Santa Maria Urban Ministry
Reach out and make a difference...
Santa Maria Urban Ministry (SMUM) is an outreach effort of the Diocese of El Camino Real to the low-income residential community immediately south of downtown San Jose. SMUM provides social services (food, clothing, home furnishings, language and skills training and socialization) for its clients.
SMUM primarily serves immigrant Hispanic clients, although it also has Vietnamese clients. Approximately 60% of those served are children from families with parents who work at low-wage jobs.
The St. Jude's relationship with SMUM dates back to its founding by the Rev. Mitzi Ackerman, a St. Jude's parishioner who was the first woman ordained in the Diocese of El Camino Real. Many from St. Jude's helped Mitzi found SMUM and over the years these and others have volunteered to help with programs and to serve on the Board.
Throughout the year parishioners contribute food clothing and other items, which Jim Mangin faithfully transports to SMUM each week. Santa Maria's Christmas gift and back-to-school backpack programs are also supported by parishioners each year. Howard Hill and Peter Troop represent St. Jude's on the Saint Maria board
Now over 20 years old, SMUM receives funding from a variety of sources-- the Diocesan budget, area churches, individual pledges and grants. Annually, SMUM is the primary recipient of St. Jude Outreach funds allocated by the Social Justice Outreach committee. But the vibrancy of this organization depends on the efforts of volunteers. More than 60 volunteers help with Santa Maria's various programs. Help is needed in mornings and afternoons. For a list of current volunteer needs, click here.
Spending a few hours a week, or month, is a fulfilling way to reach out and serve hard working familes in need of help within our greater community. Studio, SMUM's after school homework and socializing program for second to eighth grade students relies on adult volunteers to guide and coach these friendly students. ABC Playtime is a pre-school program that needs teachers and assistants for a mid-morning program. Food pantry and office help is also welcome.
St. Jude's parishioner Wally Iimura volunteers at SMUM to manage and maintain their computer systems, networks and telecom system.
Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome here.