Note from Bethany:
It’s Thanksgiving week. I wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving means food, friends, family and also Black Friday! This year I’m super excited to announce I will be having a Black Friday special! Check it out here.
As a business owner, I believe in giving back at least 10% of earnings to charity. Sometimes when I look at all the needs around the world, I am even more motivated to do more. Especially during the holiday season. Other than money, the gift of time and encouragement are also important. So today’s article is about volunteering.
Volunteering Locally: Metropolitan Ministries
The end of the year means the holiday season is approaching. It can be a happy or extremely sad time for some families. It all depends on which side of the spectrum they are in. As we were driving to church I saw two men looking rather dirty crossing the street with their backpacks. At another corner was another man holding a sign “Homeless and Hungery”. Obviously he misspelled the word but those were sad scenes and real.
Every year, there’s a volunteering opportunity during the Thanksgiving/ Christmas season that I go to with my church called Metropolitan Ministries. According to the Metropolitan Ministries, the rate of homelessness per capita in Tampa Bay is the nation’s highest.
8,474 homeless children, which is about 23% and this year there are 51% who are homeless for the first time. Most of them are either unemployed, seniors, single moms, people who had gone through tragedies because of accidents and more.
Metropolitan Ministries sets a huge tent up for volunteers to serve them, smile and give them the gift of time and food. This year, they apparently were in need of yams. So my brother and I went out and purchased 40 cans of yams for $100.
Here’s a photo of some of the cans that we were putting into blue barrels to donate. Our church had these barrels at the church for a week for anyone to donate non perishable items.
And here’s me as I’m helping to put the cans into the already almost filled blue barrels.
When we got to the tent, volunteers are given an orientation. They gave us statistics and let us know what they needed to be done. Then it was time to delegate the work. They called out a certain task and the amount of people needed. One of the first things they called out was registration.
Previously when I’ve been, I’ve only done things where you don’t talk to their clients (the people going to get the food), such as sorting out the donated foods or stocking the shelves. So this year my mom was like, “let’s do something where we can talk to the people”. And when they said they still needed 6 more people for registration, my mom and I went up.
These are the boxes that the clients put their food in. They are called Boxes of Hope and provide a complete holiday meal for a family. Things that were donated includes turkey, canned fruits, yams, vegetables, sauces, and more non perishable items.
There were a few parts to registration. One are the people that greet and check the clients’ IDs and time that they are supposed to come. Then the other part is what I got to do. That is when the clients come into the tent, I asked for what time they were supposed to come and directed them to a certain line, depending on the time on their paper.
Here’s me waiting for someone else to assist wearing a volunteer apron.
The other part of registration was to use the computers and check in the client’s name.
Then since the Tampa Bay area has many Spanish speakers, there were signs on the registration desks in Spanish. Which for all non Spanish speakers, this is translated to “Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7.
Have you volunteered during the holiday season? Leave me a comment below 🙂