Look for the Helpers

Look for the Helpers

Last week, Outreach received word from Bethesda Project that all volunteer shifts would be terminated at their community sites and residences. This was a blow to our shelter which is part of their Church Shelter Program (CSP). We quickly mobilized to let the scheduled volunteers for March know that they would not be able to share a meal with the guys. The option has been laid out that groups can come cook in our kitchen or deliver a hot meal but they must be off site before the Bethesda crew arrives at 6:45pm. This reduces the spread of germs between guests and volunteers and still allows for a home-cooked meal to be enjoyed. Since implementing these new safety precautions, we have had a great response from volunteers. 


  • St. Andrew’s UCC in Perkasie PA brought a hot meal on Sunday, March 15th for the guests to enjoy. They arrived, set up the food with help from Clark, and left before the guys were allowed in the building. 
  • On Tuesday, March 17th Beth W’s friends at Coventry Bakery donated their food items after the bakery closed for quarantine. Our refrigerator is full of fresh deli meat and the fixins for sandwiches and sides. 
  • Deanna’s friend owns a café in Montgomery County and has offered all of her food stock for us for a breakfast meal or breakfast-style dinner. 
  • Deanna and her neighborhood of friends are preparing corn beef and cabbage dinner for the shelter on Friday, March 20. 
  • North and Southampton Reformed Church in Southampton was scheduled to share a meal on Sunday, March 22 and are exploring other options to get a meal to the guys.

During the ever-changing news and recommendations and restrictions, the Cupboard procedures and policies have been continually changing. Last week, Greta and family were scheduled to prepare breakfast and that was scratched once we learned of the serious need for social-distancing. Outreach came up with a plan to provide food as a take away food and toiletries. Greta purchased the items, and I was busy trying to recruit helpers. Unfortunately, Greta injured herself on Friday and was unable to make it to the Cupboard. Woody stepped in to pick up the food and came in on Saturday to get it distributed. With very few hands-on deck and some volunteers not showing up, the service camp from Flint, Michigan was asked to assist with distribution also. Beth and Michael got everything set up and the Cupboard served 65 people a take-out breakfast. 



  • Greta for purchasing food items for take-away breakfast
  • Woody for picking up food from Greta and volunteering on Saturday
  • Michael, Sandra, Siani, and the Mott Clowns for their assistance with distributing breakfast and items.
  • Sisters for Sisters breakfast team who are bringing a hot to-go breakfast on March 21st.
  • Give to Get volunteer team for coming on March 21st to assist with distribution.
  • Everyone trying to assist with March 28th “Old First Take Over” of the Cupboard.
  • Outreach SLG for constant communication amid these almost daily changes.


Helpers are still needed! 

There are a number of volunteers who understandably cannot commit to helping us keep the ministries functioning. If you are willing to volunteer on Saturday mornings for the duration of our limited distribution, please let me know. 

Each Saturday we need: 

  • 2 people who are comfortable to wear gloves and hand out food to the guests.
  • 2 people to work the coffee station wearing gloves (do not let guests make beverages for themselves). 
  • 2 people to wear gloves and distribute toiletries and socks by request. 
  • All volunteers will be asked to assist with clean up and sanitation once all the guests are cleared out. We also need folks who are willing to cook breakfast, and 
  • Volunteers who have access to large quantities of food who are willing to purchase and provide breakfast.


Thank you to everyone who has reached out to see how Outreach is handling the City, State, and CDC recommendations. I appreciate all the folks ordering from our Amazon Wishlist. We will use all those items to prepare breakfast to-go on days we don’t have groups bringing breakfast in. The link to that is: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3KU6B9TSZKFWD?ref_=wl_share 


Thank you,

Billi C  volunteer@oldfirstucc.org