South Hills Interfaith Ministries
March 21, 2011
SHIM (as South Hills Interfaith Ministries is commonly known) welcomes and treats clients in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh, with dignity and respect. The staff over the years interacts with volunteers and clients cheerfully and with kind enthusiasm, as I've observed during 6+ years of unscheduled visits to the office. During the 2010-11 winter coat drive, SHIM met all of the growing client base's needs, so it shared excess winterwear with other service agencies. SHIM's interfaith commitment is real, welcoming all churches, synagogues, religious and community organizations to lend a hand. SHIM feeds the spirit by organizing interfaith and Holocaust remembrance services, as well as feeding our South Hills neighbors, providing free clothing, school supplies and holiday gifts 'stores', and running nursery school and summer camp programs for low-income kids and recently resettled refugee families. Not only do SHIM staffers and friends alleviate hunger, SHIM empowers clients to choose their own groceries and helps them navigate utility assistance, etc.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
helping SHIM staff collect winterwear, school supplies, food and clothing; also providing campwear, small appliances, furniture and housewares (when available) for resettled refugee families in Baldwin/Whitehall public housing.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
find a way to empower clients of SHIM to give back. Most of us would choose to 'pay it forward' if we have the resources, rather than accept assistance. If clients could volunteer hours back to SHIM or to its summer camp/nursery programs as aides, help stock the pantry, sort clothes and keep the premises maintained, they would be actively helping themselves and others.
Volunteer & I've run winter coat drives and assisted with various food drives, through the generosity of Temple Emanuel members and nursery school families, in Mt. Lebanon, PA.