Each year, almost 1,000 volunteers flood the Mission for a combined total of 30,000 hours of dedicated service! They keep the Mission running by driving trucks, serving meals, sorting clothes, handing out groceries, cleaning, answering phones and numerous other tasks each week.
To honor their hard work and commitment, the Mission throws a Volunteer Appreciation Picnic annually. During this year’s celebration on Sept. 9 at Surreybrooke Gardens in Middletown, about 150 Mission volunteers and their families joined in the festivities! Volunteers who have served in various departments at the Mission were recognized during a short presentation of pins and certificates.
Volunteer Coordinator Carolyn Chandler shared a written, heartfelt testimony from one volunteer about how her first time volunteering changed her life. She wrote, “I have struggled with questioning my faith in the past, but since I have started working at the Rescue Mission and seeing the goodness you all do and the unwavering kindness of everyone there, I have never felt so strong in my faith… working there just three hours a week has strengthened my relationship with God and has just really impacted me.” Our work to change lives now and for eternity is not only limited to our guests, but also extends to our volunteers!
The rest of the evening included a delicious dinner, prepared by the Mission food services team and served by Mission staff, along with games, door prizes, and even a snow cone truck with treats donated by its owner and manned by the Community Living group! Volunteers had the opportunity to get to know one another, enjoy the gardens, and let loose playing corn hole. The children enjoyed water gun fights and custom-made balloon animals created by volunteer John Delozier!
The Mission would like to thank Surreybrooke for their generosity in donating the use their facilities for the third year in a row and Uncle Ralph’s Cookies for donating sugar cookies for the event! Of course, we are so grateful for all of our volunteers who freely give their time and talent to the Mission. As Guy Mutchler, Mission Facilities Manager, said, “It’s not a trite saying – we really couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers…