From its beginning days, St. James Parish has been a caring community, people helping people, and that caring has continued to grow as the parish continues to grow.
The Social Outreach Committee provides opportunities for parishioners to put into action the Corporal Works of Mercy. Various activities allow you to give either one hour of your time or several days on a periodic basis.
The Social Outreach Coordinator is Laura Stricker.
Monthly, Friday evening food distribution and prayer/reflection session for needy families. The program includes a Christmas family celebration of the Nativity in December. Adults and middle school, and older, children help sort and pack food. We are in need of Spanish speaking individuals to make phone calls and/or help register families at each food distribution.We also have a need for an alternate driver with a large vehicle to pick up groceries from the Safeway just prior to distribution on first Fridays. For more information on the food distribution program, please contact Amy Steinbicker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christ House Ministry
As part of the diocesan ministry that provides temporary housing to the homeless and a free evening meal to those in need, St. James provides and serves a complete dinner to men, women and children on the second Wednesday of each month at Christ House in Alexandria. Volunteers are needed to cook and /or serve. This is an opportunity for parish groups to directly participate in serving those in need. Individuals are also welcome. Contact:
Liz Goodson, 703-532-8407.
Falls Church Homless Shelter
St. James parishioners provide support for the winter emergency shelter. In addition to monetary support parishioners donate food, paper supplies and meals and also work a six-hour shift as monitors. Members of St. James serve on the Shelter Board. The Shelter is open from November 15 through March 31. We are in particular need of a) volunteers to prepare meals for 14 individuals on a periodic basis; b) individuals to donate paper supplies and food for the pantry. For more information on how you can help, contact Ron Brousseau at 703-963-0501 or Barbara Hannigan at 703-599-5541. For more information on the Falls Church Homeless Shelter.
Senior Citizens Center Party
Annually St. James parishioners provide lunch and entertainment for the senior citizens in the Falls Church area. Generally this activity takes place in March. Contact: Mary Ann Parker, 703-241-9128.
Falls Church Children's Center
Parishioners contribute to the needs of the children at a local day care center through an annual collection. Children at the day care are from needy families. Contact: Pat Sober, 703-573-3432 or Lori Lisiecki, 703-532-5357.
Annually, St. James has a food and monetary collection in support of The Falls Church Community Service Council, Inc. (FCS). FCS established in 1969, is a coalition of churches and human service organizations in the greater Falls Church area. St. James Parish is a founding member
The purpose of the FCS organization is to provide needed human services to poor and disadvantaged individuals and families in the Falls Church community. The assistance primarily is for short term and emergency needs with the overall mission of helping individuals and families achieve self sufficiency, an improved quality of life and avoid homelessness.
Parish families are invited to adopt less fortunate families for Christmas by providing meals, clothing and gifts. Names of families in need are provided by social service agencies and by parish network. Contact: Mary Ann Parker, 703-241-9128.
Wrapped/labeled gifts (new gloves, mittens, scarves, socks, sweatshirts, etc) are collected at church exists throughout the Advent Season. These gifts are distributed to several local shelters and soup kitchens. Also personal care items (shampoo, soap, deodorant, combs, etc) are collected. Contact: Susan Jackson, 703-533-3482.
Gifts for Local Day Care
Parish school students and religious education students provide books and clothing gifts to a local, needy preschool day care center. Contact: Caroline Sparks, 703-237-2074.
Alternative Gift Program
Two gifts for the price of one. In return for your donation to the St. James Social Outreach Committee in the name of someone on your Christmas list, you will receive a card to give as a gift. Donations are used to care for the needy in the Falls Church area. Contact: Vicky Schoenberger, 703-532-7783.
Food for Others
During Lent, food collected at the doors of the Church is given to two food banks in the Falls Church area. One of these is Food for Others, located on Gallows Road. Food for Others provides food to charitable organizations to restock their food pantries; it provides food for families referred by churches, the county and other organizations; and it also runs a daily food distribution outreach program to the community. Volunteers are needed for numerous activities including collecting food from local stores, sorting and packing food at the food bank or delivering food to local families. If you are home during the day and are looking for a volunteer activity, call Food for Others at 703-207-9173. Teenagers are also welcome to volunteer after school or during summer vacation.
On the second Wednesday of each month, a distinct volunteer group from St. James prepares and/or serves a dinner at Christ House, the Diocesan soup kitchen in Alexandria. This is a unique hands-on-experience to directly help those in need. It is an opportunity for families with middle school through high school students to work together. This is also a great project for Scouts. If you would like to help with this parish effort, either in donating food or desserts, cooking the meal at Christ House and/or serving the meal at Christ House, please contact Liz Goodson at 703-532-8407. We are in need of volunteer groups or individuals.
Non-perishable foods may be left at the doors of the Church before weekend Masses throughout Lent. This food will help restock Food for Others and the Falls Church Community Service Council (FCS) Food Banks as well as contribute towards our own food distribution.
Falls Church Community Service Council
St. James is a founding member of the Falls Church Community Service Council (FCS). FCS maintains a food pantry at Knox Presbyterian Church which provides non-perishable and fresh food to families in need. Volunteer staff at the food pantry deliver food to families six days a week – Monday through Saturday. Food donations come from member congregations, individuals and local food drives. Additional critical food is purchased when needed as funds are available. Volunteers bag and deliver a week's supply of food to needy clients. Food collected during Lent will be delivered to FCS in addition to Food for Others. If you would like to volunteer with FCS either in their food bank or in delivering food to those in need call 703-237-2562.
FCS is also the umbrella organization for the Meals on Wheels program for the Falls Church area. As a member, St. James Meals on Wheels teams cover the second and fourth Friday of each month and the 3rd Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. – 1:00pm. If you would like to join one of St. James' teams contact John Vrablik at 703-533-2135.
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