Saint Mary’s has a long tradition of providing financial and hands-on assistance to agencies and causes in the Lompoc Valley. The Outreach Committee spearheads these efforts, inviting the parish to participate in special projects each year. Highlights of St. Mary’s Outreach are noted below:
Bedding for Local Children
During Lent, parishioners donated bedding to the North County Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an agency that constructs and delivers beds to families in the area with help from volunteers.
Nursing Home Visits
Our Outreach volunteers make regular visits to our local nursing home, Comprehensive Care Center, to provide something special for the residents. Visits may include decorating the dining/activities area and serving the residents homemade pies and cookies along with tea and other beverages.
Under the guidance of the staff, treats are also delivered to residents who are unable to leave their rooms, and Outreach also provides bags of cookies to the attending staff.
Dress 2 Learn
The Outreach Committee works locally with staff at Catholic Charities and the Good Samaritan agency to identify families with school age children who need assistance prior to the beginning of school each summer.
In 2023, Parishioners donated over $5,000 to purchase $150 gift cards for 35 children for back-to-school clothing from a local retailer. Outreach members and parish volunteers met with families and assisted them as they shopped.
First Responders Service and Lunch
First Responders in Lompoc and the surrounding area have been honored for the past 15 years by parishioners of St. Mary’s with a brief service led by church leadership.
After a keynote speech, traditionally by a local dignitary or leader, attendees are honored with a lunch provided by our parishioners as table hosts and another 100 or so takeaway lunches are provided to those on the job and unable to attend.
In late November, parents of children in families affiliated with the Good Samaritan agency and Catholic Charities traditionally provide a listing of items their children need and would like to find under the Christmas tree.
Parishioners pick an ‘angel’ from the tree and select and wrap gifts that are then blessed at the altar and delivered to agencies during the week before Christmas.
Other Local Outreach
Apart from the projects highlighted above, the Outreach Committee meets with invited staff from local agencies to learn about their operations and needs.
Our final question is always, How can we help you? On behalf of the parish, donations have been made to the Lompoc Warming Center, Pregnancy and Parenting Center, Boys & Girls Club, and Domestic Violence Solutions, among others.
National and Worldwide Outreach
Beyond our local efforts, the committee also allocates budgeted funds to Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) and other agencies in support of natural disaster victims in the United States and for emergency relief worldwide.
Recent donations to ERD have targeted the victims of the war, earthquakes, wildfires, and floods. Financial support has also been allocated to the Watumull Family Children Fund in Kenya for girls hygiene products.