The Knox Outreach program can be categorized into Local Community programs and Global Mission support.
Outreach and Mission Support
Agincourt Community Services Association
In 1970 Rev. Bruce Scott was influential in the organizing of the Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA) which is the chief beneficiary of our donations for local outreach. In August, 2008 The Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA) and Knox signed a Food Partnership agreement – food donated each week by our congregation is transported to the ACSA food bank for distribution. Individuals and families in need who come to Knox seeking food or assistance are referred to ACSA for such assistance In addition, we coordinate appeals such as ACSA’s request for backpacks and school supplies at the beginning of each school year. We ensure that offerings directed to specific organizations such as Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA) are appropriately forwarded.
Out of the Cold
Since January 2006, Knox has hosted an Out Of The Cold program in the Christian Education Centre Auditorium on Friday nights from November to March. Working together with other faith groups and organizations in Scarborough, we provide a hot dinner for up to 40 individuals, and a warm place to sleep, breakfast and a packed lunch for as many as 20 guests. It has been very rewarding to see the relationships and fellowship which have developed over these years, among the guests, and between guests and volunteers. Since 2009, Knox has full responsibility for the first night, at the beginning of November. In addition, at least one volunteer member of Knox sleeps in the Christian Centre each week, providing facilitation between the times the group responsible for the program that week leaves in the evening, and returns in the morning to provide breakfast.
Service Description: Capacity 20; supper is available to both those staying overnight and to members of the public – serves 40
Habitat for Humanity
Knox has been a supporter of Habitat for Humanity for a number of years. Members of Knox have participated in builds. and we have also been involved in providing lunches for Habitat volunteers. We have donated many, many aluminum pop cans which are sold to raise money in support of Habitat. As one of the 9 member churches of the Scarborough Faith Community Build group, Knox contributions helped the group to achieve its goal of raising $80,000 to build one Habitat house. The goal was reached in 2008, and the Anwar family was able to move into their new home. A recognition plaque received from Habitat is mounted in the Heritage Room.
Nearly New Shop
Each winter, a group of Knox volunteers co-ordinates and staffs the Nearly New Shop, which is open every Wednesday afternoon. The Nearly New Shop provides members of the community with the opportunity to buy good quality used clothing at very-very low prices.
Proceeds from the sales are donated to many charitable organizations in the community.
Mission and Service
Again last year, our congregation’s strong support of the Mission and Service Fund enabled Knox to exceed our pledge. The M & S Fund is a United Church fund which supports programs in communities both in Canada and throughout the world. Each year, we have a special Mission and Service Sunday. We invite guest speakers, such as missionaries and others involved in the programs of the Mission and Service Fund, to share their experiences with the congregation.
Special Support Projects and Events
From time to time, the Knox Outreach Committee launches special financial appeals, to assist communities affected by disasters such as Typhoons, hurricanes and earthquakes. In addition, we coordinate appeals such as ACSA’s request for backpacks and school supplies at the beginning of each school year.
We also take opportunities to raise awareness of social justice issues in the congregation. Campaigns in the past, includes the collection of signatures on a petition sent to the Prime Minister asking that the Government support peace and respect for human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Our most recent campaign we raised over $20,000 for support of the Syrian Refugee Crisis. This was done through partnership with ACSA and direct mentoring support for a Syrian family by members of the Knox Congregation
The Benevolent Fund is used to support organizations in our local community. Each year, on Outreach Sunday, we invite a representative from one of these groups to inform the congregation about the work of their organization. Habitat for Humanity, Casey House, ACSA, Julliette’s Place, Massey Centre and Out of the Cold are just some of the programs that our congregation has learned more about through these special services.
Global Outreach (Mission and Service)
Our Global outreach is centrally coordinated and managed through the United Church of Canada (Church House) head office under the Mission and Service Fund.