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Souper Bowl of Caring
Once again this year the youth of St. Mark’s will be collecting canned food items for the Souper Bowl of Caring.  The Souper Bowl of Caring was established in 1990 as a way to help fight hunger in the United States.  Please bring canned and dried foods to church on Sunday, January 26 or Sunday, February 2 to help the youth in their goal to help feed the needy.  This is such a simple and easy way to support those less fortunate than us.  Grab a can or two from your cupboard and support this worthy cause. Cash and checks made out to St. Mark’s, but designated for the Souper Bowl of Caring will also we accepted. 

Social Outreach Minstry
St. Mark’s has a Social Outreach Ministry that plans and spearheads a number of outreach projects each year. We believe that reaching out to our community and the world creates a better place to live for those less fortunate, while enhancing our experience of God. Jesus Christ teaches that through opportunities to give, we grow and benefit greatly as we serve others.

This ministry is looking for caring souls who want to make a tangible difference in the lives of others. Each team member needs to be motivated by compassion and inspired to plan and implement an outreach project that will better our community, our country, or our world. We heartily welcome new members and new ideas on how to best help those in need.
St. Mark’s Church & School Combined "Giving Tree" 
Beginning November 17, you will see our two Giving Trees set up in Parish Hall near the school office.  All of the children have been referred through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as children in need.  For most of these children, the gifts from the Rainbow Room Christmas Giving Tree Project are the only ones they receive all year. 
Please pick a child from either tree and put your name on the list next to the child’s name.  Green tags are for boys, red tags are for girls, and white tags are for children already adopted.  The maximum spent on any one child is to be less than $150.00.  Unwrapped gifts with bows, or in a gift bag, labeled with the child’s name and agency ID number, need to be in Parish Hall by Sunday, December 8th or by 9:00 a.m. Monday, December 9th for delivery to the Rainbow Room.  If you will not be here on Sunday or Monday, gifts may be dropped off earlier.
For more information, please contact Jerri Carington at the school office (281) 545-1296.  If you want to help but aren’t able to shop, let us know.  Thank you for sharing your blessings with those in need this Christmas! 
St. Mark’s Saints for a Cure Walk Team
Thank you to all who so generously donated to the St. Mark's Saints for a Cure Walk team this year.  At this point the team has raised $3,295!  Also many thanks to those who came to the walk on Saturday including Rev. Susie, Rob and Melissa Hamon, Bill and Chris Abbott and nine youth who had enjoyed a lock-in at the church the night before.  Your support of JDRF is greatly appreciated and we will look forward to participating in the walk again next year. 
School Supply Drive
Stuff My Backpack - Common Threads is looking to collect new and gently used backpacks, pencils, notebook paper, calculators, glue sticks, rulers, erasers, binders, folders, colored pencils and highlighters. You can also donate $10 for St. Mark’s to go purchase backpacks to donate. Please note on check or cash in envelope “Backpack for Common Threads”.  Please put all item donations in the box in the parish hall. We will collect items and money through Sunday, July 14.



Blood Drive
A Gift of Life . . . . .Straight From Your Heart 
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is invited to share in the gift of life by donating blood at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.
Where:                4949 Sweetwater Blvd, Sugarland, TX
Requirements:    Must be at least 17 years of age
                           Must weigh at least 110 pounds
Walk-ins are welcome but it is better to make an appointment by calling 281-313-1122.  Be sure to tell them that you are from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.  We would like to tentatively start giving the gift of blood on a regular basis.  If we can get at least 32 people to commit to donating blood, the Blood Center will bring their facilities to St. Mark’s.  A sign-up sheet will be located in the fellowship hall.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace 
1 Peter 4:10 ESV


Lunches of Love (LOL) Outreach - (June - August)

Lunches of Love
It is summertime for the children (yea!) and participation in the LOL program is our outreach opportunity at this time. LOL was founded several years ago and operates out of the 1st United Methodist Church in Rosenberg. The program makes sure that no child in the Lamar elementary schools is without food during summer vacation. This year that vacation extends from June 11th - August 24th.  How can I get involved?
1. Please donate jars of creamy peanut butter and jams for the sandwiches. Donate 100% fruit juice. Donate boxes of cereal & crackers. Place these nutritious items in the red LOL tubs in St. Mark’s fellowship hall.
2. Sign up to donate your time for actually building these lunches at the First United Methodist Church in Rosenberg on Wednesday, July 18th from 9am – 11am. Sign-up sheet will be in the fellowship hall. We need approximately 10 volunteers that day.
3) Make a monetary donation to LOL. Mail your checks to Lunches of Love, P.O. Box 1161 in Rosenberg, TX 77471.
Clothing Donation Drive Outreach
Let us reflect on our own good fortune with which we have been blessed. But while doing so, let us not miss the ‘Lazarus’ who exists right outside our gates. With Jesus who loves and respects the poor, let’s not just pass him/her by. I invite you to look in your closets at home and select coats, sweaters and blankets that you no longer need. Consider donating them, wrapped in love, to the poor amongst us. As Father Bert stated in his sermon on September 25th, we ‘GET TO’ do such kindnesses to the less fortunate. Place these ‘gifts’ in the tubs in our fellowship hall. I will deliver them to the PennyWise store on 90A where a ‘Lazarus amongst us’ might be able to buy them inexpensively. And remember that all proceeds from these sales benefit the Fort Bend Women’s Center in turn. We don’t just read our gospel at St. Mark’s, we live it.   
Donate Calendars
Please donate some of the many calendars that appear in your mailboxes these days. They will be given to folks living in retirement homes to assist them with their schedules and to beautify their rooms. Place them in the box provided in the church narthex. 
Meals On Wheels Outreach
Rick Branek from Rosenberg Meals on Wheels will be doing a presentation February 4 in the parish hall at 10am.

We who are abundantly blessed are invited to get involved in another chance to be a blessing to others who are less fortunate.
Fort Bend Meals On Wheels is committed to helping seniors remain independent by enhancing their quality of life through services and resources since 1974. Currently, this program serves over 1000 senior adults per day in Fort Bend and Waller Counties through nutrition programs. Although income is not a qualifying factor, statistics indicate that 87% of senior adults live at or below the poverty rate. The average program participant is 78 plus years old, lives alone, reports needing assistance with at least two independent activities of daily living, is unable to prepare their own meal, does not have family or someone to assist with meal preparation, and are not physically able to attend a senior congregate center. For these senior adults age 60 or above, a home delivered meal is crucial to sustain their independence.  It is recommended that we work in teams of two. It is safer that way and assures that no senior is skipped on days when one of the team cannot make it. 
Fort Bend County Family Health Centerchildren's Book Drive
The Fort Bend Family Health Center is a private, nonprofit community health center that serves patients in Fort Bend County. It also operates a pediatric clinic that gives a book to all its pediatric patients. However, the center does not have enough books to give one to the siblings of its pediatric patients so St. Mark’s is inviting you to Change a Child’s Story by donating gently used books for a brighter future for infant through teenage years to give to pediatric patient siblings. Please consider bringing your gently used books to St. Mark’s and placing them in the tub located in the fellowship hall.
Action Team
Hold your horses! Are you ready  for real helping “action”? These are short term opportunities to help those in our community as well as within our church.  These “action” tasks include building, cleaning, moving, mowing and maybe even sewing.  We need volunteers to be ready for weekly emails about projects. Details to follow.
Rosenberg Flood House Recovery Project
We are in need of hard working helpers to step up to help with the continuation of renovations to a home in Rosenberg that was devastated by the flooding earlier in 2016.  The house in north Rosenberg needs to finish hanging sheet rock, tape & float, texture and paint, then all the cabinets need to be installed and plumbing fixtures need to be installed.   Anyone interested in working on this project email Melissa Hamon mhamon@stmarksfortbend.org.  There will be more house projects to help out soon.  Please let Melissa or Dwayne know if you would be interested in helping out with future projects.
Fort Bend Women's Center Outreach
1.  Fort Bend Women’s Center, whose mission it is to assist women and children survivors of domestic and sexual assault achieve safety and self-sufficiency. At the recommendation of the director, we will collect white towels, white wash cloths, and white standard-sized pillow cases for the center. We will also continue to collect hygiene items for them. Please place your donations in the tubs provided in the fellowship hall. As you know, the PennyWise Resale Centers benefit the Fort Bend Women’s Center. They are asking for volunteers. Service hours can be earned . Pick up a yellow flyer in the fellowship hall for contact information.
2. The Child Advocates of Fort Bend  invite you to take a Voices for Children tour. They are held at 5403 Avenue N in Rosenberg. Call 281-344-5100 to let them know that you would like a tour.

Fort Bend Community Partners Rainbow Room 
Last year, 3,086 cases of child abuse in Fort Bend County were reported, with 2,713 being assigned for investigation (an increase of 13% from 2014). All of these children are eligible for services from the Fort Bend Community Partners Rainbow Room.
The Rainbow Room helps children and families in crisis by supporting the efforts of Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworkers. It’s stocked with emergency supplies for caseworkers to distribute to Fort Bend families in crisis.
In a recent Kinship placement, the caseworker for an infant requested a crib, stroller and other essentials to assist the grandmother in providing proper care for her grandson. With the Rainbow Room’s assistance, the caregiver has been given the opportunity to raise her grandson in a safe environment.
Fort Bend Cares’ funding supports the purchase of car seats, cribs, toddler beds, twin beds and bunk beds. Some caregivers simply cannot afford these. Beds and car seats are items many of us take for granted, but are critical to children’s safety.

The Rainbow Room also hosts a Back to School Supply and Uniform Drive, as well as a Christmas Project. To find out more about the Rainbow Room, call 832-451-5867 or visit www.fbrr.org. For more on how Fort Bend Cares supports this organization and others, visit www.fortbendcares.org.
Child Advocates of Fort Bend County Outreach
We are invited to familiarize ourselves with the facts of child abuse amongst us through literature provided by Child Advocates of Fort Bend County, a nonprofit agency serving abused and neglected children in Fort Bend County since 1991. Their mission? To provide a voice, heal the hurt and break the cycle of abuse and neglect for children in the county. They have served 12,600+ children since 1991 - 1498 children and families in 2014.
Pick up a literature in the fellowship hall where you will read startling statistics regarding abuse, such as:
1) In Texas, a child is abused every 8 minutes;
2) 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be a victim of abuse by age 18;
3) 9 of 10 children who have been abused NEVER tell anyone.
Plan to take a tour of the Child Advocates Center at 5403 Avenue N in Rosenberg, TX.
Participate in the casa Christmas Home Tours.