Church of the Apostles Launches Outreach Program to Serve Victims of Domestic Abuse.

Every Congregation, no matter how small, can make an impact.

PARRISH – Church of the Apostles, an Episcopal Church located on the grounds of DaySpring Conference Center – is undertaking its first outreach program benefiting Hope Family Services, a not-for-profit agency serving survivors of domestic violence in Manatee County.

Hope Family Services offer shelter, counseling support, community resources, legal services, and a crisis hotline to the community free of charge. Heading up the outreach is parishioner Kathy Eckert, a volunteer with Hope Family Services for more than 20 years, along with the Salvation Army and Turning Point.

“My desire is to do whatever I can to fill those spaces that are needed,” said Eckert, who coordinates community collections for needed wish list items for Hope Family Services. “The shelter and their programs have limited budgets,” Eckert said.

“Every donation of items that people need is a dollar the organization doesn’t have to spend,” Eckert shared in her invitation to the congregation for outreach support.

The Rev. Carol Fleming, Diocesan Missioner of the Church of the Apostles, was delighted that Eckert wanted to get the congregation involved.

“We can’t just worship in a vacuum, we must also touch the world,” Fleming said. “I am grateful that Kathy had something she’s passionate about that she can take the lead.”

“It makes it that much more meaningful for a mission to come from the ground up, from the people,” Fleming added.

Each Sunday, Eckert collects sample sizes of toiletries and other similar items to be taken to the shelter. During the holiday season, the congregation lent its support to Hope with a donation drive for its Christmas wish list. We look forward to continuing to partner with them.

“We are called to serve those most vulnerable in our community,” Eckert said. “This program allows us to answer that call.”

Learn more about Hope Family Services and its mission at Those in crisis can reach Hope Family Services’ 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at 941-755-6805.

Pictured: Donations made for Hope Family Services in January 2023.