Getting Ahead Workshop Meal Volunteers Needed!

Have you been waiting for an in-person/hands-on opportunity to serve those in need in our local community with fellow parishioners?  Are you the lead for a ministry and are looking for a project that your ministry team can support outside the parish?  Every Tuesday evening in May and June we have the opportunity to provide a dinner meal for the Getting Ahead workshops hosted in partnership between St. Vincent de Paul (Catholic charity), the Religious Coalition and Steadfast — three local non-profits. This program helps move our neighbors in need from poverty to self-sufficiency.

All Saints’ has provided and served meals to many Getting Ahead graduates during the past 2+ years and a new class is starting in May!

Leslie Mansfield, one of the volunteer program facilitators, had this to say, and I think it is beautifully descriptive of the value we bring others in our community though our meals:

“The idea with having a meal at the workshops is primarily to provide a bit of a social atmosphere – to build group cohesion by sharing a meal.  And, as we have learned it also enables the Investigators (students) to more fully participate by taking one item off their to-do list while living in the current “tyranny of the moment” (as we call it).  This has been especially important to those coming straight from work and those with children.  And, while we certainly ask them to help clean up the space at the end of each night’s session, it is very special for the Investigators to have volunteers prepare and help serve the food.  Many don’t have anyone ever taking care of them.  And, as we are learning, many of our Investigators “suffer” from thinking that people just don’t care – and by providing this meal, they start to realize that people in the community do care about them and their success.  While going through the training, I never fully realized how important this meal is to everyone on many levels.  And, when there are leftovers to take home – well, you can imagine that is a real treat.”

Volunteers contribute items they have prepared and/or help to serve the meal at 6 PM.  You can participate in helping with one or all eight meals!  Our host location for May and June is the Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ at 15 W. Church Street.  Workshops typically have 10-15 adults in attendance.  I will be reaching out shortly to ministry leaders to ask to “sponsor” one Tuesday in May and/or June.  

If you are not sure how to connect to become a part of this, please contact me at or my co-lead, Katy Ackland, at

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