The accomplishments of CES's small staff are amplified by a strong and enthusiastic corps of more than 2,300 volunteers. Each year, CES hosts many volunteer groups from as far away as Michigan. About half of the volunteers help deliver CES Meals On Wheels; the other half fulfills a variety of functions within CES.
Volunteers are needed each week for these tasks. Contact Melanie LaPointe for details.
- Sort donated groceries: Monday thru Friday 9am-4pm
- Intake desk: Monday – Thursday 12:30-4pm
- Interviewer/Advocate: Monday-Thursday 12:30-4pm and Wednesday 4pm-6pm
- Meals on Wheels driver: Monday – Friday 11am-1pm
- Meals on Wheels kitchen: Monday-Friday 8am-11am
Click on a section below to read more detailed descriptions of these volunteer tasks.
Food Sort - Sorting & stocking the food that arrives with the goal of depositing the food into the proper storage areas and the pantry before it is given out to clients.
Kitchen Helper - Kitchen helpers are needed to assemble meals and make sure they are properly tagged for CES Meals on Wheels.
Mail Team - Assembling the monthly newsletter for bulk mailing by our mailing team as they gather in the morning once a month.
Custodial - Assisting with general custodial help and extra projects, such as deep cleaning, carpet cleaning, summer or winter yard upkeep, etc.
Maintenance Projects - Lending a helping hand with special maintenance projects such as minor repair work, general carpentry, painting, plumbing, replacing carpet and even electrical duties.
Office Support - Providing office and clerical support for special projects.
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Meals on Wheels - Delivering CES Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors and handicapped individuals.
Home Delivery - Bag and deliver groceries through the Home Delivery program to homebound clients. This is an ideal service project for all ages and groups.
Pet Food Delivery - Weekend deliveries of pet food for the Ani-Meals Pet Food Program. Families are encouraged to volunteer together and bring their pets along on the monthly Saturday or Sunday deliveries.
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Personal Interaction with Clients
Interviewer/Advocate - Since CES' birth the interviewer has been the main connection between CES and the client. Each interviewer/advocate—mature Christ-following men and women—meet one-on-one with clients to foster friendship and trust. Conversations take place, fears are shared, prayers are given and grace abounds. A listening ear and encouragement are the advocates greatest tools.
Many times we start with food, guiding them through the food shelf. However, that is the tip of the iceberg: referrals, sharing of faith, walking along-side, caring, listening to his or her story and starting a friendship. Be prepared to be challenged and changed by our some amazing people. Come have a conversation at CES to learn more about this.
Front desk - Answer telephone and respond to requests in the appropriate manner. Direct call client requests to proper staff or program. Check-in clients to the food shelf using client database (basic computer skills required). Other duties depending on skills and time.
Summer Camp - Program with games and crafts for the children whose parents are here for Bonus Friday. One to four volunteers needed on Fridays: (summer dates to be decided)
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Volunteer Story: Giving Back
Jackie Butchee joined the CES Board to represent CES clients. She has lived in the area for several years with her husband Danny. Jackie loves helping people, which she once did as a Nursing Assistant, a career that was cut short due to a diagnosis of epilepsy. She continued to help others by volunteering at CES, an area nursing home and for the Epilepsy Foundation. She meets with teenage girls who have epilepsy and encourages them not to give up! When Jackie fell on to hard times, CES helped her with rent and food. Jackie states, "This is my way of giving back. CES is my family because they were there when I needed someone the most. I am grateful!" Although her role on the board was cut short by illness, Jackie volunteered at CES in a variety of ways when she was able.
Volunteer Story: A God Thing
Each day at 1:15 pm, volunteer interviewers gather for prayer before they help those who come for food or other aid. This Friday was no different. Carl Estey, one of the Friday volunteers, prayed for direction and that God would put together the right combinations of interviewer/client.
The last person Carl helped was a woman, Sarah, who spoke only Spanish. Try as he might, all he could figure out was that there were five people in their household and that she had no money to buy food. Beyond that, he picked up that it was her first time at CES and she was apprehensive to say the least. He started to ask if anyone else could speak Spanish. Sara Sneed, from the Lutheran Campus Ministry at the U of M had come to check out CES to see if it would be a good fit for their organization. She had just finished helping someone when she overheard the request. "I speak Spanish," she replied.
Carl and Sara took the Spanish Sarah downstairs to pick out food that her family would eat. With Sara's help there was a way to communicate and Sarah became comfortable, at ease and grateful for the assistance. The right combination of people happened. Carl stated "This was the first time that I've needed an interpreter. It was a God thing."
Carl also stated that he could go other places to volunteer, but loves to come to CES because of the emphasis on prayer and the encouragement to establish relationships with the clients. "We can understand what their need is. This aspect is significant to me!"
Phone: 612.870.1125, extension 128