Outreach at St. Dunstan’s

St. Dunstan parishioners work diligently to improve circumstances for people in need.   We direct our efforts to the homeless, the hungry, those facing difficult personal and economic transitions, and those with diminished educational opportunity because of poverty.  We also work across borders with support for a school in Haiti where educational resources are very few.

Nancy’s Project

Locally, St. Dunstan’s parishioners are active in Nancy’s Project, founded by a parishioner, to capture good surplus food from grocers that would otherwise be discarded.  Nancy’s Project is dedicated to reducing food insecurity in Monterey County, where 35% of low-income households are food insecure.  Six days per week, 52 weeks a year, Nancy’s Project volunteers collect groceries from Safeway and Trader Joe’s in the morning and distribute them that afternoon in communities around the county.  The recipients are mainly farm labor families who grow much of our food but often don’t have the resources to purchase it.  Three quarters of the people we assist through Nancy’s Project are children.  Nancy’s Project also receives donations of household goods and clothing; community volunteers see that it goes to these families as well.

St. Andre’s Episcopal School in Hinche, Haiti

For 35 years, St. Dunstan’s has provided critical support to St. Andre’s Episcopal School in Hinche, Haiti, a city about 50 miles from Port-au-Prince.   Compulsory education in Haiti, one of the world’s poorest countries, ends after six years.  With our help, St. Andre’s educates 1,500 students from preschool through 13th grade and its budget is financially sustainable, an achievement reached thanks to decades of St. Dunstan’s parishioners’ commitment.  We also provide hot, nutritious meals for students each day, employ a full-time school nurse, and provide scholarships and board for rural students who otherwise could not attend school. We continue to work with the school to improve the science curriculum, enhance computer literacy, and provide students with eyeglasses.

Women of St. Dunstan’s

The Women of St. Dunstan’s raise funds through an annual Christmas holiday boutique that is well attended (and much enjoyed!) by the Carmel and Carmel Valley communities.  The proceeds are used to fund grants to non-profit community groups who apply for assistance; gifts and scholarships for our acolytes; and special projects of St. Dunstan’s ministries.

I-Help for homeless men and I-Help for homeless women

St. Dunstan’s joins with other churches to host I-Help for homeless men and I-Help for homeless women.  The program for men is three nights a month at St. Dunstan’s, where they spend the night. On those nights they receive a hearty meal, dine with the volunteers who prepared it, and then wash dishes and clean the kitchen before turning in for the night.  They receive a bagged breakfast before their departure the next morning.  I-Help for Women has smaller (but growing) participation. It is one night a month, also with a meal, an overnight stay, breakfast and fellowship.

St. Dunstan’s Foundation

The St. Dunstan’s Foundation is a key resource in providing support for the ministries described above and for others. St. Dunstan’s Foundation is proud to fund worthy projects in the community that are directly connected to or aligned with the ministry and outreach goals of our church.  One shining example is the Read to Me Project, designed to break the cycle of low family literacy in many Salinas Valley communities where 7 out of 10 students start kindergarten behind in reading ability.  When this happens, most never catch up and struggle with reading and writing through high school. Read to Me teaches children not only to read, but to read to their younger siblings, and supplies books for that purpose. Overall, the Foundation provided $26,800 in assistance to organizations in 2018.

Music at St. Dunstan’s

Cultural outreach to the community is expressed through Music at St. Dunstan’s, an organ concert series that features guest artists and our own organist in concert with Opus 94, our magnificent Dobson Tracker pipe organ. Visiting artists perform on the organ or in duets with instruments as varied as trumpet, violin, and voice.  Typically, several concerts are held annually, with receptions where guests can meet the artists and hear them discuss their work. The Visiting Artist Program includes concerts, master classes, and workshops, in some cases in partnership with the Carmel Bach Festival and Hidden Valley Institute. Our long-term goal is to host, in addition, other artists such as poets, painters, dancers, singers, and other musicians.

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