The St. James Catholic Church Social Outreach Committee (SJSOC) will hold a reception on Thursday, May 9, to honor Janet Qualters, a longtime volunteer at the church and in the Falls Church community. The reception will be held in Msgr. Paul V. Heller Hall (Door 13) from 6 – 8 p.m. All are welcome to help celebrate Qualter’s legacy of service.
Qualters retired from her position as head of the St. James’ SOC in 2018. To that point, she had given 25 years of continuous service to the Church and the Falls Church community. Among Qualters’ many acts of service to the community was her establishment, along with Nancy Stock, of the St. James Food Distribution Program in 1991. The program, held on the first Friday of each month, serves over 130 families in the Falls Church community, by distributing staple foods, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.
“Through her time here at St. James, Janet has truly embodied Christ’s command to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and to care for the least of our brothers and sisters,” said the Very Rev. Patrick L. Posey, V.F., pastor of St. James Catholic Church. “I thank her for all that she did for our parish and our various outreach programs, and for all of the care and compassion she showed to those who needed help.”
Qualters was a founding board member of the Falls Church Homeless Shelter, and served the Center for over 22 years as a volunteer, ensuring that the facility had all it needed to help the community. From ensuring that there was enough food for breakfasts to making sure that linens and towels were laundered, to making sure there were adequate supplies of cleaning and hygiene products, Qualters was a passionate supporter of the Center’s mission. Recognizing that food was a real need for the shelter, Qualters organized a bag lunch program, with the lunches prepared by St. James parishioners.
In her position as head of the SJSOC, Qualters tirelessly recruited volunteers to help with many of the parish’s programs, including sock, underwear, shoe, linen and towel drives for area homeless shelters; baby bottle and diaper drives for HOPE House, a local pregnancy assistance center; recruiting drivers for Meals on Wheels and by making sure that St. James parishioners were volunteering to help distribute meals at So Others May Eat (SOME), a local “interfaith, community-based service organization that exists to help and support residents of our nation’s capital experiencing homelessness and hunger.”