Volunteers gave over 91,000 hours of service at Bethesda House last year. Volunteers are an essential part of our ministry to the homeless, poor and disadvantaged in our community. The difference that a kind word or gesture, the dignity of a neatly arranged clothing room, a warm meal or a smile makes in the life of another cannot be calculated in numbers or dollars. The gift of self is priceless and the difference you make immeasurable.
The Clothing Room at Bethesda House is one of our largest programs serving over 5,000 families annually. Our generous community gives gently used clothing for all ages – donations arrive daily! We need volunteers to sort the clothing and prepare the clothing room for our guests. You can come alone, with a friend or a group to sort clothing, stock the shelves and racks or help guests select clothing.
Bethesda House serves a meal Monday – Friday at 3:00 pm. We need volunteers to work with our cook to prepare and serve the meal. Prep work can be done in the morning or early afternoon just prior to serving the meal.
Client Choice Food Pantry:
Second and Third Tuesdays of the month ; 9:00 am – 11:30 am, and 1:00pm to 3:00pm or until capacity is met
Socialize with guests. Help guests make phone calls. Lead BINGO or arts and crafts. Start a knitting group – share your gifts and talents!
Adopt An Apartment:
Our Adopt an Apartment Program is a program that offers donors another avenue to help support our ministry and end chronically homelessness in our community. The residents at Bethesda House are formally chronically homeless adults with one or more disability. They are people who have experienced the harshness of life as a result of unforeseeable circumstances. As each struggled to leave the darkness that had become their lives they found the ministry of Bethesda House. It is under the watchful eye of a loving God that these people have a home and place to be safe.
Through the tireless work of our Case Management staff, many are receiving income benefits for the first time. The income that each resident receives is expected to pay for all of their basic living needs; housing; clothing;food; and personal items such as hygiene products.
Residents are required to pay rent;rent is calculated based on their monthly income. However due to their fixed, low income the rent that each resident pays does not cover the primary cost of their housing. Basic cist for each apartment are: utilities; pest control;telephone; cleaning and maintenance supplies.
Your monthly donations as an Adopter will help support our 15 Liberty Apartments, located at 834 State Street and 10 rooms at our Lighthouse facility. By adopting an apartment, the resident will have resources to buy food, hygiene items, and clothing.
There are many ways to be a part of this program; donors can be Individual or Group donors. Group donors can be family members, friends, or church groups.
We look forward to your partnership!
Bethesda House has staff and guests available to speak to your group about the ministry of Bethesda House or to lead discussions on:
- Generational Poverty
- Living Out One’s Faith by Serving Others
Bethesda House needs many more volunteers in our home!
For updates and information:
Things to do at Bethesda House:
- Prep and serve a meal at our soup kitchen
- Work with families in our Client Choice Food Pantry
- Sort and rack clothing
- Teach a class in our classroom
- Help out during school break
- Help plant and tend our gardens – flowers and vegetables
- Pick up fresh produce and bread at the food bank and local stores
- Share a skill, hobby or other interest
- Organize a chess tournament
Things to do off-site to help Bethesda House:
- Have a food drive
- Collect hygiene products for our guests
- Have a clothing drive
- Make sandwiches or baked goods monthly
- Make prayer shawls, lap robes or quilts
- Collect linens for our housing programs (26 residents)
- Have a bottle drive or other fundraiser
- “Adopt” our residents at the holidays
- “Adopt” our apartments
- Ask about joining our Board of Directors
- Invite us to speak to your group, congregation, worksite or organization
- Fun Service Projects That Say ” You Care”
- “Our Junior High Youth Group goes apple picking every year and then we make tons of applesauce to bring to Bethesda House.”
- “Our church invites Bethesda House to speak at our service one Sunday in February and then a bunch of us go to Bethesda House to cook and serve a meal that afternoon.”
- “Our church school does something different at each grade level – some make holiday cards, some run a clothing drive, some make hygiene kits (one of the adults help makes cloth draw-string bags for the kits) and some go to Bethesda House to volunteer.”
- “Our eighth graders have decorated Bethesda House for the holidays for many, many years.”
- “Our group makes sandwiches – about 400 of them – once a month after church and then one of the adults drops them off at Bethesda House on Monday.”
- “Lots of groups adopt kids and families for the holidays – we adopt an adult; someone who was or still is homeless.”
- “Our group prepares breakfast for the ten adults who live at Bethesda House’s residential program, the Lighthouse, once a month.”
- “We have Mitzvah Day in October and Bethesda House is one of the places we send kids and adults to help out. We always do some yard work and at least one other project that day.”
- “The second graders at our school made a quilt that hangs in the Hospitality Center at Bethesda House.”
Other groups have painted murals, made lap-robes or quilts for guests, planted our garden, collected books for the children at Bethesda House, entertained our guests with music or other special talents (one group had two members in cosmetology school that provided monthly haircuts at Bethesda House!). Some groups have gone to City Hall or the County Legislature to advocate or to educate by speaking on behalf of those in need during Homelessness or Hunger Awareness month. Some high school students have assisted us in conducting surveys of our guests when we need their input on critical issues in the community.
In January 2010, Bethesda House moved into its new home. Our new facility has space for all of the ministry’s day programs and fifteen apartments. We have developed and expanded our services and have been able to meet the growing needs of the community.