To deliver boxes of food, volunteers from local churches come together on Saturday's. A couple of adults or a family with kids picks up the food boxes and household information, including maps, for each home they will visit. Recipients have pledged to remain home until the food box arrives.
Along with the box of food, volunteers offer their friendship, encouragement, and prayers. Interaction is both informal and respectful.
For more information about these and other volunteer activities, please contact us.
Comments from Volunteers:
Charis creates a direct relationship between me and the people I serve by delivering food. It is a tangible, personal, effort to serve “the least of these” as Jesus commanded. Meeting those served, shaking their hands, learning their names and stories, experiencing their daily struggle, I feel closer to God’s intent for us all. Meeting recipients forces me to relate to them, not as faceless members of society, but as people just like me. It is my hope that my modest words of prayer and encouragement serve as some small comfort to let them know they are not forgotten, that people care.
There are few human needs more basic than food and my ability to play a small role in providing is a huge reward for the amount of time I invest. The gratitude that is expressed and the hospitality I am extended, even in trying circumstances, puts my personal challenges in perspective. To see people behave with such grace gives me a sense of peace and makes me focus on blessings in my life rather than troubles of this world.
Father of student
I volunteer for Charis because I love the feeling I have after I’ve given food to the people. It’s so interesting to see how we are all the same yet so differently molded to become different.
When you participate in something like this your world shifts. I grew up with constant love and constant care and when you see that others have it so differently it just takes the words from your mouth.
The people you meet are never as they are often thought to be, they are sweet and thankful. Never have I met someone that was rude or unappreciative. I have often seen that the people with the least care the most.
High School student
Reasons why we enjoy volunteering with Charis:
-We can do it as a family. There are many good opportunities where my wife and I could serve, but not with our children. It is easy to tell our kids they need to sacrifice things in life and then we turn around and sacrifice our time with them. Charis is different. The whole family can actively take part. The kids interact and pray with recipients as well as adults.
-It is a chance to meet people in different situations in life, and a chance for our kids to see people who, though they are in need, aren't really very different than us.
-The ministry is very well run. We have been impressed with how well organized the delivery days are. Boxes are well-packed, packets include all of the pertinent information to prepare you, and maps get you right where you need to go.
We volunteer 2 or 3 times a year and wish we could do more. It combines the ability to meet an immediate physical need with a box of food and the chance to plant eternal seed with a simple prayer.
Family of six
1 Peter 4:10 says that we are to use the gifts we have been given, through God's grace, to serve one another. The older I get, the more I realize how much grace I have been given and the more I realize that I am to share what I have been given. Delivering food, a Bible and a personal presence, if only for the recipient to know that someone acknowledged his or her situation, is a way I can obey Peter's direction from the Lord.
Charis is just a wonderful experience without qualification. For way too long, I told myself I couldn't do mission work because it was too far, too expensive, too hard, and I didn't have the time. I always had some vague notion of doing it when I got older. Charis has given me the chance to fulfill my obligations to love my neighbor just about any weekend. I would have never dreamed that there was so much need so close to home. It is far more than charity for me and my family. It has had a deep influence on my world view, complicating my notions of poverty and the poor. I just have seen so few people in need who fit the stereotype of ungrateful deadbeats. Overwhelmingly, they are people with illness (physical or mental), terrible misfortune, or who have recently suffered abuse. Overwhelmingly, they are deeply grateful. I am terribly touched and honored to walk in these people's lives. At this stage of life, I am not easily moved but I am always moved. This has become a service for us as much as it is from us.
The other aspect is the ability to do this with my family. That just would not be in the cards any time soon otherwise. One thing that we really struggle with as a family is the problem of how to generate gratitude in the hearts of our young children, growing up with all of their needs met. Sunday school simply does not do it. It is too abstract. Seeing my kids see other people, kids especially, in poverty teaches them Christian lessons that I could otherwise never provide. Nothing makes me more proud than seeing them pray with others, and how proud they are of having helped. The conversations we have afterwards provide some of the best parenting lessons a Christian couple could ever stumble across.
We remain great champions of Charis.
Family of four