What We Do
Lenten Almsgiving Project
The 2021 Lenten almsgiving charities were Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank and St. Vincent de Paul Housing Assistance. While almsgiving is often simply “writing a check,” we take this opportunity to learn about the great work being done by various charities and how we can become part of that with our donations.
Kettering Summer Lunch Program
At the Oak Creek apartments in Kettering, lunches are served during the summer to children who normally participate in their school’s free lunch program during the school year. Our Social Action Committee and Youth Ministry are responsible for providing and serving lunches for one week each summer. Around 45 lunches are served each day.
Through the efforts of our Sustainability subcommittee, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati awarded St. Charles the designation of “Laudato Si’ Parish,” living out Pope Francis’ message of caring for God’s creation. Our current focus is on reducing plastic pollution.
The Giving Tree is an annual Advent project to collect Christmas gifts for several local charities.
Fair Trade Sale
Fair Trade helps producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions. Every December, there is a local Fair Trade Sale at the University of Dayton’s River Campus. We have been responsible for the setup and sale of household items.
We are responsible for the food barrels at the doors of our church. One of our members coordinates the volunteers who deliver the donated items to the Catholic Social Services food pantry on a weekly basis.
Weavers of Justice
We are members of the Weavers of Justice, a group of Dayton-area parishes and Catholic organizations who work together on social justice issues, receiving staff support from the Archdiocese Social Action Office. The Fair Trade Sale and Distinguished Speaker program are examples of Weavers’ activities that we support.
SPUR and LIGHT
We provide articles for the St. Charles weekly bulletin and quarterly newsletter to educate and engage parishioners on our activities and social justice issues in general.
Transportation for Ignation Retreats
We transport people who have experienced homelessness to and from retreats at Bergamo.
Thrive Together Dinners
Thrive Together (formerly known as Circles) helps individuals break out of the cycle of poverty. We coordinate six St. Charles-sponsored meals throughout the year, two of which are served by our Social Action Committee.
We are pursuing more interaction with the Hispanic community, starting with St. Charles’ and St. Mary’s youth groups, and in conjunction with Archdiocesan ministries.
Presentations and Events
Attend social-action-related presentations and events, following up as appropriate.
We meet with other St. Charles Outreach ministries on a regular basis to share information, look for opportunities to collaborate and report significant activities to Parish Council.
Diakonia Steering Committee
We provide a representative to serve on the Diakonia Steering Committee to help oversee the management and uses of the Diakonia fund.
Homicide Prayer Vigils
Attend prayer vigils at the sites of homicides in Dayton.
We have re-introduced the Peace Pole to our parishioners and plan to continue providing awareness and maintenance.
Provide an opportunity to pray for social action issues to those who may not be able to actively participate.
Our committee may also pursue or assist with other opportunities as they arise. A recent example is tornado relief:
- We helped identify local agencies and parishes chosen to receive distributions from the St. Charles Tornado Relief Fund.
- Food barrel volunteers personally donated $500 to Debbie Pendleton, manager of Catholic Social Services’ food pantry, who is also a tornado survivor.
- We volunteered at the Edwin C. Moses St. Vincent de Paul warehouse to sort clothing and shoe donations for distribution to tornado survivors.
It is the vision of the Social Action Committee that the principles of Catholic social teaching be integrated into every aspect of our parish. This vision includes providing opportunities for parishioners to serve in the areas of charity and outreach, advocacy, community organizing and solidarity.
We meet the first Thursday of every month, except for July and August. Contact Gene Hartman for more information.