Our local mission program provides many amazing experiences, both for the volunteers and the recipients of our efforts. Most of the mission projects below are funded partially by fundraisers and donations in combination with the Mission and Outreach Budgeted Funds. Calvary supports a diverse list of local missions locally, affording congregation members the opportunity to personally experience the good work of local projects in the community. The congregation is encouraged to submit ideas for future mission projects. Participants agree that the great feeling attained by actual hand-on activities is a strong incentive for participation.
Back to School Bash (B2SB). The eighth Annual Back to School Bash was August 20, 2016 and each year Calvary plays a vital role on the steering committee in the planning, facilitation and execution by volunteers of this event the third Saturday of August each year. Churches, ICCAP, Salvation Army, organizations and individual volunteers cooperate to provide an enjoyable event where students identified by the B2SB Steering Committee receive a backpack stuffed with school supplies, free haircuts, door prizes and other free school-related merchandise, new and used clothing, lunch and entertainment. In August Calvary is “a buzz” with school supplies, volunteers and activities connected to B2SB. Calvary helps to recruit volunteers, host a games section, collect new socks and packaged snacks for the lunch tent.
Care and Outreach at Calvary Presbyterian Church. This fund, in a small way, helps individuals and families with a financial need. Calvary is a partner in Project Share, a committee and database representing assistance given by partner churches and organizations, making it more feasible to at times to cooperate with other churches and organizations to fulfill a larger need that could not be handled by just one church or organization. Requests for assistance must be documented by a form available in the church office.
Chevy Chase Community Center. Chevy Chase offers emergency help, employment assistance, drug and alcohol prevention programs, and meals for Indiana area families in need. Many volunteer opportunities exist for individuals within the community.
Church Crisis Committee (CCC). The CCC, composed of representatives of various Indiana County churches and ICCAP, assists Indiana County low income families with fuel oil purchases or utility bills. Each year the Mission and Outreach Committee budgets funds for the work of the CCC. This budgeted amount is matched with donations from the congregation or a fundraiser. Calvary was a major giver to the CCC Kitchen Fund.
Family Promise. Calvary is one of 25 churches who support the Family Promise Network of Indiana County. Calvary and Graystone Presbyterian Churches act as a partnership in hosting a homeless family or families four weeks per year as scheduled by the Family Promise Director. Hosting involves providing a cooked dinner, fellowship, sleepover and transportation (all by church volunteers). The premise of this national network is that good use of existing available space in churches, volunteers from the congregation for the above tasks, and donations of food and other needs provide the structure; the good hearts of volunteers provide the warmth, support and role modeling. The Day Center provides training and counseling opportunities for the parents while children are at school. This is a mission that is all about volunteering. Volunteer opportunities are available for the four weeks per year of hosting with our partner Graystone Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Kiskiminetas Presbytery Mission Support. Periodically, the Presbytery identifies a mission need and Calvary is always quick to respond, whether it is help needed with funding a mission or a need for volunteers. In the past, there have been projects benefiting inmates of SCI Pine Grove Prison around the Christmas holiday and there is always a need for Making Gift of the Heart Kits, which include baby kits, cleanup buckets, school kits or hygiene kits and for supporting presbytery mission trips to areas of the United States that are suffering due to natural disasters. Three Calvary members volunteered for a one-week September 2014 Mission/Work trips to Point Pleasant, NJ in both 2014 and 2015 to assist with the last of 1,800 homes damaged by 2012 Superstorm Sandy. It is hoped that more mission trips of this type will be planned in years to come. In cooperation with the Kiskiminetas Presbytery, six volunteers from Calvary traveled to New Windsor, MD, September 22-24, 2015, to volunteer in the Material Resources and SERRV Pricing and Quality Control at the Brethren Service Center. Then in 2016 twelve Calvary members traveled again to SERRV.
Meals on Wheels. Each year the Mission and Outreach Committee provides funds for Meals on Wheels with their mission of cooking and delivering meals to qualified senior citizens of Indiana County. Besides funding, the congregation donates other necessities for operating the program, such as canned goods, cleaning supplies and paper products. Many volunteer opportunities exist. Calvary recently joined in the effort to update the organization’s tri-fold brochure.
Pathway Homeless Shelter and Alice Paul House. Calvary pledges monetary support to both of these shelters annually toward operational expenses. Donations to Pathway are especially needed during the winter months to help with heating expenses.
Angels’ Wings. This festive hands-on project sponsored by the Indiana Gazette provides several families identified by the ICCAP each year a family Christmas celebration. Children under 18 in each adopted family receive at least five gifts and a Christmas stocking. Parents each receive a practical gift plus gift cards to pay for food to make a holiday dinner. Gifts are delivered to the Gazette distribution center two weeks before Christmas.
Souper Bowl Sunday. The Mission and Education Committees partner to collect funds for ICCAP on Souper Bowl Sunday, which usually is on the same Sunday as the actual Super Bowl. These Souper Bowls funds help to restock ICCAP’s food pantries throughout Indiana County. Children and teens collect cash donations in large soup pots as the congregation leaves the service on Souper Bowl Sunday.
Torrance State Hospital Indigent Patient Fund. This mission benefits Torrance patients who have no income. Of the 300 plus patients served, approximately one-third of these are indigent. The Indigent Patient Fund grants $40 per month per indigent patient as a cash stipend which helps them in purchasing personal items and incidentals. Volunteer opportunities are available at Torrance.
VNA Hospice. To encourage this service of coordination of care in the home, counseling and support for patient and family, pain and symptom control, spiritual counseling for patient and family, and volunteer companionship, bereavement program for families, an annual donation for budgeted mission funds is made.