had been chosen for their leadership potential. He told them that they will literally save lives in a community struggling with violence and intimidation.
 
By week’s end, 26 students signed contracts committing to serve as peer mediators. The ACTS congregations – St. Simon of Cyrene, the Sisters of the Transfiguration, Christ Church Glendale, and Ascension and Holy Trinity – will be meeting in August with CSEL staff to brainstorm the next steps in creating a youth group at St. Monica’s to aid the young mediators to compare notes on their work and continue to develop their skills.
 
Through the great ideas of ACTS leaders including Mike Pearl, St. Simon’s Senior Warden LaVerne Mitchell, and St. Simon’s Pastor Mary Laymon, students dived enthusiastically into many other activities that reinforced their sense of vocation and teamwork. These included daily yoga class taught by Tiffany West, drum circles led by Warren Foster and LaVerne Mitchell of St. Simon’s, and arts workshops in drama (led by the incandescent Amber Harris-Reed), creative writing (poet and rapper Randall Daniels), and art (led by Chris Drye, who has known many of these students since they were little and was moved to tears as he celebrated their graduation). 
 
Throughout the week, the enthusiastic welcome and hospitality of Christ Church Glendale and the courtesy of the students created new friendships that will carry over into the Princeton City School District. Middle School Principal Dr. David Mackzum spoke warmly to the students during a workshop and came back for the closing ceremony on Friday. Christ Church’s rector David Pfaff and Peace Camp champions Penny Young, Mike Eck, and Mother Cameron O’Reilly will reinforce Mike Pearl’s advocacy with District leadership. This is important because socio-emotional learning - the skill set essential to nonviolent resolution of conflicts - has become a lightening rod, unfortunately, in the current controversies roiling U.S. school boards. 
 
The children are so fortunate to have the passionate support of the counselors recruited by Mike Pearl and LaVerne Mitchell: Karen Hingston, Theresa Pierson, Jeannie Stinson, Rodney Townsend, and Kay Wallers. It was also great to see the empathy and leadership of the two high school students who served as junior counselors: David Gearing and Olivia Young.
 
Mary Knight of the Sisters’ Food for the Soul ministry contributed fantastic lunches every day, served by Don Sanchez of St. Simon’s and Mike Eck. A&HT parishioners Melissa Monich, Rebecca Surendorff, Carol Gómez, and Dixie Koenemann provided carry-out breakfasts as the students boarded the bus each day at St. Monica’s. Beth Zwilling organized a great health care team including Drs. Huxley Miller of A&HT and Chip Carson of Church of the Advent, and TriHealth pharmacist Luke Markham. Somebody needed care, reassurance, and a quiet time out in the medical room every day. Deborah Holloway of St. Simon’s kept track of attendance each day and everyone got home safely!
 
Incredibly resourceful Christ Church outreach member Penny Young, Caprice Warren of the Christ Church staff and many volunteers contributed scores of hours to keep activities running beautifully. Thanks to A&HT Administrator Amy Winegardner for designing the beautiful invitation to the closing ceremony, and to Christy Murphy of A&HT and Bea Dorris and Mary Beatty of St. Simon’s for bringing delicious homemade cookies.
 
We are so grateful to the William Cooper Procter Fund and the Diocese’s Creation Care and Environmental Justice Task Force for grants making the camp possible, plus generous financial and in-kind contributions from the ACTS churches, particularly Christ Church in preparing and sharing their campus for multiple kinds of learning and artistic expression (a huge job) and the Sisters through the planning and recruiting work of St. Monica’s staff and Food for the Soul. These contributions were ESSENTIAL to the fact that Camp could take place and that so many children enthusiastically attended.
 
To God be the glory in bringing us all together to start the work. As CSEL’s Cheryl Edmonson and the campers reminded us every day: God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!

 
Valley Interfaith Van Blessing 1.jpg

Valley Interfaith Refrigerated Van

The Van was Blessed & Added to the Fleet!

WHERE THE STORY BEGAN


For four years it's been a dream to add a refrigerated van to the food rescue ability for Valley Interfaith. Grants were written and denied, and in the first two years, our budget and management processes were such that we could not find space and freedom to be assured our basic services were safe.


With the onset of COVID and a revitalized Finance Committee building a stronger foundation for Valley Interfaith; the effort to push the 'dream' for a van was brought to the forefront by John Keuffer, Executive Director.


After a series of email blasts about the idea, two people stepped forward with the crazy idea to champion the effort to raise the funds and make this happen. Those two people were Ariel Miller and Melissa Monich. Both are servants in the cause at Ascension & Holy Trinity. They asked John to present and they had an anonymous donor who was willing to kick off the effort with a $5,000 challenge.


With that lead-off - the group quickly raised over $54,000 and the dream became reality. Ariel and Melissa reached out to all of the faith-based congregations in our area and sought their involvement and support. They were the frontline drivers of this effort and without them and their efforts, this may still be a dream. As it's been said, it's not the leader who makes change, it's the first followers.