There’s something to the feeling of connecting with someone in need, offering a smile, a compassionate glance, an easy ear. A group of Compassionate Winston-Salem volunteers got together tonight and did just that. We met at 7pm at Loaves and Fishes (which is in front of the public library on 5th Street) and handed out blankets and protein bars to the people (residents) waiting in line to check in for overnight shelter arranged by Anthony’s Plot.
It took about an hour to get everyone signed in, and then our group split to go one way towards Augsburg Lutheran, the other to First Baptist to help get the residents settled in for the night.
I’m glad my band of compassionate peeps were able to witness and participate in the settling in of the overnight shelter. For that is when the shelter needs the most help. If you are missing something in your life, and feel that volunteering would fill that void, this organization has plenty of opportunities to supplicate your desire. Here’s how an evening at the overnight shelter typically goes:
7pm – 8pm – Check-in at Loaves & Fishes
7:30pm..ish – the Augsburg Lutheran group heads to their shelter
8pm – First Baptist group heads to their shelter
The next hour is spent getting the residents of the shelter checked in*, they get a pillow, mat, blanket, and any extra amenities they might need during the night (socks, wraps, etc). The residents then picked their spot out on the gymnasium floor, and went about the process of ‘setting up house’. Once everyone had been checked in, and for the most part settled, a call for prayer was announced, and over half the residents got up to join in circle to share their prayer. A lot of camaraderie was felt, conversations were had, smiles shared.
9:30pm – is time for Lights out until 5:30am the next morning.
* The shelter is monitored by two paid staff who stay awake the entire night. These two angels are then assisted by two volunteers* who will “split their shift” so that each can get some shut-eye. This is where Anthony’s Plot needs the most help: They need volunteers willing to ‘work’ a split shift from 8pm – 5:30am. If you are interested and want to help out, please email Rev. Russ May at firstname.lastname@example.org. And get ready to experience an abundance of love, compassion, and just good old fashioned hospitality.