At present, we have about 54 active volunteers. Pre-Covid and Hurricane, we had 100+; our current process does not require as many workers as before, but we will start building up the staff as we return to expanded services in the fall. Many of the volunteers work mornings with me; most work one day a week, several work 2 or more days. Our oldest volunteer is an 88 year old retired deacon who works 4 days a week; he sits in front and happily greets our guests each day. (When we had our party for Sister Isaac a few weeks ago, some of our ‘retired’ volunteers visited. The eldest was a charming lady that is 101. She volunteered with us well into her late 90’s.)
There are many different jobs for volunteers each morning. The volunteers that work directly with our guests have roles greeting our guests at the door, helping them load their goods, answering and making phone calls to interview people in need and determining how we can be of help, handling the financial requests. We are still operating primarily with ‘appointments’ but we’ve started to expand our services to be able to help ‘walk-ins’ as best we can.
There are many jobs ‘behind the scenes’ as well. Workers take in donations at the back door. Several people work the clothing and housewares areas each day sorting through the donations; it’s a daunting task to keep up with the volume of goods we receive! Each item is looked over to ensure it meets our standards of being clean and usable. Food deliveries often come in from the foodbank and stores. Teams come in to help unload and shelve whenever we have large food deliveries scheduled. Each day, food bags are organized to get ready for the next day’s activity. Shopping is done for hygiene items and cleaning products and this results in a large delivery each month. Lots of time is spent organizing and shelving all the items. Shopping is also done for our homeless food. Each day, a couple people work to fill all the orders for our guests that have appointments the next working day; they use the files the phone interviewers prepared, and they go about gathering all of the food, hygiene items, clothing and household goods per the guest’s request. Several volunteers help with extensive paperwork and administrative tasks.
Many of the volunteers also help outside of our morning hours – more phone calls, shopping, working on yard sales, administrative tasks, training, picking up donations, running errands for me, organizing, making repairs and improvements, painting, and cleaning. Lots of volunteers work on our holiday projects. Whenever there’s work to be done, there’s volunteers that pitch in. Five of our volunteers serve on our Board of Directors. We meet monthly to review the prior month’s activities, talk about any volunteer needs or concerns, discuss financial status, explore any activities that might benefit the Center and those in need, review current processes, recommend any improvements, and make decisions on any issues. (This group truly is the wind beneath my wings.)
Please keep my volunteers and me in your prayers as we continue our work.