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More Than Just Volunteering: Providing People With A Sense of Community and Compassion

Nov 07, 2018 • by Isabelle E. Okkerse, Alvernia University, citizen contributor
Volunteering for Hope Rescue Mission

When you think of volunteer opportunities, you may think of donating clothes at a local Goodwill, visiting an animal shelter to walk dogs, or volunteering at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving to help feed the homeless. While those are all excellent volunteer opportunities, it does not end there. 

Readingeagle.com states that about 40% of people that reside in Reading are living below the poverty line, making Reading the second poorest city in the nation. It is very important to be a part of the community and volunteer to help those in need, and I will specifically discuss an organization that can always use new volunteer members: The Hope Rescue Mission.

The Hope Rescue Mission, located at 645 North Sixth Street Reading, PA 19601, is an organization that provides bedding, meals, and Christian-centered church services and chapels for one to attend. It costs $120 a week to shelter one person. It a faith-centered organization, stating that their mission at hopeforreading.org as “We provide for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the homeless of berks county to share the life-changing message of the Gospel with the HOPE of seeing them restored to a productive life.” There are many programs offered to the thousands of people that stay here every night, and they do not all have to be making food or donating clothing.

No matter what volunteer area you may decide to go into, all are beneficial to you and to those benefiting from services. Volunteer opportunities at the Hope Rescue Mission include: Chapel Services, Food Prep & Service, Cleaning, Hope Outlet, Maintenance, Landscaping, Community Service, Office, and Education/Vocation. There is bound to be an area you are interested in, and these opportunities are available for all age ranges. 

By providing educational services to the homeless you not only feel better about being a part of your community, you also may help that one person get back on their feet to find a good job, or help someone decide that they want to go back to school. The Hope Rescue Mission is a large building, and by volunteering as a cleaning service, the place would feel even safer and more comfortable for the people living there. By providing Maintenance and Landscaping services, utilities will work even better and the outdoors will look even nicer, creating a better sense of feeling at home.

As much as volunteering at the Hope Rescue Mission will leave you with a better feeling from helping your community, it will also provide High School or local College Students with community service hours. Readingeagle.com tells a story about a group of kids from Fleetwood Bible Church’s Community Group in Hamburg, P.A. who volunteered in the kitchen making Fastnachts, also known as warm doughnuts. Allison Bracy, 14, stated “It’s something that God has given me a heart to do. It’s something our family has been called to do.” Hopeofthevalley.org also states “Many volunteers feel that in the simple act of serving, they often receive more than they give.” High school or local college students that volunteer at the Hope Rescue Mission will gain a sense of humility and confidence in themselves while also completing community service hours, leading them to impressive attitudes of humility and kindness upon entering the workforce.

The Hope Rescue Mission has a huge calendar of events on their website with chapel services, educational services and classes, as well as big events coming up. For more information about volunteering, call (610)-375-4224, or email the Hope Rescue Mission at [email protected]

In conclusion, volunteer. No matter how old or young you are, there are too many services offered at the Hope Rescue Mission to not volunteer for one of them. It will give you a better sense of community and compassion for our neighbors struggling here in Reading, as well as help you feel more confident and humility for yourself. By helping these people gain a better quality of life, it may set them on their feet to find just what they need to get their lives in order. 

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