PUNTA GORDA – At the 50th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, winners of Episcopal Charities Grants were announced.
“It makes my heart glad to say that it will keep on giving for generations to come,” said Bishop Dabney Smith in this year’s address to the 50th Convention. In his address, Smith remarked on the growth of the program, which aims to support parish-based solutions to basic human needs in Southwest Florida.
The following programs were awarded grants, which total $32,341:
- Christ Church, Bradenton: Lord’s Pantry Ministry, $3,000
- St. James House of Prayer, Tampa: “Cornerstone Kids” Reading without Walls, $3,641
- Good Shepherd, Dunedin: Pack-a-Sack Program, $1,500
- Good Samaritan, Clearwater: Ten Cent Treasure Center, $1,500
- St. Catherine, Temple Terrace: Child Underwear and Sock, $1,500
- St. George, Bradenton: Food Pantry, $4,000
- St. Hilary, Fort Myers: Hygiene Bags for Needy/Homeless, $3,600
- St. John, Pine Island: Beacon Bites Meal Delivery, $1,500
- St. Mark, Venice: Venice Area Community Dinner, $3,600
- St. Mary, Bonita Springs: Kindness for Kids Program, $2,500
- St. Augustine/St. Thomas, St. Petersburg: Benison Farm, $3,500
- St. Vincent, St. Petersburg: Water Bottle Filling Station, $2,500
Each year, parish-based ministries apply for the grants, which are awarded at convention after the recommendation of diocesan deacons.
The award money each year comes from a 10 percent tithe on monies given to the annual Bishop’s Appeal and interest on our Episcopal Charities Endowment. For each Episcopal Charities donation made, a 10 percent tithe of the gift is distributed in the current year. By mid-summer, parish ministries across the Diocese will begin applying for grants.
The Episcopal Charities program has contributed approximately $307,775 over the last decade; the endowment fund for Episcopal Charities is now close to $1 million.