St. Nicholas Giving Project

St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, used an emphasis on St. Nicholas to support the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ). A similar approach could be used to support any seasonal charitable project.

Saint Nicholas
St. Nicholas
St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Photo: St. Martins-in-the-Field
St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This three week emphasis uses Saint Nicholas to focus parish attention on the main Advent outreach project, here, the American Friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem. These ideas may be adapted to support other seasonal outreach projects. Emphasis includes:
  1. Announcements during worship,
  2. Special coffee hours,
  3. St. Nicholas visit to children's classes,
  4. Other suggestions.


  • St. Nicholas to make announcements and visit children and coffee hours
    St. Nicholas found it wonderful to ask people to give rather than ask for more, encouraging children and adults to be generous, not greedy.
  • Cookie bakers to provide cookies (lots!) for children and coffee hours
  • Seamstresses to stitch up the small gold mite bags
  • Knowledgeable folks to talk up the project
  • Committee to organize, do publicity, etc.


  • Information (handouts, posters, etc) about AFEDJ or other project, widely available
  • Cookies
  • Gold mite (coin) bags for children 
    Gold cloth with ribbon drawstring, finished size 4 3/4 x 5 inches
  • Large gold bag for cookie donations
  • Donation envelopes in service bulletin or pew racks


St. Nicholas, fully vested (costume suggestions), announces the project each week following Eucharist or whenever announcements are given
Coffee Hour Cookie Table
Coffee hour table with cookies, information, donation bag
Photo: St. Martin-in-the-Fields

Coffee Hour Table

  • Cookies (free for children, donation from adults, though some children do donate)
    St Nicholas cookie cuttersrecipes
  • Large (to encourage generosity) gold bag for cookie donations
  • Project information and handouts

Saint Nicholas Visit to Children

  • Week one, so children can return coin bags/boxes in timely fashion
    Cookies to give children during class visits
  • Mite (coin) bags/boxes for children
    Tell about project
Gold mite bag
Simple gold mite bag
Photos: St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Saint Nicholas
Each child receives a mite bag
Saint Nicholas
St. Nicholas visiting class, giving cookies, mite bags

Other Suggestions

  • Encourage use of alternative gift cards or giving tree tags. Use our Word files for AFEDJ or generic cards and tags.
Gift card with photos
St. Nicholas at St. Martin-in-the-Fields sent alternative gift cards to friends, telling of gifts to AFEDJ
Saint Nicholas Alternate Gift Card
Click to make your own St. Nicholas Alternate Gift Card
with our editable Word document to print

St. Nicholas Alternative Gift Cards

More in another section

St. Nicholas Giving Tree Tags 

The American Friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ), a non-profit, non-political partnership with the Church in the Holy Land. AFEDJ supports the work of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem in two major hospitals, several schools, 29 parishes and 35 service organizations in Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Click for more information.

Adapted from St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Used by permission.

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