Chestnut Hill College has a variety of opportunities for students, faculty and staff to volunteer. In this blog post, I'll give an insider's view of the volunteer opportunities I received through Chestnut Hill College.
Through my English 105 class during my freshman year, I volunteered for the Broad Street Mission and Philabundance. Broad Street Mission is a soup kitchen with a twist. Instead of the classic line and cafeteria style serving, Broad Street Mission is like a restaurant. I love this concept because it allows the diners to keep their dignity as human beings. Philabundance is a nonprofit food bank in Philadelphia and Delaware. The organization tries to respect the people it serves, and instead of creating a standard box of food for each person, it allows the people to shop for their food.
Volunteering for Broad Street Ministry
At Broad Street Ministry, we worked together setting up the tables and filling water pitchers. After the set up was complete, we got split up into different jobs. The people who work at Broad Street were the ones making the food and plating them. The volunteers served the food. We were split up into four different jobs -- waitresses, busboys, hostess and working at the clothing drive. I was able to be a hostess, so I was one one of the first people to greet the guest when they came in. I also would give them a slip to fill out for the clothing drive. Once “dinner is served” was called out (which is the point when the first rotation of food is served to the guests), I had to give each new guest a slip so that the waiters and waitresses knew that they had not been served yet.
I really enjoyed volunteering at Broad Street Ministry because I was able to help people who are having much tougher lives than I have to feel safe and secure in one area, even if it only for a shorttime.
Volunteering for Philabundance
Philabundance is the largest food bank in the area, which provides food to families and individuals in Philadelphia and Delaware counties. Philabundance provides food to approximately 90,000 people per week. When we arrived, we watched this video about the mission of Philabundance. After the video, we went out to the main area and were assigned a section in which to work. Some people put together the boxes, others put items in the box while the conveyer belt was passing, and some helped restock the items being put in the boxes, I had to put canned pears into the box. The boxes were for a program for retired people who have trouble getting food. After filling the boxes, we went into a different room and bagged and labeled white rice. Philabundance was fun because there was popular energizing music as you were working and you got to talk to your friends. The workers there were also very funny.
You do not have to be part of the Chestnut Hill College community to volunteer at either of these locations. CHC is just a medium for students to be able to easily volunteer.