Emmanuel spreads the cheer – Church gives $13,000 to island groups


It’s a big amount that will go a long way.

Through its outreach program, Emmanuel Episcopal Parish has donated $13,000 to organizations in three categories: youth, adult, and environment.

“The goal of the program is to help our neighbors in need and share our funds,” Fritz Kraetzer, chair of the outreach committee, said.

The church allocates 10 percent of the money pledged throughout the year by parishioners for this annual tradition. Last year the total was $12,000.

“We do not like to have organizations apply because we, unlike the Orcas Island Community Foundation, do not have the capacity to review the large number of applications we would receive if we affirmatively sought out organizations,” Kraetzer said. “We do encourage suggestions from our parishioners, and from these suggestions we make the selections.”

In the youth-related category, the recipients included The Funhouse, Children’s House, Kaleidoscope, little league and soccer scholarships, a sponsored soccer team, Orcas Montessori School and Orcas Island Education Foundation. For the adult component, the recipients were Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse, Hearts and Hands, Senior Services Special Needs, the lunch program associated with the food bank, a new monthly dinner program beginning this month at the Emmanuel Episcopal Parish Hall, OAA Angel-Mercy Flights, and Readiness to Learn Family Emergency.

The environment was a new category for the church. It purchased a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to provide produce to the food bank, and gave money to the Friends of Moran State Park, The SeaDoc Society and the Orcas Animal Protection Society.

“We started these environmentally directed gifts this year because Emmanuel signed on to what we call the ‘Genesis Covenant,’ which is a commitment to be better stewards of the environment,” Kraetzer said. “These gifts work toward this commitment.”