As you know our church serves lunch to the homeless every Monday. Each week we open our doors and serve around 150 guests a good meal. It’s a very powerful time. I have been involved with the program for two years now. If you are available on Mondays I highly recommend it to you as a service opportunity and a great opportunity to get know fellow community service oriented members at our church.
Our volunteer crew is a good mix of retirees, actors and artists you have a more flexible schedule, 20s30s with a flexible schedule and teens who have the summer off.
If you can’t make it on Monday, you can still be involved! Here are some ways.
Books/Magazines: We give out reading material to our guests. Being poor, one has a lot of time but not a lot of money to spend on luxury items like magazines. Reading keeps them sharp and out of trouble. It also helps them feel connected to society. So bring in your old magazines and old books and donate them.
Hygiene Products: We also provide hygiene products to our guests. If you have left over supplies (or if you travel and want to take hotel soaps home with you to give to the less fortunate), bring them in!
Veggie Pick up: A large portion of our food supply is donated by farmers at our local Beverly Hills Farmer’s Market. Each week someone from All Saints makes the rounds and picks up donations from our generous farmers. Why not volunteer? It’s a great way to meet the farmers and experience the market. You can do it with a friend.
Veggie Prep: Sunday at 1:30, when all the vegetables come in, we need to sort and chop them. I did this for a year it was a great way to learn a lot about vegetables and how to prep them for cooking. If you think you want a cooking class, why not just come to this? It’s perfect timing to go out to lunch after church then come back and volunteer at 1:30
Eat Pizza: One day the owner of Villa Blanca, a restaurant 3 blocks south on Camden, came by wanting to know what all the homeless were doing outside on the corner. We invited him in and showed him our humble operation. He left ( we were expecting an angry letter) instead he returned with 15 pizzas. He’s been donating pizzas every week ever since. Why not give him your fine dining business as a thank you?
Bring in Clothes: Our guests make requests for clothes and we try to accommodate that. If you can donate clothes, that’d be great! If we have more than enough we’ll just pay it forward to another charitable organization.
Buy Notecards: One of our volunteers, Lisa who does the clothes, is an artist. She used her time, between helping guests get clothes, to draw them. First, this was amazing. To the marginalized and forgotten members of our society who are so often ignored and overlooked, to receive this level attention is really transformative, dignifying. We held an art show of these drawings. The money going the ministry, and yes the subjects weren’t invited to the showing as well. One of guests, Oscar, saw we were selling the drawing of him for $200 and wanted the money for himself. Christian explained to him that the money went to the ministry–to pay for lunch for everyone. Oscar asked “so I bought lunch for everyone today?” beaming with pride. He couldn’t have been happier if you had given him the money cash in hand. Now these drawing are available to purchase reproduced as notecards. Buy them in the parish bookstore and feel Oscar’s pride.
For more information on any of these services we provide, ask Josh!