Our Neighbor's Place
We have agreed to take a turn hosting the overflow shelter program that is being run by Community Shelter Services with the help of area churches. The first floor of our Community Center will be the site for this shelter from February 6 to February 20.
The overflow shelter program provides a warm place to eat, sleep and shower for our homeless brothers and sisters during the cold winter months. The program has already run successfully since November at various local churches including Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant and St. John’s Lutheran Church. I have spoken with volunteers from all of these locations and been told that it is a truly humbling and rewarding experience.
On Wednesday, February 6 the shelter will move from St. John’s to our Community Center. That day, we will need volunteers at 3pm to help set up cots, chairs, a social area, toiletries and linens for the residents before they arrive that evening.
Beginning that night, we will need volunteers to staff the shelter during each of three shifts for the length of our two week period. The shifts will run from 7pm to 11pm, 11pm to 3am, and 3am to 7am. The first shift will also be responsible for registering residents and serving them a light dinner so extra volunteers are needed for this shift. Volunteers during the later shifts will be expected to wash towels that have been used, do some light clean up work, monitor the residents and set up breakfast (coffee and pastries at 5am).
There are sign-up sheets in the church basement for those interested in volunteering . When you consider your availability, please keep in mind that we are seeking to serve those in need by providing them with a warm, peaceful place to rest from the cold. Volunteers should come to the shelter prepared to be calm and peaceful but firm with residents, many of whom suffer from mental health issues, addiction and other illnesses. Please sign the sheet in the church OR contact Daria Devlin (firstname.lastname@example.org or 460-5387) to offer your assistance.
We will be reaching out to the other Orthodox churches in our area as well as St. Patrick’s Catholic Church to help fill shifts and I have been assured that additional volunteers will come from the churches where the shelter has already taken place. Please invite your friends and family to help as well. This is a large effort and we will gladly accept any and all help from the community!
Lastly, we need volunteers who are willing to make soup for the residents each night. Additional food donations have been made by another local church and bread is donated each night by Panera so we are only required to provide soup, water, lemonade, coffee and tea. If you are interested in helping with this aspect of the project, please contact Mother Maria in the church office.
If you cannot donate your time, please consider a monetary donation or purchase an item from our WISHLIST: socks, underwear, long underwear, hats, gloves, sweatpants, cough drops and Kleenex. These items can be brought to the Center or put in the bin in the church basement.
A final organizational meeting for all volunteers will be held on Monday, February 4 at 6pm at the Community Center. A light dinner will be provided during the meeting.
Although this project is a large undertaking, it is our responsibility as Christians to help those in need. I hope you will join us in this worthy cause as we truly work to answer Christ’s call to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Thank you in advance for your generosity, commitment and care.