WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2015-2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 5 / 2 0 1 6 156 "much more than just shelter" good works Lutheran Church in Natick was also exploring the idea and the two congregations began working together. It took five years of organizing to pull in 13 host congregations, but the program welcomed its first guests in October 2008 and has been serving homeless families ever since. Now it is one of 192 Family Promise affiliates across the country, and one of four here in Massachusetts, together with Worcester, Leominster/Fitchburg, and the North Shore. Thinking of Volunteering? There are many ways to get involved, whether as an individual or with your entire family. Training is provided to all volunteers prior to working with guests. Here are just a few of the ways you can choose to help. n PROVIDE A MEAL. Two or three volunteers are needed to prepare dinner for 10 to 16 people that is dropped off at the host congregation the evening it is to be served. n DINNER/"FAMILY TIME" HOSTS. Two (or more) volunteers share in the meal with guest families at the host congregation and to help clean up and socialize after- ward. Activities may include helping children with homework or playing games. n OVERNIGHT HOSTS. Two volunteers familiar with the layout and safety proto- cols of the host congregation are provided their own sleeping accommodations during the night in case after-hours help is needed. Typically, they arrive after "family time" and depart at 6:45 am weekdays, slightly later on weekends. n PROVIDE BREAKFAST. Sunday through Friday, guest families are up and out early, so generally a simple breakfast of cereal, bagels, and fruit is served. On Saturdays, volunteers cook a hot breakfast. Volunteers provide the food. n PROVIDE LUNCH. Volunteers are needed to supply and pack lunches for guests each morning before they leave the host congregation. n SET UP OR BREAK DOWN SLEEPING QUARTERS. Several volunteers are needed on Sundays to convert classroom space into sleeping quarters and back again at the beginning and end of each week-long stay. This involves moving furniture. n LAUNDRY. On Sundays, volunteers take bed linens home to wash. n WEEKEND ASSISTANCE IN THE OFFICE. Volunteers staff the Natick day center in three-hour shifts on Saturdays and Sundays, either from 9:00 am to noon or noon to 3:00 pm. Duties vary depending on work volume. Sometimes the most valuable contribution is simply being a warm presence for guests or playing a game with a child. n HOST A DRIVE. Volunteers can develop their own "drives" within their work place or community group to collect necessities, such as cleaning supplies, toiletries, school supplies, and more. n PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE. Be it ESL or GED tutoring, resume writing, money management skills, if you have a special talent or interest you would like to share, please get in touch via the web at www.familypromisemetrowest.org or call 508.318.4820.

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