It Takes a Village
You can help make these types of opportunities available to more participants in 21 Plus programs. Do you know of a church or organization that has a need for some help on projects? You can play a big part in opening more opportunities for those involved in 21 Plus Programs to be out and about, as active members of our community.
Please contact Support Services at 732-240-3118 x 220 for more information.
On a sunny Wednesday morning in July, the 21 Plus van pulls in to the parking lot at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bayville. Out file 5 adults, eager to get their day started. Once they enter the church, they head for the administrative offices, where they quickly get to work sorting and collating weekly bulletins. Later, they head to the chapel area, where they carefully file down each pew, inserting contact forms for congregation members into each receptacle.
What are they up to? They are members of a volunteer team from the Main Street ATC who help out at the church each week.
For sure, some of us consider WORK a four-letter word, especially on an early Monday morning after a busy weekend. But the reality is that work plays an important role in life. Whether paid or volunteer, work affirms our role in society, provides a social outlet, and makes our days productive. In this case, the enjoyment the members of the volunteer crew get from their few hours at St. Paul’s is evident on their faces. According to 21 Plus staff member Samantha, who accompanied the team this week “Everyone is very eager to help out.”
Pastor Pete Hartney, who’s there to provide encouragement and guidance on the tasks at hand, confirms that his congregation has had a long-standing relationship with 21 Plus. He recalls that some years back he received a phone call from a 21 Plus staff member who asked whether the church would allow some volunteers to help out during the Lent season. He recalls thinking, “What a great opportunity to serve the community and some help, too.”
The relationship has blossomed over the years to become an almost weekly event for the volunteer team, which rotates members from Main Street ATC to allow all who are interested to have a chance to be involved. But St. Paul’s took the relationship even further. They now provide paid employment for a second team of individuals who can be found at the church each Friday doing parking lot and grounds maintenance including policing for trash, sweeping and more.
Pastor Hartney smiles broadly as he has an informal chit-chat with the volunteer team before they leave. He asks whether everyone did a good job and enjoyed themselves. The answer is a big YES. “We appreciate all they do for our church. I strongly encourage other churches or organizations to step forward to invite 21 Plus to help out with volunteer or paid assignments”.
You can help make these opportunities available to more participants in 21 Plus programs. Do you know of a church or organization that has a need for some help on projects? You can play a big part in opening more opportunities for those involved in 21 Plus Programs to be out and about, as active members of our community. Please contact Rosemarie Moratta at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-240-3118 x220 for more information.