For two decades, Haven Ministries has been transforming the lives of those in need through shelter, clothing, food, and support in Queen Anne’s County. The backbone of these services has been the many volunteers who work behind the scenes in a variety of capacities to be sure those in need have the resources they need. This month, the organization is doing a campaign, “We Love Our Volunteers,” to thank its volunteers and encourage more people to volunteer for the organization.
“Our volunteer pool has always been at the core of the services we provide. We couldn’t do it without them,” comments Krista Pettit, Executive Director of Haven Ministries.
“These are truly remarkable people who have dedication and compassion for those we serve. They are making a difference in the lives of their neighbors by volunteering their time to help people get back on their feet.”
Haven Ministries utilizes volunteers in a variety of ways through its homeless shelter, resource center, food pantries, and at Our Daily Thread and Hope Warehouse retail locations. At Haven Ministries Headquarters/Resource Center in Queenstown on Del Rhodes Avenue and at Hope Warehouse on Friels Road, volunteers are used in a variety of ways. Right now, Hope Warehouse has the greatest need for volunteers to pick up donations from community members one day a week and help lift furniture and appliances into vehicles when items are purchased at the Warehouse.
“Each volunteer has his/her strengths and contributes in unique ways to make the shopping experience at Hope Warehouse enjoyable for both new and returning customers. Volunteers help customers, arrange furniture and displays, clean, and serve as cashiers. We need able-bodied people who can work a three-hour morning or afternoon shift Wednesday through Saturday,” states Joni Melotti, Hope Warehouse Manager.
In the Resource Center, volunteers answer the phone and schedule clients for both food pantries in Queenstown and Sudlersville. They also help gather information for client requests for assistance. Volunteers who have office skills and enjoy working with people are encouraged to apply. Volunteers also help with Haven Ministries seasonal shelter.
“We have the best volunteers. They are willing to do what is needed and are such pleasant and caring individuals,” comments Mary Jeeter, case manager for Haven Ministries’ Resource Center.
Haven Ministries’ food pantries and thrift shop have the greatest number of volunteers, using volunteers in shifts to keep their operations running. At the Haven Ministries Food Pantries, nearly 40 volunteers work Monday through Friday at the Resource Center Pantry in Queenstown or the Food Pantry Truck in Sudlersville, providing a friendly face to clients. Volunteers move food from storage locations, stock the pantries and clean pantry sites, while also assisting clients with finding the items they need.
“Our volunteers enjoy interacting with clients. It’s meaningful for them. Clients enjoy the engagement just as much as the volunteers do,” states Christine Perkins, Food Pantry Director.
“Clients are relaxed at our pantries as they can leisurely shop for the items they need among dry goods, canned goods, frozen foods and toiletries. This time of year, we also offer them hats, gloves and scarves.”
An equal number of volunteers keep Haven Ministries’ Our Daily Thread store operations going. The store’s new location in Chester has attracted a number of new volunteers and its volume of donations is increasing every day. Volunteers help by sorting and pricing clothing during two shifts Monday through Saturday.
“The new location offers such a pleasant work environment for our volunteers, who really are the backbone of what we do in serving the public. We are always looking for people to join our team,” states Liz Bazzell, Our Daily Thread Manager.
All of the volunteer opportunities at Haven Ministries allow flexible scheduling. To volunteer, call Haven Ministries staff at the following numbers and locations:
Haven Ministry Food Pantries – Headquarters – 206 Del Rhodes Avenue in Queenstown & Food Pantry Truck – 407 Dudley Corner Road in Sudlersville – Christine Perkins, Food Pantry Director at 443-988-1183
Resource Center & Seasonal Shelter – 206 Del Rhodes Avenue in Queenstown – Mary Jeeter, Case Manager at 410-827-7194
Our Daily Thread Store – 1521 Postal Road in Chester – Liz Bazzell, Manager at 410-353-0455
Hope Warehouse – 6527 Friel’s Road in Queenstown – Joni Melotti, Warehouse Manager at 410-490-8498
For further information about supporting Haven Ministries, visit haven-ministries.org or call Krista Pettit at 410-739-4363.
Love shapes the ministry, love transforms people, and hope prevails at Haven Ministries. Haven Ministries operates a seasonal Homeless Shelter, a Resource Center and Food Pantry in Queenstown, Our Daily Thread Store in Chester, Hope Warehouse in Queenstown, and a Food Pantry Truck in Sudlersville.