Franciscan

Volunteer at St. Anthony Center

BY TONI CASHNELLI

It takes a village. Or in the case of St. Anthony Center in Over-the-Rhine, "We’re going to need a slew of new volunteers," says Theresa Diersen, Volunteer Services Director for St. Francis Seraph Ministries. A sponsored ministry of St. John the Baptist Province, it’s one of seven partners in the Center, a new hub of neighborhood outreach at 1615 Republic St.

Ministries is moving its soup kitchen from St. Francis Seraph Elementary School to expanded space in the Center’s new Mother Teresa of Calcutta Dining Room and more than doubling its current offerings. "We’re going to five nights a week [from three] for dinner and will serve five breakfasts as well," Theresa says. "There’s a huge need" for more volunteers. Helpers are also needed to set up, cook and clean up during the five-week Cooking for the Family program, "which teaches students to cook for a family of four for under $10."

SFS Ministries is adding a new volunteer position in its new location at St. Anthony Center. "We’re going to have a front desk with a security system and somebody’s going to have to be there all the time" from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. "I’m planning on breaking that into four volunteer shifts."

Programs should be up and running in the new location by Jan. 1, 2018. Volunteers are welcome year-round, but help is especially scarce in the summer, Theresa says. Call or text her at 513-276-7037. After Jan. 1 a new website will allow volunteers to check out opportunities and sign up online. Stay tuned!

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Dining Room The soup kitchen will offer hospitality and a hearty breakfast and dinner five days a week for anyone who needs a meal. Over 27,000 dinners were served in the past year.

Bag Lunch Ministry This volunteer-driven ministry provides bagged lunches to as many as 600 day laborers whose take-home pay can be as little as $35 for a 10-hour day. Sandwiches are made by volunteers from several parishes, schools, agencies, and local businesses and will be assembled and distributed through St. Anthony Center. Volunteer hours are Monday and Tuesday mornings starting at 8 a.m. Groups are welcome to make sandwiches for the program on a periodic basis – even if it’s just once a month.

Cooking for the Family Students learn eight basic cooking skills, create a full meal to enjoy in class, get fresh produce to take home each session, and receive a cooking kit (cast iron skillet, chef’s knife, knife sharpener and cutting board) to take home at the end of the series. Each recipe learned features a healthy meal that can feed a family of four for under $10. Volunteers assist the students and Chef Instructor with set up, clean up and cooking during the cooking classes. A meal is provided at the end of each class for volunteers as well. Cooking experience is not mandatory but appreciated. Volunteer hours vary for this Monday through Thursday program.

Sarah Center Their mission: "to nurture and nourish families by offering support and skills, training in jewelry making, sewing, quilting and other forms of art so women can build self-esteem and earn supplemental income. The Sarah Center encourages women from all walks of life to be self-reliant, embrace their potential and learn new skills in order to grow – creatively, economically, socially and independently." Note: If you have sewing or advanced jewelry-making skills, THEY COULD USE YOU!

Front Desk The person in this new position will be responsible for watching security cameras, answering the main phone and checking volunteers in and out. They will be "the first line of contact" for more information for the partners of St. Anthony Center. There will be four shifts available (three hours each) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Contact Theresa Diersen the volunteer coordinator at: tdiersen@sfsministries.org

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