Outreach Circle Working Group
The Outreach Circle is one of the three main focus areas for congregational activity. We strive to work hard to improve the lives of others. Many people are active in community and global initiatives, often in conjunction with other churches and faiths. We also come together to serve and enhance the lives of those around us in the downtown core or in partnership with our neighbour Queen's University. At times fundraisers are held to benefit communities suffering from disaster, such as hurricanes, or to fund special programs, such as the First Nations Nutrition Project.
Chalmers Outreach Committee
Chalmers Outreach Committee also works to help support other local charities and the Queen’s University Kenya Health Outreach Project.
Mission and Service Fund
The work of the United Church of Canada across the country and around the world is funded by the Mission and Service (M&S) Fund which raised $26.3 million in 2015. Chalmers gave $50,312 to M&S. These funds provide for hospital and university chaplains, prepare and educate church leaders, provide inner city and rural mission support in Canada and funding to our partner churches and organizations around the world.
Chalmers Benevolent Fund
Thanks to generous donors, 100% of over $62,000 in funds has been directed towards supporting those people who come to Church House, on Tuesday mornings. Among those, are people who are marginalized and in need, or in crisis and they live right here in our community. Over 1,500 people have visited for assistance. This translates into over 5,000 interactions with people over the past eight years. Discouragingly, the need continues to increase. Over 60% of the people who come to Chalmers are on ODSP – Ontario Disability Support Program and cannot make ends meet. A single person could receive up to $1,128 monthly, of which $479 is designated for housing. The average rent for a one-bedroom in Kingston however, is $942. Those on OW or Ontario Works, about 23% of those who come to Chalmers, receive $706, forcing many to stay in shelters, since rental of a bachelor unit averages $694.*1
Assistance from the Chalmers Benevolent Program takes the form of providing $10 grocery gift card(s) to Metro or Food Basics and/or $1 meal ticket(s) to Martha’s Table.
When people come in for help, a conversation takes place to establish if there are other needs that the volunteer team can help with. We find help fulfill a gap between other available services in the area. Surprisingly people often hear about information and resources available to them in Kingston for the first time. We share what options there are, where people can go or what they can do, to receive further help. They are also provided with a “Where to Turn for Assistance in Kingston and Area” brochure and a list of free daily meals.
Chalmers recently carried out a survey with about 100 participants and discovered a need for laundry soap and toilet paper. In response some parishioners bring in small baggies of powdered soap for distribution and the Women of Chalmers are donating cases of toilet paper on a regular basis to the Benevolent Program. On the survey wish list, many people suggested the need for additional grocery cards, Giant Tiger gift cards (for underwear etc.), bus passes, assistance with dental care, and opportunities to work and give back.
We are proud of our team of compassionate volunteers and you, our donors and supporters, who help make Chalmers “The Good Neighbour Church”.
We can only hope that over time, our society will find more ways of helping low-income individuals and families attain adequate housing, food, and health and dental care.