It’s our calling as Christians to face the injustices of our world head-on and respond with love in action. At Trinity Church, responding with love happens when we steward the resources we have to meet the needs right in front of us, here in our neighborhood — from supporting seniors during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to funding community nonprofits through targeted grantmaking, to clothing and feeding the asylum seekers who arrive daily in our city. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us, justice walks hand-in-hand with love.
Since 2019, Trinity Church has nearly quadrupled our total charitable giving, from $16 million to $61 million last year, with most of these funds invested in our Lower Manhattan community. At the end of 2023, we announced another $14.3 million round of grants, including renewing asylum seeker rapid-response grants to four local nonprofits doing critical work to support our migrant neighbors.
Part of stewarding our resources is tracing the impact of every dollar. Sometimes the deepest impact comes through supporting community organizations already on the ground doing the work. At other times Trinity Church is best positioned to respond to needs directly. Either way, our goal is always to meet the growing, shifting needs of New Yorkers old and new.
In 2022, it became clear the arrival of more than 100,000 asylum seekers in New York City required a stronger community response. Since then, Trinity Church has expanded our daily Compassion Meals food assistance program and launched our Compassion Markets, where individuals and families can access free food and household items at a variety of pop-up locations throughout the city. Last year alone, Trinity provided more than 2.4 million healthy meals to our neighbors, and we will continue to feed our community until it is no longer needed — until no one goes hungry.
Church at its best is an expression and extension of God’s justice-oriented love in the world.
We’ve also expanded our program offerings at Trinity Commons to meet emerging needs in our neighborhood. Free courses now include English language lessons, workforce development seminars, youth and afterschool programming, and legal workshops for new arrivals and renters facing discrimination or eviction.
Beyond our buildings, we’re supporting community nonprofits committed to addressing the city’s housing crisis. Grantees including Regional Plan Association and Queens Power are leading the transformation of underutilized properties into new affordable housing. Our $200,000 grant to the Legal Aid Society will ensure New Yorkers facing discrimination for using rental vouchers have a strong and trusted legal advocate by their side.
Living our Christian faith isn’t always easy but it’s simple: We’re here to love God and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Church at its best is an expression and extension of God’s justice-oriented love in the world. Trinity’s growth in charitable giving reflects our commitment to putting this love into action.
I look forward to sharing more updates as our work expands and deepens. In the meantime, I hope to see you at church or one of our community programs.
The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson