Guidelines for a Positive Volunteer Experience
Create the best possible volunteer experience for yourself, your friends and your family! Please take the time to familiarize yourself with this short set of volunteer guidelines. They can be helpful in terms of guiding you toward a volunteer experience that fulfills your own needs while you’re freely fulfilling someone else’s needs. For more information, please phone us at 214-351-1901, extension 211 or drop a line to Dallas Hope Charities.
Our mission is to reduce homelessness among LGBT young adults in North Texas by opening and operating the first LGBT-focused shelter in the Dallas area, tailored to the needs of individuals ages 18-24. We are calling it DALLAS HOPE CENTER. We provide LGBT-Focused, but not exclusive, safe shelter for up to one year for any young adults aged 18-24 in need. We also partner with others to provide case management, on-site staff, healthcare and mental health services. And we teach necessary life skills like state identification, pursuing education, and finding employment. We need your help to fund and grow this vital service in Dallas to house and support the community so no LGBT young adult in North Texas faces the prospect of homelessness alone.
Blessing Bags are gallon-size Ziploc® bags that contain snacks, travel-size toiletries, socks, a bottle of water, grooming supplies, and other items that people who live on the street find useful. Bags are kept in your car, so when you encounter a person who is experiencing homelessness, you can offer the bag to them. Shopping lists are distributed on the first Wednesday of each month. Items on the list are purchased during the week and brought back the second Wednesday of the month, and those who are interested are invited to take a few bags with them to keep on hand in their cars.
Meals of Hope
Volunteers provide a hot cooked breakfast each Saturday morning for those who are experiencing homelessness. Typically, 40ish volunteers arrive as early as 5:00 a.m. to collectively serve 400 hot meals consisting of 720 eggs, 480 sausages, 570 pancakes, 200 cups of coffee, 12 gallons of milk, 6 gallons of orange juice, 3 gallons of syrup, 12 pounds of sugar, 4 pounds of creamer and 5 pounds of butter. Haircuts are frequently provided and monthly basic physical exams are provided by a medical professional. All positions require a background check, and some positions require a valid food handler’s certificate which we can help you to obtain in as little as 90 minutes.
Our goal is to let people living on the streets know they are not forgotten by graciously offering “A Taste of Hope”. The meal we serve is similar to a meal we would serve guests in our home. However, our program is not about “feeding the homeless.” It is about connecting with the people we serve, even for just a few moments. To reassure them that people do care about them. We invite them to worship with us and to BACH and iCare for a free meal. We do this with genuine intent by providing a map with bus/DART route information as well as listing accessible local resources.
Every Monday, iCare volunteers prepare a meal for those who might otherwise go without. In fact, a typical Monday sees 25ish volunteers serving 200 meals. At this same event, the Dallas Hope Charities food pantry donates up to 100 bags of groceries, utilizing the nonperishable food donations brought to Cathedral of Hope on the last Sunday of each month. iCare volunteers serve on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 pm. Bilingual speakers(English / Spanish), are always needed. Some positions require a valid food handler’s certificate which we can help you to obtain in as little as 90 minutes.
On Pack the Pantry Sunday (the last Sunday of each month), volunteers collect, sort and shelve the food brought to Cathedral of Hope. Through these donations, we are able to consistently provide more than 300 bags of food each month to people who might otherwise go hungry. Additionally, if you shop at Kroger or Tom Thumb and participate in their community rewards programs that name CoH as beneficiary, we receive 1% of sales each quarter.
Mail is very important to people in jails and prisons, and many people have no one on the outside who cares enough to ever write. You can simply be that person who cares enough to write, bringing a bit of joy and hope to others through the mail. All that is required is a little of your time to write letters. All correspondence uses one central address, so you do not have to give out your own address. There are other policies in place to help keep this volunteer service opportunity focused and a good experience for all.
Thanksgiving reminds us, with food and friends, how blessed we are. For many years, we have provided food for 500 individuals and families. Shopping for the food, filling the baskets and bringing them to Cathedral of Hope allows us to share ourselves as well as our food. Beginning October 29, 2017, please consider participating in this Thanksgiving tradition by signing up to bring a food basket. You can do so by visiting the appropriate table in the Cathedral of Hope vestibule before and after the 9:00 and 11:00 services. You can also click on a link that will be published here to either (a) indicate your commitment to bring a basket, or (b) donate the $50 required to purchase a basket. Baskets are collected on Compassion Sunday (November 19, 2017) before the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services and are distributed after the 11 a.m. service begins. For those who would like to participate and are faced with budgetary issues, a great way to passively save all year for your basket is through the Wal-Mart Savings Catcher app. This is a seasonal way to give back.
This is a seasonal way to contribute to those in need. Volunteers wrap Christmas gifts with 100% of the donations from the wrapping services benefiting the Evelyn Pruitt AIDS Crisis Fund, which is used for financial assistance for those living with HIV/AIDS. If you’re a gifted wrapper, join us on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. from November 26, 2017 through December 24, 2017. For more information, please phone us at 214-351-1901, extension 134 or email Paul Kolasci: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By giving to The Giving Tree, you can help children and young people have a brighter Christmas when you visit the Giving Tree from December 3 to December 17, 2017. The tree is hung with ornaments, and on the back of each ornament you will find a Christmas wish that you can fulfill. For the students of our adopted school, Maple Lawn Elementary, you will find things from the Santa lists of underserved children. These are children who would have little Christmas at all without the kindness of others. You will also find some special wishes from Maple Lawn teachers for much-needed classroom supplies and curriculum materials for which there is no budget.
Interested in volunteering in an area not shown here?
Visit the Contact Us page and get connected.