Sacred Heart Community Service is a non-denominational, non-profit organization which provides integrated services onsite free of charge to all in need. The programs offered are in three main categories: Essential Services (food, clothing, housing, and utility assistance), Self Sufficiency (education, family support, and employment), and Policy and Organization (training low income volunteers to work together to address the needs of their community).
Holy Spirit Outreach to Sacred Heart
Holy Spirit Church has organized several programs for participation at Sacred Heart as a group. Information about dates for the programs below will be publicized in the parish bulletin. Sign-ups are handled on the parish website. If you have any questions, please contact Paul & Stephanie Francois at email@example.com.
- Saturday at Sacred Heart: The Saturdays at Sacred Heart program is a wonderful way to start or continue your journey to serve others. One Saturday morning every month (and occasionally, an additional Saturday) Holy Spirit Church asks for 30 volunteers to serve the Sacred Heart Community. The event is open to all families, teens, and adults. School age children under 14 must be accompanied by at least one parent. The morning will be spent packing food bags, sorting produce, organizing clothing donations, and any other task necessary to prepare Sacred Heart Community Services for food and clothing distribution in the week ahead. It is a great way to work together as a family, meet new people, and “walk the walk” of your Faith. Services hours can be earned. This activity usually is filled immediately.
- Survival Sacks: On the 10th and 25th of every month, Sacred Heart distributes survival sacks to homeless people. The sacks are a back pack filled with a tooth brush, tooth paste, soap, shampoo, razor, poncho, wash cloth, toilet paper, deodorant, two sets of new underwear, two pairs of new socks, and a blanket. The survival sacks are very popular! A homeless person is eligible for a survival sack every three months. Volunteers distributing the back packs share smiles and conversation with the homeless. This is also the program through which Holy Spirit gives out the tarps donated by parishioners. The connections made between the volunteers and the homeless are priceless.
- Gleaning: The Holy Spirit gleaning team picks up food, flowers, and other dry goods nearing their expiration date from supermarkets and delivers to the Sacred Heart Community Center for distribution. Each team consists of two volunteers (a driver and a helper) who currently make pick-ups at Target (Hillsdale Avenue) each Monday at 8:00 a.m. and another team at Trader Joe’s (Los Gatos Blvd.) Monday-Friday at 9:30 a.m. The current Holy Spirit gleaning team consists of 18 people who volunteer for one or more days each month. The opportunity exists for adding new stores for pick-ups. New volunteers are welcome to accomplish this need. Volunteers can either select one or more days each month or sign up as a substitute. E-mail Bill Sullivan firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Donation Drives: Holy Spirit conducts numerous donation drives to support the seasonal and year-round needs of Sacred Heart.
- Each summer, Holy Spirit supports Sacred Heart’s Pack-A-Back Campaign to provide new backpacks and school supplies to school-age children. Holy Spirit parishioners donate needed supplies, as well as volunteer at Sacred Heart to sort and distribute donations.
- In the fall, Holy Spirit leads a Blanket Drive. Parishioners donate handmade, new and gently used blankets that are distributed by Sacred Heart’s Clothes Closet to help keep families warm, whether they are living in cars, on the street, in shelters or in their homes.
- During November Holy Spirit conducts a Turkey and Tarp Drive to help fill and distribute the thousands of holiday food boxes that are provided to deserving families in our community, as well as donate hundreds of tarps to those who live without housing.
- In December, Holy Spirit supports Sacred Heart’s Turkeys and Toys Program by joyfully leading Holidays at Sacred Heart, a drive to collect, sort and distribute new toys, books and bikes for children aged 0-18.
- Finally, during Lent Holy Spirit conducts their Reverse Collection Drive, where parishioners donate essential items that are needed throughout the year to Sacred Heart.
- Immersion Trips: Throughout the year, Holy Spirit parishioners may participate in immersion trips to Sacred Heart Community Service. This is a wonderful introduction to the services provided and a good way to volunteer for the first time and meet new friends from church. Participants will be given an overview of the services Sacred Heart provides, enjoy a tour of the facility and get a chance to volunteer in the Food Pantry or the Clothes Closet.
Several parishioners have asked about opportunities to serve at Sacred Heart, either for your own outreach experience or a chance to accumulate some hours for school or Confirmation. NOTE: All student volunteers must be 14 years of age or older. Children under 14, must be accompanied by a parent or adult.
- The Food Pantry: SHCS offers two food programs: a three-day supplemental supply of groceries and an assortment of food for homeless customers that requires no prep or cooking. Customers can receive food twice a month (once time between 1st and 14th, and again between 15th and end of month), and may access additional produce once a week. There are shifts in the Pantry Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to Noon and 1:00-3:00 p.m. The Friday shift is only in the morning.
- The Clothes Closet: Families visit the Clothes Closet to browse and shop twice a month for high-quality clothing, shoes, accessories, linens, and books. Every family member can take home 5 articles of clothing each — all free of charge. There are shifts in the Clothes Closet Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to Noon and 1:00-3:00 p.m. The Friday shift is only in the morning.
- La Mesa Verde Home Gardening: Families can save more than $400 a year and provide healthy food for their loved ones by growing an organic vegetable garden in their own yard. Participants in this program receive soil, seeds, and raised garden beds, then work with mentors to raise their first bountiful harvest.
- JobLink: JobLink provides employment assistance and financial coaching to help individuals build a pathway to economic self-sufficiency. SHCS connects job seekers to peer networks, skill development, and resources to achieve (and maintain) long-term employment. JobLink volunteers help with resumes, preparing for interviews, finding employment opportunities, and more. NOTE: All JobLink volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.
- Early Childhood Education Center: Volunteers are also needed in the Early Childhood Education Center. The preschool needs adult volunteers (18 and older) from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The classes are taught in English, so knowledge of Spanish isn’t necessary. All volunteers must be fingerprinted.
- Homework Club: High school volunteers are always needed in the Homework Club that meets from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday. Tutors should be sophomores and older. The students in the Homework Club are all ages and relate well to the high school age tutors. All volunteers must be fingerprinted.
- Other Programs Include: Tax Preparation Assistance, Financial Coaching, Entrepreneurship Assistance, Early Childhood Education, Summer Academy, After-School Academy, Family Support, Housing Assistance.
- Bilingual Volunteers: Sacred Heart is in great need of bilingual volunteers, particularly Vietnamese and Mandarin speakers, to translate live for customers and in written form for documents. If you have four hours per month to volunteer either at the agency or write documents from home in any of the following languages: Vietnamese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Spanish, please contact SHCS.
If any of the opportunities sound like something you would like to add to your life, please be on the lookout for upcoming parish sponsored events in the bulletin and then sign up online. If you are interested in becoming a weekly or monthly volunteer, please contact Paul & Stephanie Francois at email@example.com.