SPOKANE: Parish receives United Way volunteer award

April 26, 2007

St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, has been awarded the TEAM Volunteer of 2007 by the United Way of Kootenai County (Idaho), a social-service resource and grant-making agency.

According to a parish news release, St. Luke's was nominated by the local organization of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul because of the numbers of volunteers and hours that its members have provided for a wide range of service areas operated by St. Vincent's. A team of six volunteers from St. Luke's Church accepted the award plaque during an April 25 luncheon at the Coeur d'Alene Resort.

St. Luke's Outreach Ministry, which is a Jubilee Ministry Center, has an extensive relationship with St. Vincent de Paul, and in particular with its Transitional Housing Center in Coeur d'Alene. St. Luke's volunteers work with the center, which focuses on chronically homeless families with one or more children. The volunteers provide adult role models for the children, read to them, help them during play activities, and become adult friends outside their family circle. Volunteers from St. Luke's also provide computer training classes for clients, help with job searches and resume writing, and assist in mandatory adult education by providing specific training content for these adults.

Grants from Kootenai Electric Trust Foundation have helped St. Luke's provide software for life-skills and parenting classes and related equipment to assist in the client reorientation to productive lives in the community, according to the news release.

Recently, St. Luke's started providing monthly financial support to Baloney Bob's, a feeding program that serves meals to homeless people seven days a week.

St. Luke's volunteers also established a "Support Our Troops" campaign, starting with relatives of parishioners, who are on active duty overseas in combat areas. Care packages and multiple boxes of books and magazines have been sent overseas, the release said.