Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Center. Each morning, we have about 20 working in all the various areas. They handle guest registration and interviews, fulfilling guest’s needs, sorting clothing and housewares, managing furniture and incoming donations, clerical work and statistics gathering, replenishing supplies and hygiene items, shelving and packaging food, handling recycling and trash , making repairs and improvements – it’s a busy place!
Lots goes on outside of the Center as well. During the week, we have three drivers that spend their mornings driving the truck to handle our pickups and deliveries of furnishings. Another works on bike donations, picking them up and taking them out for repairs. Several times a week, volunteers pick up bread and bakery items from Apple Annie’s and Atlanta Bread Company. Four families bring in bagged lunches they have prepared for our guests. Once a month, we have a team that handles our large allocation of TEFAP food from the government. Each week, we have shoppers that go out to purchase extra food from the Foodbank; others buy our monthly supply of hygiene items and diapers. A couple volunteers help me with errands to make bank deposits, post office stops, or runs to the bus station to purchase tickets. Fifteen teams are each assigned one day per month to do the pickups from Food Lion; five of them handle Tuesdays, the others have Saturday or Sunday assignments.
Other activity goes on after hours as well. One very energetic volunteer comes in several times a week and spends her entire afternoon sorting clothing or housewares. Two others come in on Friday, quietly sorting children’s clothing as they listen to music. One comes in monthly to help with accounting. Many of the volunteers do “homework” – be it putting together layette sets, helping with thank you notes, updating documentation and spreadsheets, preparing the newsletters, signs and labels. A few others come in now and again to help straighten up when we have large backlogs of donations. Ten times a year, the Knights bring in the food from their drives. Once a month, our Board meets. Dozens of people work long hours on our special projects: August repairs and improvements, Thanksgiving and Christmas projects, semi-annual yard sales and yearly Quarter Auction.
As busy as we are each morning, I don’t always have a chance to chat with all the volunteers. And there are many that I rarely ever have a chance to see. I just hope they all know how grateful I am for their support – they are all what keeps us going!
Special Need of the Week – Last call for donations of furnishings , clothing and household items. We will be closed for the month of August, so we are winding down in an effort to clear our inventory by the end of July.