Our new volunteer coordinator, Jeremy, lets you know how to get involved.
Hi, my name is Jeremy Clark. I am the Volunteer Coordinator at Cup of Cool Water. I have been in this position since the beginning of the summer and I have loved it so far! I have worked at Cup of Cool Water for over 2 ½ years and in that time I have worked with many incredible volunteers who are dedicated to working with youth who are homeless (our clients) for 4-6 hours a week! That is a true commitment and we are grateful for those volunteers.
If you aren’t familiar with what we ask of volunteers at Cup of Cool Water, here is a quick snapshot. A volunteer shows up for drop-in at either 12:30 or 6:30 (depending on whether it is day or evening drop-in). We then pray and open the drop-in center. Volunteers are usually stationed either at our front desk checking in clients, in our kitchen preparing food, in the drop-in center talking with clients or staffing our clothing room. Every station involves connecting with clients.
Volunteers engage with clients in a way that makes sense for their personality, gifting and temperament. We have volunteers that are right out of college, volunteers who are retired and everything in between. We clean up after drop-ins and debrief how drop-in went, and then we pray and leave. Some times volunteers go to coffee with clients, help them buy groceries or help a client get an ID.
The bottom line is we couldn’t operate without volunteers. Our clients feel loved by volunteers and there is a real sense of family here. Here is a quote from a client who is currently in jail: “I want to say thank you to everyone who wrote me, let (volunteer) know that I wish I could have been there in person to receive that hug. I always thought her hugs were the best. She really made me feel accepted and comfortable. Let her know that her letter means a lot and that I have been laughing a lot lately about us playing the guitar and all the funny stuff we used to talk about.”
If you are interested in volunteering, we have the initial application online. Once the application is filled out we verify references, do a background check and then have a mandatory training session for every volunteer. Then I sit down and conduct an interview to meet face to face with the individual interested in volunteering and we have a discussion of expectations, fears, and resolve any questions they may have.