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When the pandemic hit last year, SVdP understandably lost many of its volunteers. As an organization primarily run by volunteers, we were immediately concerned about how to meet our neighbors’ needs—needs that grew tremendously as COVID-19 negatively impacted companies and jobs. But God met our needs and helped fill the volunteer gap through several groups, including the National Guard, St. Mark’s Conference, the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Providence Cristo Rey High School Corporate Work Study Program and a local staffing agency. We are so grateful for how volunteers from these organizations helped us sustain our operations during a time when needs were great and volunteer resources were less available.

Now, as things slowly return to normal, our need for volunteers rises once again, particularly as we approach the summer months. Vacations are starting to be planned again; schools are on summer break; and the National Guard’s service with us comes to an end.

That means we’re putting a special plea out to all of our supporters: If you’re comfortable and available, please consider volunteering in the coming months. We’ve had many volunteers return after being fully vaccinated and they report feeling safe in our facilities. Even more, it’s been a job to return to a something they love—and all the special relationships that come with that commitment.

First Priority: Distribution Center and Food Pantry

There is much to do to fulfill our mission on a daily basis—and trained, reliable volunteers are key to our ability to serve our neighbors in need. While there are volunteer needs across the organization, our most immediate needs are in the Distribution Center and the 30th Street food pantry. In fact, on a weekly basis, we need hundreds of volunteers to run these critical parts of our organization:

  • Food Pantry: 195 volunteers
  • Distribution Center (including Mission 27): 206 volunteers

At the food pantry, volunteers pack boxes, repackage produce and meat, and load boxes in cars. And, at the Distribution Center, volunteers sort clothing, linens and household items, work the docks or drive box trucks (no special license needed). We need volunteers six days a week, particularly in mornings.

Fun Ways to Volunteer with Others

If you want to support us with your time and talent, here are a few ways to get involved as a volunteer:

  • Employee Team-Building Activity: It’s one thing to work together in a professional setting, but quite another to serve together—it can really strengthen team bonds and build camaraderie.
  • Company Day of Service Projects: When large groups get together, it’s amazing what can be accomplished in a three-hour time span.
  • Group Bonding: Youth groups, confirmation groups, church small groups—serving together is always a great way for faith-based groups to grow even stronger.
  • Family Volunteering: We love having families volunteer together. The minimum age is 12, and there’s something for everyone to do.
  • Father-Son/Daughter Service Outing: Want some father-son or father-daughter bonding time? Consider driving one of our box trucks to pick up and load furniture and other large items.
  • Conference Connections: A great way to strengthen the connection between Conference and Council is to volunteer periodically at the food pantry or distribution center.
  • Invite a Friend: A personal invitation goes a long way. Remember, it’s better to try something new with a friend.

How to Sign Up to Volunteer

Sign up at Have a group wanting to volunteer? Contact Darlene Sweeney at

Your Safety is Our Priority

If you choose to volunteer with us, rest assured that your safety is a priority for us. On top of our normal safety procedures, we continue to follow the additional protocols we instituted at the onset of COVID. Keeping our volunteers safe and our facilities clean is at the forefront of what we do on a daily basis. We’ve ensured that measures are in place to make our environments—and your experience—the safest possible it can be.