One of my favorite parts of volunteering at the Atlanta day shelter is spending time with the children. A small urban garden has been started in the back of the shelter which has been a great way to expose women and children to vegetables and healthful eating.
This shelter provides so many important and vital resources for their population and are a crucial stepping stone for women to move from the streets, shelters and unemployment to getting back on their feet. All of the time that I have spent there has been hugely rewarding and I have learned so much from the women and staff about resilience and hope.
I have been the "go between" for many years for several organizations in Altanta that wish to donate clothing, toiletries, Christmas gifts, children's books and toys, household items, food and money to the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. So many folks and organizations want to help the Shelter and all they need is a little encouragement and clarity of the daily needs at the Shelter. Three examples follow... (1) The Rotary Club of Dunwoody donates large numbers of coats, jackets and sweaters every Fall. Some members put collection boxes in local dry cleaner establishments for this purpose. The Rotary Club also donates 100 Back to School book bags filled with school supplies every August. Individual members donate clothing, toys, toiletries and household items thoughout the year. (2) PEO Chapter R donates Christmas gifts for women and children and money every year. Individual members also donate clothing and household items throughout the year. (3) Kingswood UMC individuals donate large quantities of plastic bags and toiletries throughout the year. The Atlanta Day Shelter personnel are always gracious in accepting donations and helpful in the unloading process. I always feel blessed and peaceful after being at the Atlanta Day Shelter. It is a special place with a special mission.
The day shelter provide services to women who because of a variety of circumstances, need help getting their lives back on track. They provide basic needs like showers and laundry opportunities but also critical job training, childcare and education. During Christmas, the women and children receives new items from individuals and church groups who donate toys and clothing essentials. I have helped organize and package these donations for distribution. The employees of the shelter are very caring and organized. I love being part of this organization.
I am the community service co-chair for my university's local alumni association. Every month, our group volunteers with a different organization in the Atlanta area. Last December, our alums chose to spend our time and resources at the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. In addition to making personal donations, our volunteers spent the afternoon sorting clothing. The day was productive as we look forward to volunteering with the Shelter in the near future.
The Atlanta Day Shelter provides many services, but amongst the greatest of these is creating space and energy for women to build relationships and feel empowered through community. We have been working with the director to start an Urban Garden (called the Herben Garden) and the excitement and flexibility toward our project has made it happen!
The women feel comfortable at the shelter and can take advantage of gardening because of this. Our main goal is to create a garden that the women feel they own and will be empowered by their abilities to grow, harvest, prepare and preserve food for their families as a self-sustaining skill. We also want to provide space for mental health enhancement as we garden and grow together as a community of women that care deeply about one another.
The staff is always interested and involved in what we are growing or activities we are putting on in the garden and keep our morale going on a weekly basis. They are working at the shelter because they care for the women and children they serve on a daily basis, which creates a great environment of support.
My sister in law is the person that introduced me to the Atlanta Day Shelter years ago. I've made a few financial contributions but had never volunteered. I e-mailed the shelter contact before long before Christmas about the Atlanta Day Shelter volunteer opportunities. My daughter and I were scheduled to work as a Santa helper. We help organize and stock the toy room and then filled bags of gifts based on the child's age and sex. I was amazed at how organized the process was and it was very fast paced. I don't have any idea how many children we selected gifts for that day. I think the shelter did an excellent job with the toy donations but I also saw how important the financial contributions are to fill the gaps if gifts needed for certain ages. Plus you have to keep in mind that the kids do not have a home to store batteries or keep large items. The staff at the shelter had everything organized, a wonderful attitude and wasted no time in putting me and my daughter to work. I want to make working at the shelter our new Christmas tradition.
It has been a blessing to me to volunteer with the youngest children receiving services at the Atlanta Day Shelter. I have brought a music program for toddlers and preschools weekly for the past 2 months and the children are such a joy! What impressed me the most about the shelter is their sincere care for the women and children who come to them for assistance. It is a well run, organized, caring environment that truly seeks to empower women and help them better their lives and the lives of their children through education and support.
I found the Atlanta Day Shelter to be a place of empowerment for building women lives holistic. It was the right place for my clincial volunteer service. The Atlanta Day Shelter helps women in many areas such as: computer skills, job applications, dress for success, clothings, food and nutrition, grooming and showering on a daily basis. The Atlanta Day Shelter is one of professional services for all women that come for assistance. i enjoyed my eight weeks and will volunteer again. In additional, I learned frm the Shelter and the clientel of women who came in for service. It was a great place to give service too. Lastly, the Atlanta Day Shelter is a veryy professional place with a hard-working staff and employees. That are the greatest.
Atlanta Day Shelter was a great choice for our annual AWF holiday service day. We were able to feel like we really made a difference for the organization and the women and children whom they serve. Atlanta Day Shelter staff were very organized and enthusiastic about our gifts. They let us have hands-on service in the lunchroom with the clients and also gave us a variety of afternoon projects in their clothes closet. It felt great to help them catch up with the many donations they were receiving and to watch the women shop for winter clothes. We were so inspired by our afternoon there that we came back and began a collection box to take to them with toiletries, undies and baby items. Some staff also made unsolicited financial contributions. The work was needed, appreciated and inspirational!
I have been blessed to volunteer at the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children for 20 years and have experienced many examples of the shelter's positive influence on the lives of thousands of women and children.
One specific example happened when I was shopping for oil cloth at Hancock's to make table cloths for the shelter's dining room. I was checking out and asked the lady at the register if she could possibly give me a discount as I represented the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. She smiled sweetly and said she would be happy to give the shelter a discount as she had been a guest there. The shelter had ministered to her needs and assisted her in getting on her feet and finding employment. She said she had her own apartment and was now the manager of the Hancock's. We were in the middle of a capital campaign at the time and I asked Paula if she would speak at one of our events. She was a wonderful advocate for the love and support the Shelter gives each guest, as well as a remarkable example of the results the Atlanta Day Shelter achieves in the community.