2012 Friends Outside
The Moore family has organized and led this effort for our congregation the last few years. We are humbled and proud to help with this much appreciated effort again this year. All those who supported the program this year should be proud. Click to learn more about Friends Outside and the ministry to the incarcerated and their families.
2011 Friends Outside
We delivered to Friends Outside (FO) early today. Today and tomorrow are the delivery dates.
Becky, of Friends Outside was grateful and said they did see a drop in contributions this year. She didn't take a "wait list" this year because she didn't want to build up hope, but she is able to get support from Catholic Charities so the families will be ultimately helped. Catholic Charities is absorbing the personnel from FO and integrating them into their organization; I assume they are paid personnel. They want FO to retain its integrity (and donor base!)
There were a lot of volunteers there today. The man in the green jacket with the gray hair is a volunteer laying out a grid so they know where to stack boxes , all of which are coded. I never fail to be amazed by how smoothly Connie makes all our part happen. We spoke to Becky, and told her we might be able to respond better if we could get greater notice of the needs. Many contributors are companies who are able to see donors each day. We typically have only two or three Sundays until its time to deliver so our ability to collect is limited. Becky said they had a Staff meeting and discussed just that and are hoping to do something about it.
I think this outreach program especially speaks to the issue of "standing for the oppressed" precept of the UCC. These Mom, grannys and kids did nothing wrong, but they do have the stigma of having a criminal father, or mother. I doubt if many in the community have a lot of sympathy for them compared to widows and orphans of firefighters, policeman, soldiers etc. But they are innocent.
I love the spirit of a Quaker organization for relief of families of prisoners that is being managed by Catholic Charities and is being helped by a Congregational church! I also saw that Catholic Charities had a LOT of Indian food they were boxing for some families, so we may also have Hindu and Islamic folks needing help. I know FO of Santa Clara very quietly does a lot of interface work with the jails here, I think they screen the mail and packages for the jail, but I don't know for sure.
I would really like to see us make this a major project because it should be what we do as a Congregational Church. Becky told us they may be able to get us lists much earlier.
To contact the Caring and Inreach Ministry Co-directors please call: Connie Moore at 782-1272 or Lori Yang at 268-2802