They give time, resources and encouragement. Added to that are the kind words and smiles from the many volunteers who help Mecklenburg County provide services and programs for the homeless.
County workers in the Homeless Services Division of Community Support Services said “thank you” at a recent appreciation ceremony in honor of the individuals and groups who volunteer.
“Homeless Services thrives off of the spirit of volunteerism,” said Teisha Miller, a senior social worker. “Their willingness to give of themselves so selflessly aids us as workers in serving our clients.”
Consider this list: hot meals, to-go meals, clothing, shoes, toiletries, blankets, hats, gloves, socks, and scarves. Now add these items: volunteers who paid for motel stays, bought new clothing for a job interview, provided a truck to move furniture, provided free optometry services, participated in an umbrella drive which was boosted by the live-broadcast efforts of a local radio station, offered free photography services and held a Christmas Eve present drive.
Homeless Services Division Director Peter Safir provided numbers to detail highlights of the year, including 29,217 people who were served meals at a cost estimate of $102,000. And yet, Safir said as part of his emcee duties for the evening, he is “unable to calculate the monetary value of lives touched, the impact of human kindness, encouragement, hope given, burdens lightened and spirits renewed.”
At the June 10, 2014, evening event, volunteers came together at the Mecklenburg County Homeless Resource Center for food and fellowship and to receive certificates of appreciation.
“They do so much for others that we just want to do something special for them and they all seem to enjoy themselves,” Miller said of the volunteers. As for the highlight of the gathering, Miller added: “Seeing everyone together in one place socializing, having fun, and being on one accord, but most of all letting them know how much we appreciate them.”