Saint Nicholas Gatherings and Practicing Generosity with the Young Adult Network

20’s-30’s folk active in congregations around New York City have shared in a holiday get together around St. Nicholas Day for many years.  In 2011 the social activity was paired with an act of generosity and a new tradition was born!  

2016 Saint Nicks party

2016 Saint Nicks party

On Saturday, December 3, 2016 the Young Adult Network  gathered downtown at St. Paul’s Chapel for a festive evening of social engagement and serving others. In the spirit of St. Nick we collected donations to participate to post-Hurricane Matthew recovery and rebuilding work in Haiti.  Donations came in the night of our party and in the following weeks totaling $1,200!

The Diocese of New York and the Haitian Congregation of the Good Samaritan in the Bronx are at work with Episcopal communities that are rebuilding rooftops of homes and schools and providing access to clean water and food to our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Contributions from this evening are supporting the ongoing recovery work taking place in the Diocese of Haiti, following the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew in the fall of 2016.

Here is an update from the Rev. Sam Owen, priest in charge of our partner congregation, the Church of the Good Samaritan

Since the hurricane hit on October 3rd, we have received an outpouring of donations from parishes and individuals in New York, Connecticut, Texas and Montana totaling over $10,400.00. We sent $1,500.00 immediately after the storm to Fr. Jean Berthod Phanord in Bondeau and Fr. Irnel Duveaux in Jeremie, to purchase food and supplies for their parishioners. We used another $600.00 to help cover the shipping costs of donations of food, clothing and toiletries.

The remaining $8,300.00 will go toward repairing 38 homes in Bondeau that were severely damaged. St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Boca Raton, FL collected an additional $20,000.00, and we are pooling our money with St. Gregory’s to repair as many of the homes as possible.

Your generosity has joined with others from around the country. For example, P.S. 9, an elementary school in the South Bronx, NY, collected three large drums of food to ship to Haiti. These donations came from families who gave out of their poverty, recalling the widow’s mite in Luke 21:1-4, to help the people of Haiti. A group in Spring Valley, NY collected enough food, clothing and Christmas gifts to send a 40-foot shipping container to Bondeau! Thanks to their generosity, and that of St. Gregory’s, 350 children received Christmas gifts this year.

On behalf of the people of Haiti, thank you for your generosity and kindness. You have truly made a difference in the lives of many people.

Distribution of Christmas gifts to 350 children following midnight mass on Christmas Eve in Bondeau.

Distribution of Christmas gifts to 350 children following midnight mass on Christmas Eve in Bondeau.

Thanks to donations from individuals active in the Young Adult Network, paired with two generous Leadership Gifts from St. Thomas Church and Trinity Church Wall Street we, and others will make a significant difference in the lives of our fellow Episcopalians and communities living in Haiti.

A BIG thank you to everyone who donated to this act of generosity! Check out some photos from the evening.

Where it all began.

In 2011 St. Nicholas party, held at Church of the Ascension, attendees brought children’s gifts, warm winter clothing donations and raised funds for Gifts for Life campaign through Episcopal Relief and Development.  In one night we raised over $400.  It was a surprise and a delight.  The Young Adult Network formally came into being in 2012 and a commitment to serving others through fundraising and hands on ministry became one of our three primary commitments.

2012 was the year Hurricane Sandy hit New York City and the Eastern Seaboard.  St. Nicholas Party was held at St. Michael’s Church and donations were all dedicated to relief efforts in response to these local needs. A Trivia Night hosted by St. James’ in the spring of 2013 raised over $3,500 toward these needs.

In 2013 the Young Adult Network was asked to take on a significant challenge – to raise $2000 to cover the cost of a young adult leadership camp in the Diocese of Haiti.  Funds raised at the St. Nicholas Party, held at Calvary-St. George Church and Trivia Night raised over $3000.  Some funds were also allocated to send assistance to the Philippines for recovery work following a Tsunami in 2013.

In 2015 we gathered at All Angels’ Church  on the Upper West Side for fellowship, prayer and a great cause.

2015 Saint Nicks Party

2015 Saint Nicks party

We were excited to partner with other churches in the Diocese of New York to build a dedicated pre-school classroom for Iraqi refugees in Baghdad. The goal of the preschool was to help refugees find employment, while knowing their children are safe. Employment helps people find a way “out” and back to a normal life, with dignity and self-sufficiency.

After a recent visit, Fr Augen and his staff are extremely grateful, and have shared the progress with us! This couldn’t have been done without everyone’s generosity!

Check out more photos from this event!

Young Adults in the Diocese of New York continue to be committed to caring for those in need whom we are called upon to serve.  Thanks be to God and the practice of generosity, we will continue to do this work, with one another and with God’s help.

If you want to be involved in the planning of our 2017 Saint Nicholas party, please connect with us.