Can you believe its almost the end of the month? I can’t! Time is flying by so fast. I know this summer did not operate the way it normally does, with the absence of service camps, virtual church service, and zero to minimal interaction on site here at Old First. It definitely is different, but I think considering the circumstance we have adjusted quite nicely and to the best of our ability.
With that, maintaining operations here on site has been a “learn as we go,” experience, specifically with the Saturday Food and Clothing Cupboard. In other words, we try things, and if the consensus among the group is that it did not work, we revert back to the way it was done previously. That being said, last Saturday we decided to make three separate tables (which were spread out far apart) and each one had at least two items of every clothing size. By utilizing the entire space of the social hall, we were able to have three guests in at a time. And just like before, the guest stands behind the line of tape while a volunteer grabs the item they requested. And I just want to say that this system worked SO WELL. Many thanks to Billi for suggesting this idea at the Outreach SLG meeting. While we want to add the option of choice by the guest selecting clothes, we also want to be time efficient, especially now as we are serving so many guests. This Saturday we served 29!
In addition, we are starting to prepare for fall, and our awesome clothing volunteers Dawn and John have been a huge help in accomplishing this. On Tuesday, John spent hours organizing all of the clothes in the shed and it is now very organized (picture to be posted to Facebook soon!). Moreover, Dawn has been a tremendous help in separating the clothing we cannot use, such as women’s, children’s, and men’s work attire. All of these items are in labeled trash bags in the social hall and ready to be donated. Dawn and I have been trying to find an organization to donate these items to, but as of now we have had no luck, so if anyone knows of a place or organization please let me know!
Also, the fresh food has been a huge success and I am now requesting that fresh food donors prepare 35 breakfast sandwiches just to be on the safe side, as each week the number of guests showing up increases by 4-5. I just want to say thanks for everyone who volunteered to make breakfast sandwiches. Because of your generosity, the remainder of August AND September is all booked. However, I am starting to recruit for October as it is my motto that it’s never too early to start preparing, and I have the 2nd and 4th week open for anyone who is interested.
The last order of business concerning the cupboard is donations and volunteers. We could really use disposable razors, toothbrushes, and mini toothpaste. If you would like to help, all of these items are on our Amazon Wishlist. And finally, we could really use volunteers! More guests showing up = more volunteers needed. I know it’s a difficult time right now, but I want to stress that we are taking the situation very seriously with everyone being required to wear masks at all times. If guests do not have a mask, we provide them one. We also have face shields for our volunteers as well. If you have any questions regarding this or are interested in volunteering feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great week rest of the week, and as always feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just want to say hi.
Jess, Outreach Coordinator