The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church

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Alternative Christmas Gifts

Alternative Christmas Gifts Catalog

Nov 24, Dec 8, 15, and 22, 2013



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 pro-gram 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.



This year Open Arms is raising funds for transition to an additional facility that will permit us 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.  We have paved the way for this expansion by submitting a rehab loan application to the city this year.  $10,000 would offer major support for the transition to our new facility.

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 women capable of somewhat more independence.

Homeless Clients: Our clients typically have been homeless for 8-10 years before moving to the 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.


McClendon Center provides mental health services for over 800 low-income residents of the District of Columbia.  Originally founded as a mission of NYA by the late Rev. Dr. Jack McClendon, the Center now operates as its own nonprofit in two locations.

The Day Program continues to operate in leased space at The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and provides professionally-run, therapeutic groups that focus on trauma recovery, substance use treatment, expressive art therapies, nursing and dietetic education, peer-run empowerment, and symptom management that are integral in the recovery process of clients.  Day Program attendance has risen substantially over the years.  A typical Day Program client is diagnosed with schizophrenia, lives in a Community Residential Facility and is 53 years old. 

McClendon Center also runs a Core Services Agency on North Capitol Street.  At North Capitol, psychiatrists and psychiatric residents from George Washington University assess clients for symptom management and prescribe medications to treat their disorders.  Three teams of eight case managers each ensure that clients get to medical appointments, apply for entitlements, enroll in substance use recovery programs, and much more. 

Your donation will ensure that we can continue to provide high-quality and compassionate care, which has been recognized by the DC Department of Behavioral Health as among the best in the city.  You may also purchase note cards featuring artwork created by clients at the Day Program.





Started in 2007 -- with crucial support from the Alternative Christmas Store -- this important program provides a Saturday program for 32 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 particularly needed to fund a full time social worker to oversee this blossoming program.  This person would visits the homes and schools of the children on a regular basis, assess each child's news and  provide each child with counseling. 

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 in February 2010 and this year, August 2013.  We are so encouraged in knowing that we are changing the quality of life of children 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 through this partnership in the coming years.


Two Elders from the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Iraq—Yousif al-Saka in Baghdad and Dr. Zuhair Fathallah in Basrah—visited NYAPC as PC(USA) International Peacemakers in 2008 and 2013, respectively.  Both “pastored” their churches for many years until called Presbyterian pastors arrived at their churches within the past two years.  Despite the hardships of dwindling congregations due to war, both churches have amazing outreach ministries.  The Baghdad Church opened in September 2011 the Good Shepherd Children’s Center for the young pre-school children with hopes of opening in the future the Center for older children. The Presbyterian Church in Basrah opened a kindergarten three years ago with 250 children.  The Presbyterian Church in Baghdad is working to open a Home for Seniors, while the Presbyterian Church in Basrah hopes to expand its FM radio station and establish a free Medical Day Center.  Both churches need financial support for their schools and the projects on which they are currently working under difficult conditions.

The Baghdad and Basrah Churches are two of five Presbyterian churches in Iraq—and soon to be a sixth in Erbil--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. The church in Mosul is closed but has ten members meeting in homes.  The other active Presbyterian Church with an ordained pastor is in Kirkuk.  These churches need our support for the vital and courageous work they are doing. 


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.

Evangelical Theological Seminary: The Ofelia Ortega Endowment Fund was established in 2005 to support the Seminario Evangelico de Teologia. The semi-nary 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.

Palestinian Olive Oil still for sale at $20 per bottle

The month of October is peak olive harvesting season in the West Bank and Gaza. Every year, Palestinians tend to the trees that bring $100 million to their economy, supporting about 100,000 farming families. But the season is often fraught with crime and violence.

Since 1967 an estimated 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted according to Oxfam. Tens of thousands have been destroyed to build the separation barrier, and restrictions on movement have left even more inaccessible to Palestinian farmers without permission from the Israeli army. In 2011, Israeli authorities rejected 42 percent of the applications submitted by Palestinian farmers requesting access to their land. These restrictions also prevent year-round maintenance such as plowing, pruning and fertilizer which affects the quality of the yield.

In recent years, extremist settler groups have brazenly attacked the trees by burning them and even using chain saws. In 2012, vandals from settlements destroyed 7,500 trees. According to Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group, these attacks are "intended…as an attack on [Palestinian] identity and heritage."

Data from Yesh Din shows that not only is there a lack of protection, but a lack of prosecution. The group estimates that 97 percent of investigations of damage to Palestinian olive trees are closed due to "police failings" with only four cases out of 211 resulting in indictments.    


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,” “MCCLENDON CENTER,” “IRAQ CHURCHES,” “CUBA PARTNERS,” “KENYA ORPHANS,” “OLIVE OIL”


Log in (so that your donation can be credited to you) OR choose to donate as a guest. Go down to bottom of list of giving opportunities to find the Christmas Gifts programs. You can give to several programs at once.