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 individuas and families.

Santa Maria in downtown San JoseAnnually, SM is the primary recipient of St. Jude Outreach funds allocated by the Social Justice Outreach committee. 

SM serves a growing population of homeless as well as housed familes and individuals who struggle to make ends meet.  Working at low-paying jobs it is not uncomon for more than 70% of their household income to go to rent alone.

SM seeks to help families and indiviuals move to a transformative path and self-sifficiency.  SM partners with others orgaizations to make avilable health and other services. SM augments its food partnry 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. St. Jude's parishioners helped Mitzi found SM and have been stalwart volunteers in support of SM's programs.

Throughout the year St. JJude's 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

You can help make a difference

Wally Iimura volunteers to manage SMUM's IT and telecom systems.Consider volunteering to contribute to the vibrancy of this organization.  Help is needed in mornings and afternoons across various programs.  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, 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.