Since the onset of COVID-19, the ministry’s 270 weekly volunteers have dwindled to an average 70 people. A majority of GraceWorks volunteers are at risk due to age, and many are now choosing to stay home out of precaution.
Graceworks’ volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization, said Valencia A. Breckenridge, CEO of GraceWorks. They work with the GraceWorks 35-member staff in providing food, rent and utility assistance and other programs. Without them, GraceWorks’ costs for service would be much higher.
The need is particularly acute in the GraceWorks Food Pantry, where volunteers managed by staff process donations, stock shelves and load shopping carts with food to fill the pantries of families in need. Help is also needed to tag items for sale in the GraceWorks Thrift Store. Store profits provide about half the funding for programs.
Food Pantry volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Thrift Store volunteer hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Volunteers can schedule the hours and days they can work. Volunteers must be 16 or older.
GraceWorks is taking COVID precautions including face mask requirements, frequent wipe downs, social distancing and limiting the number of people in each working space.
“If you like sharing your time and talents helping others, please contact me at Esaurers@graceworksministries.net,” said Volunteer Relations Manager Erin Saurers. “Any time you give, is a blessing!”