“We protect homeless families by providing shelter in a clean, safe, and warm environment and help families break the homelessness cycle by assisting them toward self-sufficiency and into stable housing” (Winter Nights https: //cccwinternights.org/)
Monday, February 26 (dinner time) to
Monday, March 11 (early morning departure).
Sunday, January 14th for a meeting in the social hall following the church service for information about this wonderful opportunity to serve others.
If you are interested in this ministry, fantastic, we need you!
If you aren’t sure what you can do, we need you!
If you’ve volunteered for Winter Night forever (like me) we still need you!
There are many things to do. Big things and little things and ALL are important, needed and appreciated. Remember:
“…it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Luke 6:38
If you have questions please contact Judith Hall [email protected] or call 925-212-3810
Below are more details. . .
Winter Nights Rotating Family Shelter
Walnut Creek UMC has been a proud host congregation for more than twenty years.
In our current 15 years, two-week commitment, we have provided:
· A safe, clean environment, that is close to the freeway for easy access for the adults to depart for work each morning
· Shower facilities that most church facilities do not have onsite at other locations
· Space where Winter Nights staff can set up tents and spread out the items needed to provide care
· A kitchen with a large refrigerator to hold food for daily needs, and space to prepare nutrition meals
· A private area where Winter Nights parents can speak privately to staff with on-going concerns and/or receive nurture
· A beautiful playground that younger Winter Nights children with adults and volunteers can use.
· Sufficient space to hold tents to give each Winter Nights family privacy.
In our years as a host congregation we have provided:
· Easy breakfast items: frozen waffles, oatmeal, cereal, bagels, fruit, milk and juice
· Lunch needs for the parents to prepare lunch bags for their children and themselves: sliced bread, butter, mayo, mustard, lunchmeats, more fruit, packaged snack items
Gourmet meals, either ordered and delivered from area restaurants (some establishments donate the meals, others have given a generous discount,) or meals prepared in our WCUMC kitchen
· Laundry service for towels and linens through the good hearts of our WCUMC volunteer. (no personal items.)
· Overnight volunteer service provided incase of an emergency: backed up toilet, overflowing water, no heart, no power.
Each year the number of Winter Nights family units differs. For example:
· 2023 saw us house 6 families. Two with five or six children each, and four with one or two children.
· 2022 we had three families with one child each. Three single mothers, who worked shift work
· 2020&21 were COVID-19 years. We housed three or four families for a month, who stayed full-time on our premises.
· 2018 we had three pregnant mothers all due at the same time, one with five other children We gave each of the mothers hand-knit blankets lovingly prayed over by the Knitting Circle.
· 2017 we co-hosted at another church for three dinners.
· 2016 was a year with two Winter Nights families having personal challenges, which meant they had to leave unexpectantly
So many details go into coordinating WCUMC’s two week hosting commitments:
· Checking with the office for an available date. Letting other ministries know of the pending Winter Nights hosting
· Setting up an open meeting for prospective volunteers to hear what is needed. There are always additional needs, the Winter Nights staff will request help with.
· Having volunteers provide needed easy breakfast, lunch and snack items.
· Getting sign ups for volunteers to provide hearty dinners, with desserts.
And hearty weekend breakfasts.
· Getting people to volunteer to be present at mealtimes, to sit and talk with the Winter Nights families
· Willing to sit and play with the children, or to help with homework if needed, when they arrive at our shelter at 5pm, to give the parents time to get organized from their day.
Our WCUMC volunteers provide meals for one week, with a few co-host congregations