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February Newsletter

Volunteer Training

Introduction to Crisis Mentorship and Volunteerism-Module I Tuesday March 2 9-11 am Saturday, March 13 2-4 pm Engaging in a Deeper Connection-Module II Saturday, February 27 10-12:30 Monday, March 1 5-7:30 pm Saturday, March 20 12-2:30 pm Email: to register!

Eviction Prevention & Diversion

We are happy to announce we have hired 2 part-time Bilingual staff! These staff members will assist with our Prevention & Diversion Program as we expand to offer Case Management to our existing rental assistance services as well as for our waitlist. We are anxiously awaiting approval for grants that will help to fund this growing area of need. If you are interested in becoming a Family Mentor in this or any of our programs check out our Volunteer Training opportunities!

Letter from an Overnight Volunteer...

For the last 22 years or so I have been walking into the sanctuary of Salem Lutheran Church under a sign that displays our congregation's mission. The statement ends with the words "and to serve God by serving others". I never thought too deeply about what this meant to me personally. We always put our check in the offering plate, walked out the door, and thought, "mission accomplished". Then I retired from work and at the same time, the late Serena Campbell came to our church asking if our congregation would like to participate in a nationwide mission to help homeless families called Family Promise. Our congregation enthusiastically voted to participate and if you are getting this letter, I would assume your congregation did too. This mission requires volunteers.

I started as a driver and then watched as our church council president struggled to balance being a church leader, Family Promise coordinator, mother of 2 kids active in sports, and hold a full-time job! I'd like to think I answered a silent prayer the day I took over her job as a coordinator 4 years ago. Little did I know the rewards I would receive from having worked with these grateful families served by Family Promise that happened upon a "bump in the road" in their lives.

Even though we are no longer rotating from church to church, there is still a great need for volunteers serving meals, staffing the office, being an overnight host, and possibly being a mentor to these families. Not everyone is comfortable being an overnight host, especially when you don't really know these people, and add to that the fear of accidentally contracting the COVID virus.

I'm 72 and these thoughts entered my mind, but I have been impressed with the thought and care given by our compassionate staff to cleanliness and limiting the possibility of exposure of this virus to Family Promise guests and to volunteers.

When I arrive for my overnight host shift, I have my own room which has been thoroughly cleaned and the bed has a clean cover sheet on which I put my sleeping bag and pillow on. Masks are worn by everyone whenever I or families are outside the rooms. I have my own personal bathroom. I have a fridge, access to a microwave, and a DVD with a stack of movies. My only interaction with the families is an occasional crossing of paths during the evening when I check to see that doors are locked, food is put in the kitchen fridge, and maybe pick up a late-night homemade brownie. If I choose I can help serve the meals and put things away in the kitchen. Again, masks are always worn.

In a couple of weeks, I will be getting vaccinated. My plan is to continue to wear a mask, not for fear of getting the virus but for fear that I could still possibly be the source of contamination however unlikely. Our knowledge seems limited in this area.

I was asked to share my experience as a volunteer and overnight host. First of all, I feel I am in a safe environment. I also appreciate the solitude with few if ever any distractions, allowing me to read or possibly write to extended family. I would encourage anyone to give it a try.

Serving God by serving others,

Donald Moe

Look for information on Family Promise Giving Day coming soon!

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