Providing Clothing, Food, Fellowship & More for the Homeless
St. John’s is an enthusiastic supporter of the Midnight Run, an outreach organization which provides support to unhoused men and a growing number of women living on the streets of Manhattan. Each Run provides bagged lunches, hot food and drink, clothing including socks and underwear and toiletries. During our winter run we also provide winter items and blankets.
An important element of this ministry is fellowship with the people we meet—as rewarding to our volunteers as it is needed by the marginalized community on the streets. That human exchange, rather than the exchange of goods, is actually the essence of the Midnight Run mission.
St. John’s 2013 Easter Appeal raised over $20,000 in donations parishioners to provide for a year the administration costs of a Midnight Run program that supports job-hunting for New York’s homeless and other people in need. We also collected countless dress shirts, ties and suits for this program.
There are many ways to support this ministry and opportunities for all ages to participate ranging from picking up or returning the Midnight Run van to Dobbs Ferry, making the lunches or hot food (often soup), sorting and packing the many donated items, going on the Run (14 year-olds and above) and clearing the undercroft at the end of the Run. We are also dependent on the many donations of lightly used clothing and personal care items as well as new socks and underwear. Several times a year we are also asked to supplement the Runs of other Sound Shore houses with bagged lunches.
Our Runs are traditionally on the second or third Friday of January and June. If we have the interest, goods and volunteers, we may do a third Run—often Labor Day weekend. As we approach our next Run, there will be announcements in the bulletins and weekly e-news including a link to our current “Wish List” and the Signup Genius.
Nancy and Melissa Pierson are the current co-leads at St John’s. They are passionate about this ministry and always happy to talk more about it.