Evening meal preparers. One or two people may volunteer to coordinate and prepare a meal for guests. Prepared meals are delivered downstairs to The Pit. The kitchen has a refrigerator and a microwave.
We try to have a general idea of guests’ likes, dislikes, and allergies in advance of our host week. Some guests are lactose intolerant. Some guests request vegetarian meals. Dinner is served family style in The Pit. We have a NO NUTS food policy at First Presbyterian Church.
Saturday breakfast preparer. During the week the guests (and overnight hosts) prepare their own breakfast of cereal, fruit, bread, and milk supplied by volunteers. Guests may also prepare sack lunches for themselves and their children.
On Saturday, the schedule is more relaxed. Breakfast may be prepared and served in the Fellowship Hall between 8:00 and 9:00. The van leaves from the Day Center around 9:00 a.m.
Evening hosts. This involves being at the church from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, having dinner with the guest families and just generally being welcoming and supportive. We need two hosts each evening, either a couple or two individuals.
Overnight hosts. Overnight hosts arrive at 8:00 pm to spend the night until approximately 7:30 am the next morning. These volunteers–a couple or two individuals–are available to answer questions, to interact with guests, to provide support, and to assist in case of an emergency.
Van driver. This involves driving the IHN van. A commercial license is not needed; an ordinary driver’s license will do. Morning drivers (about 6:45am to 8:00am) take our guests from the church to the IHN Day Center, which is across Hancock Drive from the First Baptist Church’s parking lot. They also drop children at school and day care and sometimes take adults to jobs. Evening drivers (about 4:30pm to 5:30pm) take the guests from the day center back to the church.
The van stays overnight at the church, and during the day at the Day Center. Drivers will need to walk the four blocks between the Day Center and the church in order to return to their cars.
Laundry. This job involves washing the linens and towels from the overnight host bedroom. Guest linens and towels are washed as needed and at the end of our host week. Guests are responsible for washing their own clothes at the IHN day center. Laundry volunteers may take care of laundry tasks away from church or at FPC. There is a washer and a dryer available in the church kitchen next to the Children’s Ministry. Clean laundry may be returned to the IHN overnight host room the same day it’s taken, the next day, or the following week.
Weekend day center hosts. We need two Sunday volunteers to serve from 1:00-5:00 at the IHN Day Center which is on Hancock Avenue across from the First Baptist Church parking lot.
Set up. This happens at 1:45 on the first Sunday of our host week. We rearrange The Pit to accommodate our guest families and overnight hosts. A volunteer with a big truck delivers rollaway beds and bins. Set-up volunteers make the beds, organize the tables and chairs, put small tables and lamps in guest rooms, organize the refrigerator and kitchen space, and make The Pit ready for guests. The Youth of the church and the Youth Director are invaluable helpers in carrying out these set-up tasks.
Take down. This happens around 6:45 a.m. on the second Sunday of our host week. It’s helpful to have four strong volunteers. We move the rollaway beds and bins back onto the big truck that takes everything to the next host church. We clean the rooms, the refrigerator, and the kitchen—getting everything ready for Sunday school. This is another ideal job for the Youth of the church.
Many IHN volunteers participate in multiple ways during our host week. Each job is rewarding and makes a positive difference in the lives of our guests.