Santa Maria Urban Ministry


Studio kids in computer lab

Reach out and make a difference...

If you enjoy nurturing pre-kindergarten children...  Santa Maria's ABC Playtime, the get-ready-for-kindergarten program for 3 to 5 year olds, needs your help to expand its mid-morning sessions. 
Join with retired kindergarten teachers who conduct the weekday morning classes. You can volunteer for one day a week. To learn more contact Peter Troop or Kathy Cordova, Santa Maria's executive director. 

Santa Maria Urban Ministry (SM) is an outreach effort of the Diocese of El Camino Real to the low-income residential community immediately south of downtown San Jose. SM is a leading food pantry for the Second Harvest Food Bank delivering boxes of nutritious food to families up to two times a month. 

Santa Maria in downtown San JoseSM serves familes and individuals who struggle to make ends meet.  Approximately 60% of those served are children from families with parents who work at low-wage jobs. Increasinigly homeless individuals come to SM for food and help.

SM seeks to help families and indiviuals on a transformative path to self-sifficiency with support programs that include clothing, pre-school  education, teen leadership and English as a second language.

The St. Jude's relationship with SM 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 SM 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.  Santa Maria's Christmas gift and back-to-school backpack programs are also supported by parishioners each year. Peter Troop represents St. Jude's on the Saint Maria board

Now 35 years old, SM receives funding from a variety of sources-- the Diocesan budget, area churches, individual pledges and grants. Annually, SM 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.

You can help make a difference

Wally Iimura volunteers to manage SMUM's IT and telecom systems.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, SM'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 SM 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.