Mustard Seed seeking more volunteer help

  • Aug. 3, 2016 4:35 p.m.

The Mustard Seed in Red Deer is on the lookout for volunteer help in a number of capacities.

Short-term volunteer opportunities include meal preparation volunteer – help prep and cook meals for the 200 guests Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 – 4:30 p.m. Four people per shift are needed.

These prep sessions also run Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with two people required for that shift.

Long-term volunteer opportunities include the role of office support volunteer whose duties include answering phone calls, monitoring emails and general office support. Staff are looking for minimum commitment of once a week for three months. Also, they are looking for Bible study volunteers to lead small weekly Bible studies with guests of The Mustard Seed around meal times. Shifts would run from 4 – 4:30 p.m. once a week on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays.

Email volunteerreddeer@theseed.ca to express interest.

Meanwhile, plans are quickly taking shape for how things will look at the former Loaves and Fishes, which transferred its assets to the Calgary-based The Mustard Seed earlier this summer. The Loaves and Fishes Benevolent Society closed its doors at the end of June releasing a statement at the time saying the organization had struggled for the past number of years with a lack of financial resources.

“We’re always going to need people to help serve dinner,” said Byron Bradley, director of Central Alberta for The Mustard Seed. “But we also created that new time slot for meal preparations.”

Meanwhile, the office (and donation drop-off times) are as follows – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bradley said that so far, the reception to The Mustard Seed here in Red Deer has been very positive.

“The community has been responding very well,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of returning volunteers – especially from the church community – but also from the community at large,” he said. “People are coming in time and time again to help us and they keep saying, ‘We’re here for you’.

“Our guests are continually telling us how much they appreciate us, with comments like, ‘We feel very safe here, we feel very supported here, we feel like we have more hope for the future’. Those comments come up often, and they are wonderful to hear.

“People are just really appreciating some of the small changes that we have been making.

“We’ve also been focusing on outreach,” he added, referring to the adjacent community around The Mustard Seed.

”We’re reaching up to 50 people everyday in the community one-on-one, and we are bringing them bottled water and snacks and sometimes some sandwiches. So instead of people just coming here, we are going to them and trying to meet them where they are at.”

Meanwhile, there is also an urgent need for bottled water, Bradley said. They also need donations of turkey and ground beef, too. “We’re open to any kind of food donation, but on our web site we always keep an updated list of what our most needed items are.”

Check out www.TheSeed.ca/RedDeer for more information.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

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