A description of each agency or program that SPC supports or runs follows, in alphabetical order. Questions may be directed to our outreach chair person at email@example.com. Please visit our Volunteer Needs section for specific needs that the organizations below have for volunteers.
A Better Chance (ABC) House - www.abcstrathhaven.org
A Better Chance - Strath Haven is a local chapter of the nationwide ABC program whose goal is to provide a high quality secondary school education for low income, minority students from distressed school districts. SPC provides the boys' ABC house next to our church. Students attend Strath Haven High School. We became involved with ABC in 1975. Please visit the ABC Strath Haven website for more information.
Alternative Christmas Shop
Please visit our page dedicated to SPC's Alternative Christmas Shop.
Broad Street Ministry - www.broadstreetministry.org
Broad Street Ministry, established in 2005, is an alternative church community that “cherishes creativity, fosters and nurtures artistic expression, extends inclusive hospitality and works for a more just world through civic engagement.” Located on the Avenue of the Arts, within five blocks of Center City's most expensive concert hall, its cheapest hotel, its most publicized homeless shelter, and its most recognized college of art, BSM is at the intersection Philadelphia's most divergent populations. BSM is a thriving multi-faceted urban ministry that serves the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of this diverse community. BSM's ministries include Sunday evening worship services (our youth groups have participated in some of these!); an overnight "cafe" (supported by our Alternative Christmas Shop) that offers a hot meal and place to stay out of the cold to men, women, and children unable to stay in a traditional shelter; Wednesday night Bible study; a weekly Thursday lunch program that connects those who break bread together with members of the business community that share a variety of legal, housing, and health resources; a monthly "No Barriers" dinner that serves up free food and genuine fellowship to close to 300 members of the community, and much more. The key ministries identified on its website are: hospitable outreach, passionate civic involvement, courageous discipleship, and creative expression. Opportunities to serve in volunteer capacities are abundant. SPC's Martin Luther King Day project for 2010 was the collecting and refurbishing of wooden chairs to be used at BSM. For great information on current programs and developments, visit the Broad Street Ministry website.
Career Wardrobe - www.careerwardrobe.org
The Career Wardrobe is a community-based, non-profit organization founded in 1995 by local women who wanted to help “bridge the gap” between job training and employment for low-income women in the Philadelphia Community. They have assisted over 50,000 unemployed women in providing business attire and conducting workshops to help develop a professional appearance and skills to enhance employability, and inspiring the confidence necessary to achieve independence and raise self-esteem. They give women hope and a new start in life.
Swarthmore Presbyterian Church provided funding for The Career Wardrobe for many years, and although we did not do so in 2009, we continue to welcome donations of clothing and accessories. Volunteering has also been a part of SPC’s contribution. There is always need for volunteers for TCW, which provides Orientation for new volunteers once a month. The two main areas in which volunteers are critical are clothing and education. There is a Clothing Boutique where clients need assistance in determining the right professional attire for their interviews. Volunteers also help sort donated clothing and accessories, and organize monthly inventory sales. Educational needs include working with clients to review resumes, discussing business etiquette and other aspects involved in being successful during interviews and in the workplace. Career Wardrobe is especially eager find volunteers with Human Resources experience. To learn more about how you can help, please contact The Career Wardrobe, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 205, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, Tel: 215-568-6693, Fax: 215-568-5998, or visit The Career Wardrobe website.
Chester Eastside Ministries - www.chestereastside.org
SPC helps to fund the Cultural Arts Program at Chester Eastside. The program provides professional instruction in the visual and performing arts to advance the creative, emotional and intellectual growth of young people in Chester. This program was started to fund activities cut from the public schools. SPC also supports Chester Eastside Ministries programs through our general mission giving with the Philadelphia Presbytery.
Chester Eastside Ministries is a faith-based community resource and social justice advocate for at-risk children and adults in Chester. SPC, through the Outreach Committee, and through general mission giving with the Philadelphia Presbytery, helps to fund the salary of a seminarian intern who works with the director, Reverend Bernice Warren. In addition, SPC supports the Cultural Arts and Activism program and SPC volunteers donate food, clothing, educational supplies and other in-kind gifts and hands-on labor to Chester Eastside Ministries. Used clothing, clean and in good repair, may be placed at any time in the designated closet in SPC's basement for delivery to Chester Eastside Ministries. The Alternative Christmas Shop has supported scholarships for the C.E.M. summer day camp. The program headquarters are in the former Third Presbyterian Church building in Chester. Those interested in volunteering should contact Reverend Warren at 610-872-4812. For more information, please visit the Chester Eastside Ministries website.
Chester Eastside Ministries is also one of several local missions that rotate being the beneficiary of SPC's annual Advent-time Giving Tree. Each year congregation members place age-appropriate gifts for babies and children under our Advent Giving Tree which go to one of several local outreach partners on a rotating basis.
The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts / Chester Upland School of the Arts
The Chester-Upland School of the Arts is an exciting partnership between the Chester-Upland School District and the Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, a not-for-profit organization led by John Alston, acclaimed founder and director of the Chester Children's Chorus. CUSA is a recently founded magnet school in Chester which opened in 2008 with children pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade and is naturally adding a grade each year towards its goal of becoming a K-8 school. Its after school program was one of the missions supported through our 2009 Alternative Christmas Shop.
For more information, please visit the Chester Fund website.
Chester YWCA - www.YWCAChester.org
The Chester YWCA strives to provide a diverse range of programs and activities that serve and empower the girls, women, and families of Chester and vicinity. The YWCA is the oldest, largest, and most utilized community center in the City of Chester. In 2008, approximately 3,000 people participated in YWCA activities.
The YWCA Women's Resource Center focuses on serving the needs of women who are interested in gaining independence and self-sufficiency, as well as those who are seeking refuge. It enables women and girls to gain the information and skills needed to achieve their personal and professional goals by providing the necessary resources such as: financial literacy workshops, establishing information and referral systems, advocacy groups, prevention, education, and public awareness. The ultimate goal is to help women realize their full potential so they can raise healthy families and provide leadership in their communities.
The objectives of the YWCA are to provide counseling in a relaxed and safe atmosphere for 100 girls and women. Groups include empowerment sessions for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault survivors, and women living with HIV/AIDS. Clients receive referrals to other area resources for assistance with finances, counseling, legal issues, substance abuse, and housing. Weekly workshops are tailored for specific audiences that focus on parenting, home ownership, financial literacy, and taxes.
A computer lab provides access to the internet. A fitness center provides access to training equipment. An active summer camp provides a nurturing environment for the children of Chester. The YWCA Chester is an active, vital center in the heart of the city.
The financial needs SPC's budget $$ helped meet in 2009 were those of staff salaries and getting the elevator operational, enabling persons to get to the third floor ballroom which SPC helped to renovate as part of its 2009 MLK Day project.
For more information, please visit the Chester YWCA website.
Frederick Douglass Christian School - www.worldimpact.org
The Frederick Douglass Christian School (FDCS) is a Christian-centered learning community designed to serve and empower inner-city families by providing quality education in a safe and supportive atmosphere. The school supports and works together with Christians in Chester to offer this alternative educational experience to develop future community leaders. These leaders will use their talents and abilities to stimulate social, spiritual, and economic growth within the city of Chester.
In addition to providing quality Christian education, FDCS offers an After School Program, which meets the needs of students and families each day. Parents can allow their children to complete their homework, go to computer classes, play games in the gym and exercise cooperative leadership in the Program.
Swarthmore Presbyterian Church has provided funding for the organization, and volunteering has also been part of our contribution. There are many volunteer opportunities for people to help in every way, from doing cross-cultural ministry to mowing lawns. To inquire about specific volunteer opportunities, please contact the Frederick Douglass Christian School at 610-499-9030. To learn more about the Frederick Douglass Christian School and World Impact, please visit the World Impact website.
Hunger Task Force
Please visit our page dedicated to the work of SPC's Hunger Task Force.
Interfaith Hospitality Network
Please visit our page dedicated to SPC's work with the Interfaith Hospitality Network.
John Gloucester House - www.jghouse.org
The John Gloucester House, named after the first African-American Presbyterian Pastor in America, seeks to empower economically challenged young people in the Pointe Breeze community of South Philadelphia. JGH provides an after school program and a summer camp for children in the community and a Fifty-Plus program for seniors. SPC supports John Gloucester House programs directly and in cooperation with the Philadelphia Presbytery.
In addition to financial support, SPC holds an annual “Supply Drive” to collect art and gardening supplies to support the JGH Summer Camp. The Alternative Christmas Shop and the annual Advent Giving Tree have benefited JGH in past years. Each year congregation members place age-appropriate gifts for babies and children under our Advent Giving Tree which go to one of several local outreach partners on a rotating basis.
For more information, call 215-389-5504 or visit the John Gloucester House website.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Please visit our page dedicated to SPC's MLK Day of Service.
Partners in Ministry - www.swarthmorepartnersinministry.com
Partners in Ministry is a local consortium of churches which supports the Protestant Ministry of Swarthmore College, for which the Rev. Joyce Tompkins serves as Religious Advisor. She provides spiritual counseling to students and coordinates a program of worship and activities. The students meet weekly for scripture study and pizza (Pizza and Parable), and for a weekly ecumenical worship service. On the first Sunday of the month, they gather for Taize worship and a potluck supper with members of local congregations.
The college provides space for the ministry but no financial support. Partners has a small endowment but depends heavily on support from local churches, friends and alumni.
Besides our financial support, SPC has an on-going involvement: monthly brunches for students in our homes, cookie nights during exams, student participation in our mission trips, and Sunday suppers twice a year for a Taize service. The students enjoy the chance to be with persons outside the college community, especially families with children.
PRIME-ECR - http://prime-immigration.org
PRIME-ECR (Presbyterian Refugee and Immigration Effort - Ecumenical Commitment to Refugees) has as its mission to reach out to the strangers among us, particularly the uprooted refugee and immigrant, welcoming them and enabling them to build a safe and secure life, and to become self-sufficient, contributing members of their community. PRIME-ECR is a not-for-profit, ecumenical immigration assistance ministry begun in 1983 by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Lansdowne, PA (Delaware County). In 1986, PRIME-ECR became an affiliate of Church World Service and expanded to welcome the contributions of other communions. Now PRIME-ECR provides immigration counseling and representation from offices in Lancaster and Lansdowne, PA.
TAP - The Achievement Project - www.tapofchester.org
The Achievement Project (TAP) is a community-based educational support and enrichment project that serves young people in Chester. TAP recruits 20 students during the last semester of their eighth grade year with the mission to help them succeed throughout their four years of high school and to prepare for, apply to, gain acceptance at, and attend college or some other institution of higher education. Basic academic skills are taught after school on weekdays, and on Saturdays during the school year and in a six-week intensive summer program. Social skills, good health and nutrition practices are also taught along with cultural and recreational activities. SPC supports T.A.P. with funding from the Outreach Committee and the Alternative Christmas Shop. Opportunities for volunteer work abound.
For more information, contact the Founder and Executive Director, Nicola Tollett Jefferson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 484-995-0828. Learn much more by visiting the T.A.P. website at www.tapofchester.org.
TM Thomas Learning Tree - www.tmtchurch.org
The Learning Tree is an instructional daycare program for children aged 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 who live in Chester. The goals of the Learning Tree are to give children a strong educational foundation, assist young parents with parenting skills and develop in parents and children a strong sense of family and community. In addition to providing financial assistance, SPC members also volunteer by reading to the children. The Learning Tree is one of several local missions that rotate being the beneficiary of SPC's annual Advent-time Giving Tree. Each year congregation members place age-appropriate gifts for babies and children under our Advent Giving Tree which go to one of several local outreach partners on a rotating basis.
For more information about the Learning Tree, please contact Dr. Jane Mayes at 610-874-3168.