Outreach

The Outreach Council oversees ongoing and short-term programs helping where needed locally, nationally, and worldwide.  We make financial disbursements to operate the Outreach programs, and we respond to other requests for financial support from a wide variety of organizations. We also oversee the disbursement of the parish funds for the International Sustainable Development Goals.  

Each year we re-evaluate what we are doing and consider new ideas to give more people an opportunity to participate.  All parishioners are invited and encouraged to join the Council as we make decisions in these areas.

 Some of our regular opportunities include:

VOLUNTEER MINISTRY CENTER (VMC)

St. Elizabeth’s works in conjunction with the VMC to assist the homeless, mentally ill, and working poor citizens of Knoxville toward a more stable and productive life. Financial support is given, and team members are needed once per month to prepare, transport and serve lunch at the VMC. 

FISH FOOD PANTRIES

St. Elizabeth’s works in conjunction with the West Knox FISH Pantry throughout the year to provide food to families in need.  St. Elizabeth’s takes calls and delivers food on the second Wednesday of each month. Once a year, we stock the food in the pantry which is used by many congregations. We support FISH financially and also supply essential, non-food items.  

ANGEL TREE

The St. Elizabeth Angel Tree assists several families each year with gifts, household supplies and a food gift certificate.  While many Angel Trees only serve children ages 12 and under, we serve all family members. Half the families are from Vine Middle School, and the other families are from Homeward Bound at Community Action Committee, a homeless and homeless prevention program. A commitment to this ministry involves time from early November through mid-December.  Jobs include: making tree gift tags, setting up the tree, making and maintaining the gift chart, keeping track of the process, wrapping parent gifts, organizing family gifts, purchasing household supplies and gift certificates, purchasing any gifts not fulfilled by parishioners, and delivering gifts to social service sites for families to pick up.  We also offer Christmas treats to homeless teens and VMC participants.

FAMILY PROMISE

St. Elizabeth’s works in conjunction with Family Promise and First Farragut Methodist to keep homeless and low-income families together and out of shelters as they work to achieve sustainable independence.  We offer assistance for one day per quarter.  Individuals are needed to make supper for the families, plan entertainment, help with homework, and function as overnight hosts.

GIFT OF THE MONTH

All members of the St. Elizabeth’s family can easily and inexpensively assist many organizations in our community when they donate needed items through the Gift of The Month program.  Each month’s designated items are listed in the Crossties newsletter and weekly bulletin; parishioners purchase the items and leave them in the “Care Basket.”  A volunteer is needed to keep the area around the Basket organized and neat.  In some months, individuals are needed to help deliver items.

PLATE OFFERING

Each week the cash funds in our offering plate are given to a different organization.   This gives us 52 opportunities to help with a wide variety of social services locally, nationally and internationally.  You will find the details of each organization in our weekly emails and bulletins.

THE BOUNTIFUL FIBERS GUILD, THE TIES THAT BIND

St. Elizabeth’s members offer handmade happiness with a variety of needlecraft projects.  You can knit or crochet hats, scarves and baby blankets for homeless and low-income individuals.  You can make prayer shawls for parishioners who have health or other crises.  You can make “magic pillowcases” for patients at Children’s Hospital.   Yarn and fabric are available for you. We also have people who will teach the skills needed for these crafts.

This picture was taken from Children’s Hospital of one of the pillowcases donated when members of the Lady Vols basketball team visited kids at the hospital.  

Learning to Sew for the Children’s Hospital Pillowcase project

Five young women learned and practiced sewing skills on Saturday while making pillowcases for patients at Children’s Hospital.  If you have ever worked with Bernadette Renfro, you know she pours her whole heart into what she is doing.  She had this class planned in a way that made learning fun and easy.  I don’t know how many times she has hauled her sewing machine to church to teach us how to make these, but I know it has been several.  This project has taken hold at St. E. and beyond.  Many of us are having fun with the Magic Pillowcase pattern, and we are making a hospital room more cheerful at the same time.  This is an ongoing project. Let Bernadette know if you would like to participate or want more info.  Fabric is available.

OUTREACH GARDEN

Our vegetable garden group members grow fresh produce for distribution to west Knoxville food pantries.  Opportunities exist for volunteers to become involved in planting, watering, mulching, harvesting and distributing the produce.  A green thumb is optional.

GREENWAY TRAIL CLEANUP

Once a quarter, we assist the City of Farragut in cleaning about a mile of the walking trail beginning in Village Green, going behind Farragut Primary School and traveling a short distance on the other side of Grigsby Chapel Road.  It is a delightful walk as you use gloves and grabber sticks to pick up garbage.  Suitable for kids and adults.

RACE RELATIONS

To purposefully develop a better understanding of the different ethnicities in our country. We are currently working with Vine Middle School which serves a diverse, inner-city, low-income population.   St. E’s assists with school supplies, student personal needs, teacher appreciation and tutoring.   

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