Summer greetings New Bethlehem supporters! News for June to mid July follows.
We have been busy serving guests who need a meal, a shower, to wash clothes or just a break from the midday heat. Families now often arrive together with school vacation and the afternoon snacks as well as evening meals continue to be greatly appreciated. In the last 3 months, New Bethlehem (NB) has served 195 different guests! Further, 11 families moved to more stable housing during this time, bringing to 82 the total number since opening (and 45 of these moved into permanent homes.) HOORAY! This is so exciting and we are humbled to be helpful in the process. Thank you to all supporters who have facilitated this to happen!
A Tribute to Laura -- Volunteer Extraordinaire
Every startup organization needs people who are outgoing, effective and love what they do. New Bethlehem was blessed to have just that person in Laura Sabine, our first Volunteer Coordinator.
Laura was on the original team in 2015 at Holy Family Parish in Kirkland that planned a day center for families experiencing homelessness on the Eastside and soon thereafter agreed to her unpaid role as Volunteer Coordinator for NB. She needed to determine and provide everything necessary to have an efficient volunteer base. She talked with other shelters and started to identify the pieces that would be necessary for this endeavor. She spent considerable time developing necessary procedures, including orientation, job responsibilities, time slots, and necessary communications (including SignUp.com for volunteers to locate available slots.)
Laura did not have to find volunteers as churches and other faith communities got out the word of NB opening in November 2016. But Laura needed to be ready for the hundreds of inquiries that resulted in volunteers going to orientation and many following through with volunteering. Laura thought it was important to provide different kinds of volunteer opportunities (and thus we have kitchen, family room, cleaning, meals, snacks, crafts,) an environment where volunteers could work closely with other volunteers to enjoy the service being provided while also building relationships among the volunteers, and to have definitive procedures for volunteers to do without overstaffing to avoid the feeling of "I am not needed here."
With this myriad of responsibilities, Laura's first love was talking to volunteers--prospective or current. She loved hearing their stories, their concerns, and then trying to help. Her passion was to develop a volunteer community that loved NB as much as NB would love them. Many of us had the privilege of her advice, always given in a friendly manner and always focused on each of us.
Laura's husband, Chris, accepted a new position in 2018 and the couple has now moved to Hawaii. They have a 24 year old daughter living in the Midwest and an 18 year old son who stayed in Kirkland to go to college and pursue a music career. We are grateful to Mary Ann Joy, who has now taken over the role of Volunteer Coordinator.
We feel privileged to have had Laura at NB and of course wish her the very best.
Outdoor Grill Donation
An outdoor grill was recently donated to NB and a heartwarming story is behind it. Kirkland Interfaith Network (KIN) is a local outreach organization working to help those in need locally and globally. One of KIN's board members recently lost her husband, who loved outdoor grilling so much he was known as the "grill sergeant." When KIN found out NB was in need of a grill for Father's Day, funds were donated both by KIN and the family in the husband's memory to fill our need. We are very honored by this contribution. The grill was used on Father's Day, July 4th and other summer meals; our guests love it! KIN has also graciously provided swim passes and Summerfest tickets for guests of NB. Thank you so much to KIN and the family!
Opportunities to Serve
NB has many ways you can plug in to serve. Due largely to summer vacations by volunteers, we are especially in need of evening meals and weekly snacks. Are you able to help? See below for more information.
Volunteering at the Day Center Have you not volunteered for some time or perhaps not at all? It is easy, non-threatening and fun. Get a friend and serve together! If new to volunteering, learn more at www.nbpshelter.org/volunteer and attend our next orientation at NB on Sunday, July 29 at 12:30 PM. Please reply to this email to register for the orientation.
Provide an evening meal or weekly snacks Get your family together or a group of friends and prepare a meal--an enjoyable time and very helpful! You can drop it off or serve yourself. If you don't have quite as much time, perhaps providing snacks fits you--again, the family can shop together as a way to reach out to others. To learn more or sign up, see www.nbpshelter.org/provide-a-meal.
Provide supplies You can also make a significant contribution by providing cleaning or laundry supplies. For more information and to see our Amazon Wish List, see www.nbpshelter.org/provide-supplies.
Donate financially Limited time, but want to donate financially? See www.nbpshelter.org/donate.
Again, an immense thank you to all of you who support NB, either regularly or occasionally; you are amazing and we are so thankful for each of you!
We wish you blessings for a great summer,
NBDC Volunteer Committee