From Craig Updegrove
St. Andrew's, Allentown/Bethlehem
Jan. 20, 2012
For the fourth straight year, Bethlehem area places of worship including a couple Episcopal churches (Cathedral Church of the Nativity and St. Andrew's) are sheltering the area homeless at night. This winter season, the mission started in the beginning of December and runs until the end of March.This week we have seen a large increase of new guests. Last night we housed 34 people! If previous years were any indication, as the winter progresses, these numbers will continue to grow. Through the New Hope campaign funding, we have been able to hire 2 part time coordinators to help coordinate each site. However, many of these sites could use additional help.
Each site, at a minimum, require the following for each night they house the homeless:
Cooks and or servers- Each site will feed dinner to about 15-30 people (this includes volunteers). Usually a site will have at least two people cook and serve. Also, each site/volunteers will supply the dinner, drinks, dessert, and paper products for each meal.
Overnight volunteers- 2-3 volunteers at each site spend the night at the place of worship to oversee everything. Additional cooks/ servers- Each site serves breakfast. Some just serve cold cereal, while others provide a hot breakfast. Again this usually takes about two people.
Many of these places of worship have additional volunteers that will come and socialize with the guests. Also, some sites have volunteers to come in and clean-up in the morning. In addition to volunteers at the churches, we also transport to some sites. A handful of the places of worship that shelter are not within walking distance to the Southside (where the homeless are during the day). We try to have 2-3 drivers in the evenings and 2-3 drivers in the mornings to transport the homeless to and fro the places of worship .
I encourage you to help at least once during this season. This is a transformational mission that has affected me more than you can imagine. It will do the same for you. Please take this opportunity to help the homeless. Please discern this email while you are eating a hearty soup or snuggled up in your warm bed and imagine not having it. At the very least, as a Christian, isn't this what we are called to do? Help the people that can't help themselves.
If you would like to volunteer, I've attached a flyer with schedule and contact information. Also the following link will allow you to sign-up to drive the homeless:
Sign up genius for transportation volunteers
Please feel to contact Brian Gordon from Nativity @ cell 610-463-5988 if you would like to drive.
If you have any additional questions about the mission, please feel free to call me at 484-892-1589.
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