"Lift up and stretch out your hands, not to heaven, but to the poor; for
if you stretch forth your hands to the poor, you have reached the summit
of heaven, but if you lift up your hands in prayer without sharing with
the poor, it is worth nothing." St. John Chrysostom
For more information or to get involved,
contact our amazing Facilitator Peter Kaprielyan at
Pictures of the 200+ turkey dinners that were prepared, plus side
For Those in Need (FTIN) is an outreach program supported by
gifts of all sizes from individuals from the St. Luke’s
community. Throughout the history of our church, members
of St. Luke’s, including the youth groups, the Women’s Auxiliary
(Philoptochos), and others have supported various community
programs. The goal of the FTIN Program is to provide
expanded support as well as to complement existing programs that
support the diverse needs of the community.
The FTIN Program was inspired, in part, by the efforts of the
youngest members of our church (JOY and HOPE), their parents and
friends who started preparing luncheon meals on a periodic basis
for the local homeless and those in need. With the blessing of
the priest, it was formalized in early 2000 through the creation
of a Steering Committee and By-Laws, and thanks to the generous
support of individual parishioners, the FTIN Program created a
monthly meal preparation program and began to seek projects
worthy of support. There are approximately ten active
members who comprise the Steering Committee.
Through the guidance of the By-Laws and the support of funding
on behalf of the community, the primary focus of the FTIN
Program is to assist those in the contiguous five-county region
who are in need by purchasing and/or reimbursing purchases for
food, supplies, clothing and shelter.
Although emphasis is made to help those programs which support
larger groups of people in need, requests made on behalf of
specific individuals are considered and supported. In
addition, the Parish Priest is provided with the authority to
provide support on behalf of the FTIN in cases where there are
parishioners or others who may need assistance.
All support to individuals is provided in confidence and
sometimes on an anonymous basis. Identification of
individuals and causes for support are encouraged from the
Since 2000, the FTIN Program has provided the following support
Homeless Rehabilitation Center
Utilizing the church kitchen facilities and the support of
volunteer parishioners, the FTIN conducts once a month meal
preparation for 200 clients of a homeless rehabilitation center.
The food cost of each meal is $250 - $500. Each meal
usually consists of a well-balanced menu, including soup, a main
entrée with a vegetable and dessert. Members of GOYA also have
helped with the meal preparation. In addition, the FTIN Steering
Committee has prepared a meal on-site at the center, and has
sponsored collection drives for blankets, clothing and various
personal care needs for the center. School supplies for
children also were purchased.
Interfaith Coalition of Food Centers
FTIN provides food, supplies and funds for the purchase of food
for an interfaith food bank program that helps to feed more than
3,500 individuals every month.
Housing Authority Support
Every year, Christmas gifts are purchased for more than 200
children in a local low-income housing authority. Members
of GOYA participate by wrapping the presents.
Domestic Abuse Program
Mass transit tokens were provided for clients of a local
domestic abuse program to provide transportation to and from the
shelter during their crisis until permanent housing could be
found. In addition, camera film was provided when
documentation of abuse was needed. Pillows, blankets
and sleepwear also were provided to help the center to create an
environment as close to home as possible. Gift
certificates for food were provided.
Domestic Violence Center
Clothing was purchased for clients of a different domestic
violence center who are forced to leave their homes at the time
of a crisis.
The cost of several campers have been paid for Camp Dreamcatcher,
a local summer camp for children ages 5 – 13 who have AIDS or
live with someone who has AIDS. In addition, clothing and
supplies for the campers have been purchased, as some arrive at
camp without additional clothes.
Low Vision Program: A grant to local Blind/Sight Center
was provided to purchase a device to help vision-impaired
residents achieve a productive and independent existence.
Salvation Army: Christmas gifts are purchased from a wish
list for 10 – 15 client families of a local Salvation Army
center each year. Gift certificates for food are provided
for their Christmas meal. To help avoid eviction, a rent
payment was made for a cook of the Salvation Army who was in a
job transition. Camp fees for three children were paid so
they could attend the Salvation Army summer camp.
CityTeam Ministries: Funding was provided for clothing
and food for an inner-city shelter and rehabilitation center.
Habitat for Humanity
The Steering Committee worked as part of a Habitat for Humanity
team on the rehabilitation of an inner-city home, performing
tasks such as breaking concrete for new sidewalks, sealing
basement walls with cement, and fixing walls with bricks and
Miscellaneous Individual and Family Support
Several families were provided with gift certificates to
purchase clothing and other items needed during the winter.
In one case, a mortgage payment was made for a needy family.
In another case, support was provided for a young family whose
father was killed in a car accident and had no insurance.
Support for medical expenses was provided for a young man
paralyzed in a car accident. Six months of car payments
were made for a single mother who had to stop working to
transport her infant who was born without arms or legs to a
children’s hospital for care. Assistance was provided for
a family whose father had a serious illness. Travel
expenses were supported for a spiritual at-risk youth to attend
a religious conference. Counseling was paid for a troubled
youth whose family was unable to afford care. Supermarket
vouchers have been provided for many families.
The For Those In Need Program is fortunate to carry out its
mission through the generosity of many individuals who strongly
believe in supporting those who truly require assistance.
The Steering Committee takes its commitment very seriously as
every effort is made to verify need. We continue to seek
to make a difference in the lives of others in whatever way
possible and welcome suggestions for support.
Facilitator, For Those In Need Steering Committee