Citywide Volunteer Effort
Although a surprising chill – even for November – settled over Charlotte Saturday, the cheerful folks from Covenant Presbyterian Church carried on without seeming to notice.
They were volunteering as part of Covenant Impacts Charlotte, the church’s annual time of service to the Queen City. For 2022, it spanned 10 days. Each day, staff members and small groups of all ages from Covenant Presbyterian participated in outreach ventures in Charlotte.
Some of those days of giving back included a youth-led furniture build for Crisis Assistance Ministry, followed a week later by a churchwide build assembling much-needed dressers for families overcoming homelessness or other financial crisis. Youth also made no-sew blankets for Free Store shoppers. Finally, there was a full morning of work in the Free Store and in the Free Store production area. All of these are important, meaningful tasks that are vital to families served here at Crisis Assistance Ministry.
Parents and Teens Connect As Volunteers
For several, this time of service had a double dose of meaning. Of course, they want to be a part of the impact Covenant Presbyterian Church has on Charlotte. But equally meaningful is the time together that parents had with their teenagers who volunteered.
“It’s a fun bonding experience,” says Hailey, who was with her mom, Heather. “And it’s fun to do things that make you feel good, for the community, and to do it with someone close to you.”
Heather says the family has been members of Covenant Presbyterian Church since Hailey was a baby. They have participated in Covenant Impacts Charlotte many times, although this was their first time working together at Crisis Assistance Ministry. She says now it’s easier for Hailey to be involved in more adult projects, so volunteering together at the agency was a joy.
For Will and his mom, Beth, this was also a first.
“It’s our first time volunteering together,” Beth said, adding that she doesn’t feel she has done quite as much volunteering as her son. “Will’s been volunteering on his own.” (She’s super proud of him.)
“It’s fun and nice to be able to do something with my mom,” said Will, who isn’t a newcomer to volunteering. He has worked with Loaves and Fishes, packing lunches for them.
Volunteering, Will says, makes you feel good to know that you’re helping others in the community.
“And it’s nice to do something together,” says mom Beth. “When you get teenagers, you don’t get to do that much with them anymore. Once they get driving, then they’re gone, and they’re out …”
“I want to say I was setting an example for him,” Beth said. “But I think he was probably setting the example for me.”
Three Ways to Volunteer As A Family
Crisis Assistance Ministry offers several opportunities for parents and children to volunteer together—onsite and off—year-round.
- Children as young as 11 can volunteer with a parent to help inspect and prepare donated items for Free Store shoppers, and teens age 16+ can volunteer on their own.
- Families or other groups can plan a snack ministry by purchasing and assembling snack packs offsite and dropping them off to be shared with families visiting for financial assistance or the Free Store.
- Groups of all ages can plan a collection drive for items needed by families who visit the Free Store for essentials. Right now, cold-weather items like coats, hats, socks, and gloves are in high demand.
Check out all the ways volunteers help prevent homelessness and preserve dignity for our neighbors experiencing a financial crisis on our Volunteer Portal anytime.