The Attic – The Attic is our thrift store. It not only offers jobs and job training (in partnership with Goodwill’s SCSEP program) to members of our community but also provides a place for many families to shop for clothing, furniture, toys, and home goods at very affordable prices. Proceeds from The Attic help pay for our Mission’s expenses and fund other outreach programs. We are also able to use items donated to The Attic to help families in need. We’ve helped furnish homes, provided beds, and clothing to families in need thanks to donations available at The Attic.
Financial Assistance – Thanks to proceeds from The Attic and generous financial donations from our friends and benefactors, we’re able to offer monetary aid to families and individuals in need in Jackson County. We have helped with unexpected one time expenses, rent, utility bills, and other needs. There is an application process and we do not give money out to individuals. Our goal is to offer a hand up to persons who are struggling due to circumstances beyond their control. Be it from an unexpected emergency expense, losing their job or having to take long term unpaid leave due to an injury or illness, etc. We’ve helped families who’ve had to move suddenly due to unsafe or unhealthy circumstances.
Back to School Bash – Every year, prior to the first day of school, we hold a Back to School Bash. ANY child that attends school in Jackson County (public, private, or home) is eligible. We charge $2 per child and each child receives brand new school supplies (based on their school and grade list), a backpack (if they need or want it), and a $2 voucher to The Attic. During our Back to School Bash, The Attic is open and running a sale so that families can shop for back to school clothing at the same time. If a family is unable to pay, we will still give them the school supplies and backpack.
Thanksgiving – With the help from our friends at Loras College (they send a group of students to us every year for the week of Thanksgiving), we host a sit down Thanksgiving dinner for the senior citizens of Jackson County on Wednesday. Our guests get to break bread and share in fellowship. We also give out goody bags provided by our friends from Our Lady of Grace parish, have entertainment, and play games. On Thursday (Happy Thanksgiving!!) we box up and deliver meals to the home bound and elderly who are alone or can’t make it to be with their families. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, we have sign up sheets placed throughout the county for seniors to sign up for either Wednesday’s sit down dinner OR delivery on Thursday. They can also call the office to sign up.
Nativity Play and Santa Party – Every year we host a Santa Party that requires NO sign up and is open to the public. We start with a reading of the Nativity story as the members of our parish act it out. Then, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive to visit with the children. Every child in attendance has the opportunity to visit and get their picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Clauses also give out a small gift bag full of age appropriate gifts, goodies, and toys to each child.
Christmas Forward – Our Christmas Forward program focuses on not only helping families provide a happy Christmas for their children but also on building up stronger families and communities by requiring them to “pay it forward” in advance. We start accepting sign-ups in August, at our Back to School Bash, and continue accepting them through October. If a family qualifies for food stamps, then our program is totally free. If they don’t, then we charge $5 per child. (The money is donated to our local food bank.) Each child receives a minimum of 3 brand new toys/gifts. Thanks to the generosity of our friends at Our Lady of Grace and many other donors, we are usually able to offer the children in our program much more; including, new coats, blankets, undergarments, games, more toys, toiletries, school supplies, books, and even bikes on occasion (we do a raffle). Each family also receives a voucher to our local grocery store that’s good through the end of the year. You might be wondering about the “pay it forward” aspect… We require each family that signs up for Christmas Forward to complete 35 hours of community service prior to the day of the program. This is not limited to traditional community service projects (volunteering at the food bank, their church, etc) but also includes things like; G.E.D. classes, parenting classes, counselling (individual or family), volunteering in their child’s class or school, vo-tech training, job skills and training, and attending family enrichment activities offered in the community. We believe that services, classes, and programs that help build up families also build up our community. They are not required to volunteer for or at St. Paul’s, although we are happy to provide service opportunities as we are able. The general requirement is that the parents or guardians who signed up for the program are the ones who must complete the service hours but in cases where that’s a hardship due to their employment, we will work with them to find someone (a friend or grandparent) who is willing to complete the service hours on their behalf. Families are assigned an appointment to come shop and we have volunteers who work very hard in the days leading up to our program to set everything up and then, on the day of, to help the parents/guardians shop for their child(ren).
Vacation Bible School – In the past, in partnership with a service group, we’ve offered a summer VBS. It was open to any children/youth in Jackson County and has been a huge success. We’ve been unable to offer it the last two summers but look forward to hopefully being able to offer it or something similar in the future.
Service Outreach – At various times during the year, we host service groups from high schools and colleges. We line up service projects in the community that fit their skill sets. We are always happy to host more groups – for a day, a weekend, a week, or even longer. There is plenty of work to be done in Jackson County for all ages (you don’t have to be in high school or college) and abilities; and plenty of people to be served. If you are interested in serving as Christ’s hands and feet to the people of Jackson County, Ky please give us a call at 606-287-7601 or email us. We’d love to have you join us!
We are working to provide more outreach opportunities to our community. Check back here for updates!