Community Partners: Service & Outreach

Active Partners in our Community

With a core mission of building bridges and connecting with our neighbors, St. John’s actively supports many education, food and housing programs in the Greater Hartford community.

For more information about St. John’s local community partnerships and how you can get involved, contact the Community Service chairperson, Lisa Mahoney, or the parish office.  Specific volunteer opportunities are publicized through the Sunday bulletin and weekly e-mail newsletter.

LOAVES & FISHES serves a hot meal five days a week at Immanuel Congregational Church (Farmington Avenue and Woodland Street). St. John’s volunteers shop for food, prepare and serve meals every second Wednesday of the month. Volunteers rotate responsibilities for preparing and serving.

THE WEST END FOOD PANTRY, located at the United Methodist Church of Hartford (Farmington Avenue and South Whitney Street), provides nonperishable groceries, along with help applying for the SNAP (food stamp) program, to neighborhood residents. St. John’s collects nonperishable food on the first Sunday of every month to donate to the West End Food Pantry.

GRACE ACADEMY is a school for girls from underserved communities in Hartford. St. John’s sponsors a student (covering her tuition, fees, uniform, etc.), and parish volunteers also participate in many activities with the students, including a Girl Scout troop, craft workshops, and community service activities.

COVENANT PREP is a school for boys from underserved communities in Hartford. St. John’s provides financial and other support.

FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION (FLE) aims to build a stronger community by fostering partnerships that engage families in a participatory process leading to self-efficacy. St. John’s volunteers support by helping with projects, such as grounds clean-up and planting.

CHRISTMAS GIFT BAGS FOR KIDS are given to children participating in the “Nurturing Families” program, which is an intensive, long-term home visiting program designed to prevent child abuse and neglect among pregnant and first-time parents. It offers case management, developmental screening and parenting education for parents/caregivers of children ages birth to 5 years. Each Christmas, individual St. John’s parishioners receive a “wish list” from a particular child and fill a gift bag of clothes and toys for him or her.

ESOL, GED AND CITIZENSHIP CLASSES, run by the Town of West Hartford, take place at St. John’s four days a week during the school year. New immigrants and refugees from all over the world come to St. John’s to learn English and study for their citizenship tests, while other area residents receive help preparing for the GED exam. Besides providing space for these programs in our building, St. John’s provides significant financial support.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY, JOURNEY HOME, AND A HAND UP are programs that provide stable, safe housing for low-income individuals and families. St. John’s volunteers help build Habitat houses, and clean and furnish apartments for people transitioning out of homelessness via Journey Home and A Hand Up.

THE REFUGEE MINISTRY supports a recently arrived refugee family as they establish a new life in Connecticut. St. John’s works in partnership with IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services) and St. James’s Church, West Hartford. The two churches are currently co-sponsoring a Syrian family who arrived in August 2016, helping them with ESOL study, schooling for their three children, employment, cultural acclimation, and more.