By: Dave Cheadle
Most of us know about the amazing Sunday ministries of The Well, but did you know that Wellspring also partners during the week with a vibrant storefront poverty ministry only one block west of our sanctuary?
Wellspring is a key partner with Giving Heart Englewood, located at 4358 S. Broadway. During the winter months, the homeless are more cold and hungry than ever, so additional immediate help is critically needed to continue providing hot meals every Saturday night and Tuesday afternoon for many of the same people we already know from serving on Sundays downstairs.
The Giving Heart “Hot Meal” opportunity is very similar to the Sunday lunch program of The Well.
Providing and serving a meal at Giving Heart is a perfect “mission” activity for Life Groups, or for families and friends who feel called to serve the poor as a team. Bringing food could be a one-time adventure, or a sporadic activity. Your established group (or you and a handful of people you pull together just for this project) might also consider filling calendar slots on a regular monthly or quarterly basis.
Every Saturday night, a team of 3 to 10 volunteers provides and serves a meal for approximately 40 to 50 homeless people. Folks gather at 5:00 PM for supper, then they stay from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM for a worship service that is conducted by the trained Giving Heart leadership team. If you’d like to jump in with an instrument --or pick up an open mic to sing-- the worship leader is always eager to plug in a musical guest. You’re invited to come worship with the homeless even if you don’t bring a meal!
The volunteer meal team brings the food and serves from a kitchen counter. After cleanup, they may either stay or leave when the worship service begins at 6:00 PM. For volunteers who might prefer a Tuesday meal option, many calendar slots are still open for those Tuesday lunches as well.
In addition to hot meals, the Giving Heart ministry also provides mentoring, emergency sheltering options, employment assistance, clothing, sleeping bags, tarps, and much more. During the winter, up to seven nights a week Giving Heart volunteers provide an intake and warming site to bring homeless people off from the streets and then shuttle them to places where they will sleep safely during the most life-threatening weather. Volunteers are needed for the evening Warming Site shelter ministry as well.
The core Giving Heart staff and volunteer network includes some of the most familiar and active people involved in Englewood poverty issues, including folks from Wellspring and leaders dating back to the days of Fishes ‘n’ Loaves. In addition to Wellspring, six other Englewood churches partner with Giving Heart, and several Littleton and other local churches participate as well, all of whom believe in the power to serve and transform our community through our unity in Christ.
In partnership with these churches and several other ministries, Giving Heart has touched hundreds of lives in the past year, and we have seen radical changes in the lives of dozens of people, some of whom are now off the streets, now sober, now employed… and now giving thanks with us to our Lord Jesus Christ who saves.
If you would like to consider providing a meal, or to explore additional volunteer options from “entry level” helping jobs to “advanced” work in the missional trenches, please visit: GivingHeartEnglewood.com.