Grace ‘n Grits Homeless Ministry
For the past 23 years, St. Peter’s Lake Mary, in cooperation with 18 area churches, serves quality meals Wednesday Evenings from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the Sanford Civic Center in downtown Sanford. Average attendance is 150. Each church takes a turn preparing and serving a variety of hot meals, and local supermarkets donate baked goods and bread which can be taken home. We also have several tables set up with used, clean clothing which people can take.
St Peter’s also serves 60 – 75 people a hot breakfast of meat, eggs, pancakes, grits and cereal Saturday mornings from 8:00-9:00 am at First Presbyterian at 4th and Park in Sanford. We also provide donated pastries and bread which can be taken home.
Wednesday Washday is in its 6th year since inception with over 300 consecutive weeks of washing. We have washed clothes for over 1250 different people; an estimated 21,500 loads of clothes. The washday typically serves about 40 people each week; fifteen people have used Wednesday Washdays over 100 times. We typically have 14 regular St Peter’s volunteers at the washday. Each one has a regularly scheduled week of the month. We also provide donuts at each washday.
We frequently give away bicycles in a random drawing, and have given away more than 600 bikes to date.
Now in its 6th year, the Bike Ministry has given away 600 donated bikes to our low income and homeless neighbors in Sanford. With each bicycle we give a set of lights and a chain and a lock.
We start each washday with a prayer. I usually ask one of our homeless friends to lead us. They are quick to volunteer and it is amazing to hear how eloquent they are. It is obvious that they each have a relationship with the Lord.
One other facet of our mission work with the homeless and needy in Seminole County are items which we provide on a regular basis. In the summer it is mosquito spray, bottled water, and clothing such as boots, shoes, and socks. In the winter it is blankets, hats, glove, and blankets, and boots and shoes. We also give personal hygiene items such as soap, razors and deodorant.