Support for Local Missions
At our meeting on October 16th, the Local Mission Committee disbursed over $20,000 to help our neighbors in need and “the least” among us. Most of this money was drawn from the Virginia Cook Trust Fund; the rest came from our church’s Local Mission Outreach Fund.
Calmer Choice: $10,000. Calmer Choice is a privately run Cape Cod charity committed to teaching young people how to manage stress and resolve conflict. The course provides skills that lower the risk of violence, substance abuse, and other self-destructive behaviors. In this academic year, Calmer Choice will teach 4,600 students in 230 classrooms across the Cape. Studies by Yale, MIT, and Harvard are showing positive results, and recent surveys show overwhelming teacher support. Among many other supporters, Senator Dan Wolfe and Cape Cod Hospital pediatricians have strongly endorsed this program. Thanks to donations from this church, Calmer Choice has been working in the Orleans Elementary School for five years and will now begin to train one of the teachers there, so the program will become self-sustaining. We are also sponsoring Calmer Choice teaching in Nauset Middle School. Our grant will allow these programs to continue and will also fund a new project called Mindful Resilience Training for Health and Happiness for Teachers (MiRTH), a 16-hour program offered to all Nauset teachers, support staff, nurses, and guidance counselors. By understanding Calmer Choice strategies for coping with stress, teachers can reinforce what is being taught to their students and promote a culture of mindful awareness.
Masonic Angels Winter Coat Fund: $1500. The Masons preordered 300 winter coats last April at the Clothes Den in Dennis for $15 each to be delivered in October. Nurses, social workers, and councilors at Nauset, Brewster, and Eastham schools will distribute these coats to needy children on the Lower Cape. In the coldest part of our Cape Cod winter, members of this church should feel a glow from knowing that we have provided warm coats to local kids.
Lower Cape Outreach Council: $5000. Last spring we donated $3000 to a new HopeWorks program launched by LCOC to retrain local people with seasonal employment for full-time jobs. This money allowed four of their “clients” to complete a certificate program in insurance; all four are now working full time for local insurance firms. Our new donation will allow three people to attend a Medical Assistant Certificate Program at Cape Cod Tech, which would qualify them for jobs in physicians’ offices, hospitals, clinics, and dialysis labs. All in all, HopeWorks has had 26 clients in six months; eight of them have found full-time employment so far. This seems like a very promising beginning.
Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Islands: $2500. Elder Services provides one-time-only assistance to seniors who have a compelling need for goods or services they cannot afford. These donations are generally limited to $250 each. They might provide an air conditioner for an elderly person with asthma or a wig for one who is undergoing chemotherapy or a hospital bed to an invalid. They will use our money to expand and support this Community Outreach program for elders in the eight towns of the Lower and Outer Cape.
Meetinghouse Preschool: $500. This money is for food cards to buy healthy snacks for the children and to give to the parents of the neediest.
Orleans Food Pantry: $300. The need here is always great, especially at this time of year and after the holiday season gifts have been given out.
As always, we urge any of you who know of worthwhile local charities to let us know if they need support. And please think about serving on the Local Mission Committee. We could use your insights.