Growing Home

Interested in volunteering outside the walls of Cross of Christ?  Want to make a difference in the life of homeless family?  Want to teach your children how to show compassion for others?   The Cross of Christ Growing Home ministry is the perfect opportunity.  No long term commitment, just a few hours for one evening.

Interested? Maybe a little worried that you won’t know how to act or what to say?  That’s understandable.  There will be an experienced Cross of Christ volunteer with you.  All of the homeless families we serve all have children.  Kids are natural icebreakers.  Finding common ground is easier than you think.  Still unsure?  Volunteer with another family or a friend or we can pair you up.

How Cross of Christ helps the Growing Home Shelter Program

Growing Home is a local anti-poverty organization whose mission is “Housing the Homeless, Feeding Families, and Helping Children Succeed”.  They work to improve the lives of children by stabilizing their families.  Growing Home has multiple programs.  Cross of Christ is one of many local organizations that support the Shelter Program.  Growing Home provided a  Day Center and works with the families to secure employment, training, and housing.  Local organizations provide shelter and meals on a weekly basis.   Three or four families are in the program at one time. The typical family is in the program for 8 weeks.  One week each quarter, Cross of Christ hosts 3 to 4 families at Valley Lutheran.  We provide meals, overnight hosts, hospitality and encouragement.

Families are hosted at the Luther Center located at 7355 Samuel (near 72nd and Pecos).  This is the site of the former Valley Lutheran congregation.

Volunteer Opportunities

Breakfast and Lunch Food Donations

Families make their own breakfast and lunch from donated food.  A list of requested items is published for each host week.  Food donations should be clearly marked and placed in the Cross of Christ kitchen by 9 am on Sunday morning of our host week.

Evening Meal Volunteers (5:30 pm – 8:00 pm one night only)

Volunteers provide dinner at the Lutheran Center for approximately 20 people.  Dinner is served at 6:00 pm.  There is a small kitchen, but most volunteers prepare as much of the meal as possible prior to arrival.   At least 3 days in advance, you’ll receive an email specifying the number of people, their ages, and any special dietary needs.  After dinner you’ll interact with the families —  reading to the kids, coloring with them or playing games.  The older kids are always looking for someone to beat at Foosball!

There are many options for hosting an evening meal.  Experienced volunteers sometimes host the whole meal by themselves.  Sometimes groups of families and friends host together.  Some organizations, like the youth groups, host a meal.  Our request is that there is one coordination contact per group.  Feeling unsure about doing this the first time?  Sign up to bring dessert or a side dish and we will assign you with an experienced team.

Overnight Hosts (8:00 pm – 7:00 am, one night only)

Volunteers spend the night as chaperons at the host site.  The former Sunday School rooms have been converted into bedrooms.  Families will share one or two rooms depending on size.  Volunteers have their own room.  Lights are out from 10 pm to 6 am.  At 6 am, the volunteer makes sure the families are up.  Families have a self-serve breakfast and pack their own lunch.  The Growing Home van picks them up at 7:00 for the Day Center.   Overnight hosts are always are greatest need.

Overnight Host Instructions

We need YOU!!

It takes our entire congregation to pull together a host week – typically 30-40 people.  The high school youth kick off the host week on Sunday morning by delivering the donated breakfast and lunch items and making up the bedrooms.  Then the evening and overnight hosts work with their assigned days.  Detailed instructions will be emailed to you a week before your host date.

Questions

Contact Krista Craft at volunteer@cross-of-christ.org or 303-469-4004.

For more information on Growing Home, see www.growinghome.org.