Letty Sargant has found a passion for giving back to Association House for the past 20 years through her church. As a member of Friendship Presbyterian Church, who has partnered with us for many decades, she has led initiatives, including volunteering with the afterschool program; donating food for our food pantry; and, participating in the annual Holiday Smiles Toy Drive. Through Friendship’s annual toy drive efforts, church members have adopted more than 700 children over the last two decades with Letty’s leadership. Here’s a bit about Letty and Friendship Presbyterian Church’s giving in her own words.

How did Friendship Presbyterian Church’s relationship with Association House start?

Letty Sargant: The question came up ‘Should we develop some kind of relationship with an organization that links with our mission?’. Through conversation, we figured out how extensive our relationship was with Association House, with AHC being a part of the Presbytery since the turn of the 20th century. The Presbytery network had supported the mission of AHC’s settlement model back 100 years ago.

We set up a couple of meetings and learned about the mission and work of Association House. And, I think some of the first things we did were wrapping gifts for kids. We went over to the North Ave. location and there was wrapping paper and tape and gifts, and so we helped. While we were there, we saw after-school and weekend programming for kids; and so, some of our members played basketball with the kids and those receiving services from Association House. 

Why do you find volunteering through Friendship Presbyterian Church meaningful?

I’ve always wanted to do volunteer work. I’ve been very blessed in where I came from and where I am now with the financial resources that I have, I just feel I need to give resources back. It gives me a lot of satisfaction – it gives me joy – to give back.

Why does the congregation – its members and community – find the relationship with Association House meaningful?

It is the season of giving and members of our congregation like to give! Earlier, some of our members would go on-site to volunteer. As our relationship evolved, the ways that we volunteered became more defined. I still feel like members enjoy contributing in the ways they do, and that it helps so many children is important to us. We’ll continue to support as long as we exist.

What does the process look like for how Friendship Presbyterian Church gets involved with the adopt-a-child program of the Holiday Toy Drive?

I was at church and announced it early in November. That following Sunday, within less than an hour all [25 kids] were adopted. Members are very interested in the gender of the child, and the age. They get very excited and then really involved in the gift-giving. For instance, for some people, they have children who are boys, and so then they’ll select boys because they feel they know what boys would like; and it gets their children involved too.