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. Shopping list: any individually wrapped snacks | breakfast bars | cereal bars | granola bars | combs | hand lotion | lip balm | peanut butter and cheese crackers | protein bars | soap | toothbrush and toothpaste | Vienna sausage in pop-top can | applesauce | coffee | face towel | hand sanitizer | mints | plastic utensils | single packaged nuts and trail mix | sunscreen | foil tuna packs (not requiring a can opener) | bottled water | in25sect repellent | gallon-size Ziploc® bags.
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.
Please consider participating in our annual Back to School Supply Drive donating school supplies to families in need, benefiting Prism Health North Texas, a partnering organization that provides services to families with children impacted by HIV/AIDS. Items needed are: composition notebooks | spiral notebooks (1-subject college/wide rule) | notebook paper (college/wide rule) | construction paper (9x12 and 18x12) | manila paper (9x12 and 18x12) | index cards lined (5x3 inches) | pocket folders (with and without prongs) | heavy duty zipper pouch and pencil box | pens (red, blue and black ink) | #2 pencils | colored pencils (12ct) | scissors (blunt and pointed tip. As donation dates are communicated to us, we'll communicate them through this website.
LifeWalk is taking place on Sunday, October 7, 2018. Help raise money and awareness for Prism Health North Texas and other service organizations that assist individuals and families affected by HIV and AIDS (a fund that is being depleted faster than it can be replenished right now). As a walker, you can be assured that the money you raise is well-managed. In fact, 85% of every dollar raised goes directly into the fund. See more on the official LifeWalk website. As we near LifeWalk date, registration information will be available on this website, at Cathedral of Hope, and through various other means.
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. We are thrilled to say that we have already committed to all the baskets we can give away for 2017.
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.
Maple Lawn Elementary School
Our adopted neighborhood elementary school, Maple Lawn Elementary, has relied on our gifts of time, treasure and talent for many years. With over 90% of Maple Lawn students being eligible for the free lunch program, the economic disadvantages that much of the school's population face chip away at the optimal learning atmosphere. As a volunteer tutor, you can help to break that cycle, to reduce absenteeism, and even to reduce the risk of dropout. To sweeten the deal, some employers even allow "comp time" for your volunteer efforts. While it's best to start at the beginning of a new school year, volunteer tutors are warmly welcomed at any time. Additionally, those economic disadvantages leave some children under-clothed and under-supplied as the school year begins. Personal wish lists are distributed at various times throughout the school year. When those times come alone, please consider sponsoring a child. Your commitment could change a life. (Volunteer tutors must pass a background check prior to being approved to tutor). Lastly, save those General Mills Boxtops for the Boxtops for Education program.