Preparing for the Cold
“personal involvement offers the best way to determine if our charitable investments are being put to good use.” ― Robert D. Lupton
Come in from the cold . . .
can you imagine spending a New Hampshire winter in a tent?
Every night from mid-December through March, once the year-round Concord shelters are full, South Church and First Church open their doors to provide shelter in our classrooms during the coldest months of the year. Men and women will find a warm, safe and respectful place to sleep. They will also encounter the generous spirit of the volunteers who provide a listening ear, conversation, food and friendship to our guests.
Cold Weather Overnight Shelter – News Update #2
With 3 ½ weeks under our belts things are working well. This is good since all the cold and miserable weather has tripled the number of guests to 16 one night this past week. The guest mix is varied with individuals well known to the volunteers from past years and have been guests this year since “opening night;” Some have been off and on guests throughout the young season; and about a third have used the South Church shelter as a temporary refuge while they look for and settle into more permanent options with family, etc., or relocate out of the area.
The excitement this past two weeks was the first “real” fire alarm in shelter history going off at 12:30 a m caused by a kitchen sprinkler opening up. Each evening guests are reminded of what to do in the event of an alarm so when the bells went off, guests and volunteers alike proceeded appropriately out of the building and calmly walked to the parking lot of the Jackman Building across Pleasant Street. Mike Gfroerer was the South Church Alarm responder, and coincidentally the Shelter Manager for that night said “as I came along Pleasant Street I couldn’t have been more relieved and pleased to see shelter guests and overnight volunteers clustered together in that parking lot.” Good work everyone !
Jim Kinhan, co-Volunteer Coordinator for the shelter shares the following nice story:
A new rookie volunteer stepped up this shelter season. A bit cautious and signed up for the role of "Shadow Volunteer". This is an important role as the "shadow volunteer "provides critical transition support as the pool of guests move from First Church ,the intake point , to the South Church site. At any rate over a cup of coffee during Fellowship Hour, the volunteer spoke to one of the managers of the shelter..." I was so happy to have my first experience as a volunteer in the shelter program....all went well...and It was quite apparent how needed this shelter is for the guests...it was a personal sense of me stepping out of my box, and all went well...in hindsight ,I wish I had stepped into shelter service in earlier years...thanks so much for what the Mangers and South administrative shelter team do..."
Thank you for your continuing interest and support of the South Church Overnight Shelter,
Jay Haines, Director
There are many volunteer opportunities within the Cold Weather Shelter. These include overnight volunteers, early evening (or shadow) volunteers, laundry volunteers, people who provide donations, managers and others. If you would like to volunteer or would like more information about this ministry, please contact shelter director Jay Haines at 715-1879 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our shelter volunteer coordinators Jim Kinhan and Ginny Mierins at 225-5102 (email@example.com).
To view and/or complete volunteering forms, please click on the following links.
Cold Weather Shelter – Need for Donated Items
The Cold Weather Shelter has been the generous recipient of an outpouring of donations and we'd like to say THANK YOU!!!! Many of our needs are met to be able to open the doors with sufficient supplies to help our guests upon arrival.
For anyone looking to make continued donations, we are still in need of the following:
- Socks – Adult sized, heavy weight socks are always a treasured item for our guests.
- Long underwear
- Tea supplies – Warm drinks are always welcome on a cold night. We are looking for donations of paper coffee cups, sugar, creamer, hot chocolate packets and tea.
- Travel sized medicated foot powder, hand and foot warmers, alcohol free mouthwash, lip balm
- Financial donations – occasionally when we run out of the above items, or need new air mattresses, or other supplies, it is nice to have a little bit of funding on hand to meet those needs.
The success of the Cold Weather Shelter relies on 200+ volunteers between both shelter sites. The success is also due in great part to local businesses who are willing to help us out as well. Businesses that have stepped up to help the South Church location include Boloco, Cleary Cleaners, Rocky’s Ace Hardware, True Brew Barista and the Marriott Courtyard.
Thank you all for your ongoing support!