GREAT FALLS — On Wednesday, December 11th, at 5:30 P.M., Family Promise of Great Falls will host a training for anyone that wants to volunteer with the organization in 2020.
The training is required for everyone that wants to lend their time to Family Promise, and will teach skills such as how to cook and clean for the people that currently rely on Family Promise, and how to set up and break down events, of which the organization has many planned for the upcoming year.
“We need a variety of volunteers, not just for overnight hosts at the church, not just for dropping off donations of things or for providing meals,” said Family Promise Case Manager Meghan Wakeley. “We need them to help out with events, such as we have our big birthday bash that’s coming up on January 10th, we’ll need volunteers to help us set up and tear down for that. And it’s also just learning about the compassion that goes into our program.”
Family Promise has only five full-time staff members, which means that they rely heavily on volunteers. Wakeley says the number of volunteers that they have fluctuates through the year, but that they usually outnumber the full-time staff by about ten to one.
“We’re always very grateful for our volunteers because the Family Promise program is set up to utilize resources that are already in the community,” she explained. “The volunteers really help us to welcome these families back into homes and back into a community to feel that human touch.”
Family Promise looks out for homeless and less fortunate families and tries to help them get back on their feet. Wakeley says that homeless people often aren’t as different from us as most people think. Most of them have jobs and things to do, they just tend to struggle making ends meet. Just because they’re going through hard times, it doesn’t mean they’re not trying, and it definitely doesn’t mean that they’re hopeless.
“I think training like this is necessary because often times we see homeless people and there already a lot of preconceived notions about them,” Wakeley said. “Training like this really brings to light that homeless people are just like you and me. Many of them already have employment, and they just landed in bad times and they need help. The training helps us to show the volunteers how to be compassionate and also how to work with people who are going through a very traumatic time in their lives.”
She hopes that anyone who is looking to not only do something fulfilling in their life, but also anyone who wants to help out during the current housing crisis considers coming to the training and volunteering their time.
For more information on how to volunteer, and other ways to get involved, click here to visit the Family Promise website.