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Recommended for anyone new to this group or volunteering for the first time:
Q: Why can't I just show up? If I sign up here on Meetup, why do I also have to sign up with another person?
A: I don't want anyone to show up to find out the event is canceled / rescheduled, or that they have too many volunteers and room isn't available for you to help.
Registering with them will save you a spot with them and they can confirm the date, start time, address, parking info, instructions, and updates if anything changes.
Scroll down for more info on how to register with them.
I try to spread the word about volunteer opportunities and raise awareness about non-profits/charities that do good work.
This event is from Pastor April and her group, New Friends Homeless Center.
"Over 500 hot meals are served on..."
Tuesday nights 5:45 - 8:30 pm @ Encino
Friday nights 5:45 - 8:30 pm @ Woodland Hills
Sunday afternoons 1:45 - 4:30 pm @ Encino
"The guests include homeless veterans, senior citizens, those who are disabled, those with special needs, low income guests and often their pets."
"At each dinner, guests also enjoy live entertainment which includes a variety of talented performers, singers, dancers and comedians who volunteer their time to be a part of what New Friends is doing."
"After dinner there is distribution of hygiene kits, pet food, clothes, blankets, tents and other needs as the guests leave for the night to head back to the streets."
Volunteers help with setup (tables, chairs, etc.), serving food & drinks, and cleanup (tables, chairs, sometimes help clean pots, pans, etc).
Some of you might have helped at other events where volunteers serve food by scooping food onto a plate and recipients go through a line to get food.
Well, this event is different. When the guests arrive, they are seated and volunteers go around, serving the people.
It's kind of like being a waiter/waitress.
My impression is Pastor April wants people to be treated with honor and respect, and welcomed into one's own home as guests, so serving them in this manner reflects that sentiment.
I don't know if everybody would enjoy this, but if anyone is curious or interested, I suggest checking out their photos to get a better idea of their meal service.
However, if you see photos of volunteers helping in the kitchen (i.e. food prep or cooking), those are dedicated, regular volunteers who arrive early to help. I could be wrong. My guess is new volunteers don't help in the kitchen. The photos of volunteers in the dining room reflect what new volunteers help with.
Friday night in Woodland Hills - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1855605231216178
Sunday afternoon in Encino - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1855613957881972
Tuesday night in Encino - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1855670004543034
To help, contact Pastor April via
She wants volunteers to sign up directly with her.
She might ask new volunteers where you heard about New Friends Homeless Center, feel free to tell her from an Asian guy name Wes (there is another Wes, so she might not remember me). I should have just told her my real name (Wiseman), but I drank Starbucks earlier, so I gave her my Starbucks name. Anyhow, Pastor April welcomes new volunteers.
Totally understandable sometimes people get busy, stuck at work/in traffic, feel tired/sick, make other plans, etc.
I know it's easy to RSVP on Meetup and not actually attend. Some people can be flakes/ghosts, but if anyone signs up with Pastor April, but can no longer help anymore, please contact her so they aren't short-handed and low on volunteers, and they have room for someone else to help. Thank you.
Redundant Reiteration: Signing up here on Meetup is insufficient. Signing up with Pastor April is necessary.
Signing up with her helps them avoid having "too many" volunteers and she can update you in case anything changes.
After registering with her, she can provide more info/details (when to arrive, where to park, what to help with, where to meet, etc.).
Photo Source/Credit: New Friends Homeless Center
St Nicholas Episcopal Church is across the street from Chase bank.
Park in any spot that doesn't have a sign that says reserved.
Walk past the main edifice on the west side.
Walk past the black gate and go to the room on the right side.
Ask for Pastor April and she should have a waiver form and name tag for you to fill out.
She has done this meal service for years, so she has a structured routine and system. As long as you follow her instructions / directions, everything should go well.
Thanks for helping. Have fun.
Oh, btw, some other volunteers might be Christian and they might pray before the meal, but the event / meal service is inclusive. They told me being Christian / religious is not required. They welcome anyone/everyone who wants to help.