Alternative Christmas Gifts Catalog
Nov 18, Dec 2, 9, and 16, 2012
OPEN ARMS HOUSING, INC.
This year Open Arms is raising funds for expansion, to serve more homeless women !
Expansion: Since opening in 2009, Open Arms Housing has been dedicated to providing permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable women in D.C. After successfully operating the 19 units at 57 O Street NW, Open Arms is planning its first expansion, acquiring 4 units in a four-plex building in Northeast D.C. To pay for architectural and other planning, we seek to raise $10,000 this Winter, paving the way for a complete rehab loan application to the city in 2013.
Housing First: We promote a “Housing First” model, emphasizing entry into permanent housing for women who are sometimes not ready to engage in conventional treatment -- We believe the housing is itself a significant therapeutic step toward wholeness. We offer each woman a full apartment plus shared-spaces equipped with telephones, TVs and computers. Staff, live in volunteers, and others offer supportive services tailored to the needs of each individual. Our future Northeast location will give larger 1 Bedroom units to wormen capable of somewhat more independence.
Homeless Clients: Our clients typically have been homeless for 8-10 years before moving to Dunbar, living on the streets and in emergency shelters. The women are early middle aged to elderly, and have experienced mental illness, substance abuse, traumatic stress, or debilitating physical handicaps; referrals come from the D.C. government and non-profits such as Rachael’s Center, N Street Village, Miriam’s Kitchen, and the McClendon Center. The Dunbar has been home to 17 formerly homeless women since opening its doors, and no resident has so far returned to homelessness.
DC GERIATRIC DAY CARE CENTER
Founded in 1976 at a time when seniors were being abandoned in hospitals or on streets, Downtown Cluster's Geriatric Day Care Center now treats nearly 100 elderly District residents. While institutional care might cost $60,000 a year or more, public/private partnerships keep costs at the Center under $7,000. Easing the work of caregivers by providing care to clients during the day, the Center's services also mean that seniors can remain in their own homes-a financial and psychological boon. Vital services like transportation and meals are provided, and seniors spend their days meaningfully occupied-creating art, engaging in recreational therapy and counseling, and leading active social lives. Those recovering from stroke participate in movement and occupational therapy, and arthritis suffers practice joint protection and work simplification techniques. Alzheimer's clients are encouraged to speak and nurture others by interacting with toddlers in a unique program which benefits young and old. The Center provides public safety and crime prevention workshops, home visits, shopping and transportation arrangements. One in six DC residents is 60 or older, so the need is great. Your compassionate care really makes a difference here.
Our focus is to prevent further emotional, physical or cognitive deterioration of the elderly and to offer a humanistic alternative to expensive institutional care. "Promoting and supporting the extended family" enables family and friends to keep their loved ones home and comfortable within family ties.
The Center's trained and dedicated staff includes a consulting physician, a registered nurse, registered art, occupational and movement therapists, social workers, recreation specialists, therapeutic assistants and transportation/program assistants. Supporting these professionals are caring volunteers, senior aides and qualified interns. www.dcgeriatricdaycenter.org
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF BAGHDAD
The elder and chairman of the Church Council (Session) of the Presbyterian Church of Baghdad, Yousif Al-Saka, visited NYAPC in 2008 and 2010 to share the story of Presbyterians in Iraq and the Presbyterian Church in Baghdad.
The dream of the Baghdad Church has been to open a Childhood Center for orphans and preschool children on land they own a mile from the church. With support from NYAPC Alternative Christmas Store funds, on September 30, 2011, they celebrated the opening of the Good Shepherd Children’s Center for the youngest pre-school children, phase one of the planned Center. A professional engineer, Elder Al-Saka designed the building and the Iraq Ministry of Religion funded the construction. The Baghdad Church must now raise funds for phase two of the program for older children.
The Baghdad Church is one of five Presbyterian churches in Iraq, and all have lost members who have fled the country. The Assyrian Presbyterian Church has joined with the Presbyterian Church in Baghdad after two of their ministers fled leaving no ordained clergy. In addition to the leadership, over 200 other members have fled leaving approximately 100 members remaining. Still the Presbyterian Church in Baghdad maintains an active outreach ministry in the face of dwindling membership and resources. The church provides bus transportation to its members to travel to services in light of the dangers of traveling by car. The church maintains active ministries targeting children, youth and women and maintains a church library available to Iraqis of all faiths.
First Presbyterian-Reformed Church of Havana: La Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada de la Habana has been in relationship with NYAPC since fall 1998, a sister church since 1999, and a partner since 2005. First Havana is an urban church with the oldest Protestant sanctuary in Havana. It has an urban ministry much like NYAPC’s. Your donation will be used for its many ministries such as its house mission churches, School for the Elderly, Tai Chi health classes, the Friendly Telephone hotline that assists those in need or in trouble, the library used by neighborhood children, and maintaining the church's 1985 car. www.prccuba.org/eng
Evangelical Theological Seminary: The Ofelia Ortega Endowment Fund was established in 2005 to support the Seminario Evangelico de Teologia. The seminary celebrated its 65th anniversary this year, October 2011, and was attended by a NYAPC representative. The student population has continued to grow, and its staff is primarily composed of pastors—including First Havana’s Rev. Mendez--serving as adjunct professors. Your gift will ensure a continued source of funding for the seminary. www.cuba-theological-seminary.com
KENYA -- ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN (OVC) PROGRAM
OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF EAST AFRICA, NJORO, KENYA
Started in 2007 -- with crucial support from the Alternative Christmas Store -- this important program provides a Saturday program for 35 of the neediest orphans in Njoro and their equally needy foster families. The program provides comprehensive assistance to the children including food, clothing, shoes and uniforms, school supplies, tuition fees, physical fitness equipment, and educational, spiritual and recreational activities, including tutoring. Additionally, corn flour is given to the families to provide a much-needed staple. This year money is needed to fund chickens, pens and training for the last 10 families who have not yet received chickens, as well as to provide the basic program. The chickens are self-sustaining and provide eggs and meat to the family, as well as income.
Perhaps the most important benefit to the children is the loving encouragement and spiritual support they get from the program's staff, volunteer members of the Njoro Presbyterian of East Africa and each other. Those of us who support the program also benefit from the personal relationships developed during visits to Njoro and from Njoro and from knowing that we are changing the quality of children's lives who sorely need help. In October 2011 we were blessed by a visit from Jeremiah Nduyu, the elder most responsible for identifying the extent of the problem of orphans -- many of them orphaned by AIDS -- and designing the program. We are looking forward to deepening these relationships with another visit to Njoro in August 2013. www.pceanjoro.org
LIBERIA – TODEE MISSION SCHOOL
Founded in 1945 by the Presbyterian Church of Liberia, Todee Mission School was the first and only school with a high school in Montserrado County, Liberia. Civil wars beginning in 1989 and continuing for fourteen years disrupted all educational and training activities in Liberia. Todee Mission was closed and virtually destroyed by looters who took everything.
Ophelia and Carney Johnson (from the family of Liberian President Sirleaf Johnson) followed their call to reopen the school and in September 2007 opened the school with 130 students in grades K – 6 with 7 teachers. Many of the children enrolled have suffered through years of civil conflicts and have been traumatized, exploited, and/or orphaned.
The National Capital Presbytery has supported Todee through several congregations, most notably Purcellville PC.
NYAPC parishioners Karen Milam and Tyler Feret visited Todee Mission School in 2010 with a team who were able to provide medical services, teacher training, and organizational support and advice, including school curriculum, to the school. Ongoing financial support for school supplies, teacher salaries, and scholarships for children help serve the needs of families in and around Montserrado.
FAIR TRADE ITEMS FOR SALE
FAIR TRADE COFFEE FROM CAFE JUSTO (MEXICO)
Cafe Justo writes about their coffee:
“Café Justo coffee is grown in Salvador Urbina, Chiapas. Cultivated at altitudes between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, this coffee is grown on the side of a 13,333 foot volcano known as Tacaná. Café Justo is made from 100% Arabica, Robusta and Marago beans which are organically grown, with no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The coffee trees are cultivated beneath shade trees which allows for a better tasting, more environmentally friendly coffee. Ideal conditions for a coffee tree include high humidity, shade, temperatures from 65 to 80 degrees F and plentiful precipitation. All of these qualities are characteristic of Salvador Urbina, Chiapas, Mexico. With the combination of the volcanic soil of Tacaná, the high altitude of the region, abundant rain, organic techniques and shade tree cultivation method, this coffee has an excellent aroma and a highly memorable taste. Our coffee is roasted in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.
“Because we roast our own coffee, we not only control our product from the field to your cup, but we also are participating in the most significant value-added step in the process, guaranteeing you, the customer, the best price and us, the growers, the most revenue from our coffee.” www.justcoffee.org
FAIR TRADE OLIVE OIL FROM ZATOUN (PALESTINE WEST BANK)
Zatoun writes about their olive oil:
“The majority of Palestinian farmers use traditional methods in caring for the olive tree. Palestinian olive oil is mostly organic, naturally extra virgin, not processed. The Palestine Fair Trade program supports and encourages the traditional caring methods which produce the highest quality oil and best flavour. The program does not accept oil other than from the indigenous tree under natural care.” www.zatoun.com
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE
1. Make check payable to NYAPC, 1313 New York Ave NW, Washington DC 20005.
Write name of program on the Memo line: “OPEN ARMS,” “GERIATRIC DAY CARE,” “BAGHDAD CHURCH,” “CUBA PARTNERS,” “KENYA ORPHANS,” ,“LIBERIA SCHOOL, “OLIVE OIL,” “COFFEE”
2. Contribute online at www.nyapc.org. Go to the main Ministries page. Click on the Give Now button, and either log in or choose to donate as a guest. Go down to bottom of list of giving opportunities to find the Christmas store programs. You can give to several programs at once.