Assisting Children and Families in Kingston

Helen Tufts Child Outreach Program

The Helen Tufts Child Outreach Program has been redesigned as a three-way partnership between Frontier College, Sydenham Street United Church and First Baptist congregations. The HTCOP is a program which transports children aged 6-12 to the two church buildings where they meet one on one with their Queen’s student tutor/mentors on one of Monday or Thursday evenings. The purpose is to assist children from disadvantaged families to develop reading, numeracy and social skills.

The program continues to be supported financially by grants from Queen’s AMS (~$ 5500) donations through the two congregations (including a one-time-only $2000 from a parent of a Queen’s student through SSUC) and by in kind gifts of space, organizational support (program coordination, bill paying, obtaining police checks, transport, weekly attendance calls, family visiting) from both congregations. Queen’s students continue to volunteer for the program and to raise funds to support it – these students are committed and without them the program would end. Read more ...

Food Voucher Program

Each Tuesday morning, except in July and August, a team of empathetic listeners meets with people living in poverty. They hear their stories, offer them coffee, and dispense food vouchers. Participating grocery stores accept the vouchers as cash, and then send the tapes to us for reimbursement. The value of the vouchers varies according to need, but ranges from $25 to $40. We have 30-40 regular clients who may receive a voucher once a month. We also have one-time-only clients (often single men) who receive a $25 emergency voucher, but only once each year.

This outreach program of the congregation has operated for many years and is well known among the needy in Kingston. It has been featured in both annual reports of the Kingston food providers network. The program is funded by: your contributions to the Benevolent Fund at Communion offerings; by regular givings; and by special fund-raisers such as soup lunches and the Vimy Band Concert. Excess monies raised for the Christmas Baskets, including some funds from last year’s shared Christmas Basket program donated by Princess St United people, are left with the Benevolent Fund for the voucher program. The funds are maintained outside our congregational budget and balances are carried over from one year to the next.

Christmas Baskets

Through special communion offerings and regular donors, we collected $21,800 for the Benevolent Fund and Christmas Basket programs. In 2015, we received enough food and money donations to provide a Christmas dinner for 44 families.

Packing the BasketsPacking
            the Baskets

Community Garden @Sydenham Street

This is a partnership involving students in Queens Development Studies & Members of Sydenham Street United Church.

Get the whole story here.

Self-Help Groups

We have, for years, opened our church spaces for community use by self-help groups like AA and Al-Anon, groups working to restore health to people and families facing issues of addiction. The congregation’s support of the general fund makes it possible to continue to offer the use of this building for outreach and social justice causes.

Assisting in the World-wide Work of the Church

The Mission and Service Fund of the United Church of Canada

M&S LogoIn 2015 Sydenham Street United Church contributed $51,300 to the Mission and Service Fund (M&S) of the United Church of Canada up from $49,400 in 2014. About 45% of contributors to the congregation give to the M&S fund. With these monies our international partner churches are able to respond to crises. But more than that, they continue with the day to day support for projects in Africa, the middle East, Asia and the Caribbean. M&S money also goes to community chaplains and Indigenous justice work here in Canada.  More information is available at at the M&S web site.

Working with Others to Promote Social Justice at Home and Abroad

Participation in Anti-poverty and Health Oriented Groups

Members of the committee liaise and work with other groups including: Social Interest Network Group; Food Providers Network Group;  Loving Spoonful,  Kingston Community Health Centres  Harvest Committee and Grow a Row; the Sisters of Providence; St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies) Capital Campaign; and the Kingston Faith and Justice Coalition.

The Kingston Food Providers recently published a report to bring attention to the issue of food access and food insecurity in Kingston and plan to provide such a report annually. See their latest report.

Support and Advocacy for Social Justice

We encourage others use of our building for outreach and social justice causes such as the Save the Prison Farms Concert; cooking classes in partnership with the Health Unit; AA meetings and interviews for Kingston’s Social Audit.  We ask governments to reduce the inequalities experienced by those in poverty.  We identify and invite special Sunday speakers to increase awareness of Outreach and Social Justice issues.