Contributed by Seth Lloyd, Chair, Outreach Committee
Ever since the pandemic began, the Outreach Committee has been hard at work, looking for meaningful ways to engage with the community while staying safe and maintaining protocols. Finally, we’ve found recommendations for those who are seeking volunteer opportunities and ways to lend a hand. For more information, please get in touch with the contact person listed. Need contact info? Check the Online Parish directory, or inquire with the Office.
1. Meals-On-Wheels. The parish has a long history of delivering meals to homebound seniors on major holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Meals-On-Wheels has suspended those deliveries, focusing only on Monday through Friday deliveries. The organization needs assistance with these deliveries. The volunteer can deliver once or on a more regular basis. The day(s) are at the discretion of the volunteer. The volunteer drives to the warehouse and is given a list of the homes to which to deliver and boxes of frozen meals. The volunteer phones each recipient to announce the impending delivery, drives to the recipient’s home, and, after ringing the doorbell, leaves the package on the front step. The entire process is “contactless.” Each volunteer is given a list of approximately 5 names. Interested? Call Margo Norris for details.
2. Crossroads. In addition to our food collection efforts for Crossroads, we have learned about two other volunteer opportunities. First, two or three parishioners can make arrangements, at their convenience, to sort donated foodstuffs and organize the food pantry. This volunteer opportunity will have little contact with others (apart from incidental contact with Crossroads’ staff for instructions. Second, Crossroads serves a carryout lunch for its clients mid-day Sunday. Churches and other organizations sponsor each such lunch. Sometimes, the sponsor informs Crossroads that it cannot provide all of the needed volunteers. In such cases, Crossroads may call us for help. This activity involves food prep and assembly of the carryout packages. Interested in either? Contact Eileen MacDonald (by email or phone) for more information.
3. Pope Francis Center. PCF has temporarily relocated to space in the TCF Center (formerly Cobo Hall). This space is considerably larger, allowing for social distancing consistent with recommendations. N-95 masks and other personal protective equipment are also provided. Each shift lasts from 6:45 to 11 am, Monday through Saturday. The work is not arduous. The homeless men, women and children are polite and very grateful, and the PFC staff is wonderful. Vestry member Anthony Mitchell has volunteered several times since the relocation. If you are interested, please call Anthony for details. Once we determine the level of interest, we will either arrange to provide all of the needed volunteers for a shift or, if not enough parishioners are interested to staff a shift completely, we will provide information about how to volunteer individually.