Businesses and organizations can organize Service Projects around any of our main activities.
How to Get Started
First, talk with members of your group about what type of service they would like to do: help with hosting one evening, offer a special workshop to our guests, do a drive for needed supplies or help with an event.
Send us an email to set up a visit with someone to learn more about the current needs we have for Service Projects, to define a project that works for your team.
Here are some ideas to get your group started.
Some opportunities are at the rotating group of host congregations, some at the fixed day center, and some within the community at large. Among the most frequently-needed positions are:
Dinner Preparers, who put together a hot meal for guests.
Dinner and Evening Hosts,who eat with guests, welcome newcomers and assist guest parents with their children’s needs.
Overnight Hosts, who help children with homework, stay overnight with the guests, and wake them in the morning.
Breakfast Preparers, who put a nourishing meal on the table—a perfect opportunity to volunteer on the way to work.
Tutors, Homework Helpers, Resume/Interview Coaches and other Day Center Volunteers, who provide assistance to guest families during the day and coverage when the Director is out. (These positions requires a background check and additional training).
Specialized opportunities harness volunteers’ particular skills to help guests. These opportunities allow employees to leverage their skills and talents, making a real difference for people in need.
Budget Preparation — teaching guests financial management.
Legal Assistance — resolving credit, custody and landlord issues.
Housing Assistance — mentoring to prepare for transitional or permanent housing.
Job Training — referrals, career skills evaluation/tutoring, internships.
Public Relations — helping with newsletters, websites, etc.
Board Members — to serve on the board, providing guidance and specialized assistance/skills.
Being homeless presents one challenge after another. Volunteers can make a tremendous difference in a family’s day, just by taking the time to celebrate a holiday or special occasion, or through the donation of a cheerful gift basket. Examples might include:
Hospitality Kits — often guests arrive in the program with little more than the clothes on their backs. A variety of toiletries, stuffed animals, bedtime books and other personal items are much appreciated.
Welcome Home Baskets — when guests are about to move into housing of their own, we like to celebrate this milestone with a basket filled with detergents, dishtowels, household goods and nonperishable food items to stock their pantry.
Back-to-School Packs — children are always thrilled to receive a new backpack filled with school supplies, a lunch box with a favorite character and a gift card for mom to buy new back-to-school shoes.
Holiday Celebrations — the holidays are an especially difficult time to be homeless. Organizing a party, decorating a day center, or running a toy drive for the children can put the magic back into the holidays.
Adopt-A-Family — many volunteers find it gratifying to “adopt” a particular guest family and give them special gifts according to their individual needs.
Co-sponsoring events is an ideal way for a corporation and a nonprofit to realize their goals. The events raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit while raising the company’s profile, enhancing their image and affording their employees a chance to “do good while doing well.” Possibilities include:
Walk-a-thons or Charity Runs—these are perfect opportunities for volunteers to become involved in a variety of ways, from being sponsored by friends and family as they walk or run, to helping with organizing… to handing out water as participants pass by.
Golf Outings—these are popular in many locations, and offer the opportunity for participants to enjoy the camaraderie of friends while contributing to a worthy cause
Auctions—another good fundraising option, auctions can be anything from a low-key raffle to a high-profile, silent auction at an evening gala, complete with celebrities and local dignitaries.
Concerts—musicians are often happy to support a good cause, and concerts are ready-made media opportunities in which both the corporation and the nonprofit can benefit from the favorable publicity
“Taste Of” Festivals—rapidly growing in popularity, “taste of” events are occasions when members of the local community can sample the cuisine of a variety of local restaurants.