In The Community
As a church, we want to be known for our extraordinary generosity – of both time and money - toward those in our local community. Through initiatives of St. Mark’s and partnerships with local nonprofits, we provide opportunities to meet the real needs of our community as we serve together.
St. Mark’s Community Food Bank is an outreach ministry that supports families who are in need of food assistance. Families may visit us now twice a month to choose from a menu of food items including canned fruits,canned vegetables, and meat. Through generous donations from the community, we sometimes have toiletries, and other food items.
The Food Bank is open Tuesday through Friday from 1:00 to 3:00 pm for families who currently possess a food bank card and/or letter from the Community Action Council. If you do not have a food bank card/letter or are new to the community, St. Mark's Food Bank (with proper ID and proof of a local address) will provide food one time for one individual. Federal guidelines do not permit us to supply food to anyone without proper ID. Individuals and families may then arrange to get the necessary paperwork from the Community Action Council. We have rearranged our food bank utilizing every safety precaution available to protect our volunteers and families. As you enter, you will be given instructions on how to proceed to receive your food.
We are a non-profit organization that relies on contributions from local churches and individuals in the community:
- Donations may be sent to St. Mark’s Community Food Bank at 601 Washington Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740.
- To volunteer, contact St. Mark’s at 301-733-7550.
Last year, St. Mark’s joined the Micah’s Backpack Program, which provides weekend meals to children in need. Each week, backpacks are filled with breakfast, lunch, and dinner items for each child, ensuring nutritious meals for the weekend.
How can you help?
You can donate items from the list below or send a monetary donation to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and designate Micah’s Backpack on the memo line of your check.
- Single serving fruit cups
- Ramen noodles
- Chicken noodle soup
- Individually wrapped bags of crackers (Cheez-its, peanut butter crackers, etc.)
- Juice boxes
- Pudding cups
- Microwavable Mac-n-cheese cups
God’s Work, Our Hands
"God's Work, Our Hands" Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. You work every day to love your neighbors and make your community a better place. We can continue doing this work together during the dedicated day of service. Learn more by visiting the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America website.
In Washington County, 25% of children enter school without the basic foundation to be “ready to learn.” Within the City of Hagerstown, that number is 33%. Language and literacy skills are a key component of a child’s ability to succeed in school, as well as later in life. Language and Literacy Learning Parties were brought to Washington County as part of the Hagerstown Rotary Literacy Initiative specifically to address this startling statistic and help raise the bar by helping parents see their role more clearly as their child’s first teacher. St. Mark’s provides this much-needed opportunity along with the Hagerstown Area Religious Council (HARC).
Learning Parties is a series of four sessions designed to teach parents how to improve their children’s basic language and literacy skills through simple, yet creative ways to engage their children. The children (ages 3 to 5) also participate in fun learning activities that correspond with what their parents are learning. At the end of each session, the parents and children are reunited to practice the skills together.
REACH Cold Weather Shelter
In partnership with REACH, St. Mark’s provides volunteers and supplies for the cold weather shelter. The shelter provides temporary protection for people 18 and over who are homeless, can care for themselves, and are not a risk to themselves or others. The shelter is open from late October through the end of March and is operated and staffed primarily by volunteers from churches or organizations on a weekly basis.
Hours of operation are 7:00 pm to 7:00 am Monday through Saturday and 3:00 pm to 7:00 am on Sunday. Hours may be extended during severe weather/cold. The Day Resource Center is open 9:00 am to 1:00 pm daily for those who need a place to stay warm. Learn more by visiting the REACH website.
Community Santa Breakfast
For safety reasons to protect our volunteers and families, St. Mark's has not hosted breakfast with Santa for the past 2 Decembers. When we are able to safely return, the Christmas story, along with food, games and crafts will be part of the morning. Every child will receive a special gift from Santa along with a holiday portrait. Children of all ages are invited along with their families.