30 Acts of Kindness: Task 1, StreetLight

During February, I’m celebrating my 30th Birthday with 30 Acts of Kindness suggested by readers.  The point of these posts isn’t to “brag” about what I’ve been doing, but rather to raise awareness about different organizations in Prince William County and share how you and your family can get involved in making our area a better place to live.  If you’d like to join me in any of my assignments, or if you participate in one on your own, I’d love to get your picture and/or story to share!! I’d love to think this is making a difference, and I hope that you’ll join me! 

My very first “Act of Kindness” was to go and help out at StreetLight Community Outreach Ministries.  This was such a fantastic experience, and I want to give a huge shoutout to the fabulous volunteers from All Saints Church who were also there the night we went to serve, which was January 29th. 

Bonus- you get gloves to wear! How cool are we?

There is a lot going on at StreetLight, and things might seem a little chaotic/unorganized when volunteers initially arrive, but everything ends up working smoothly. 

StreetLight offers supportive housing, crisis aid, a pantry, weekly “Harvest Banquets” (this is where I went), an at-risk youth group, Thanksgiving Eve Dinner, and Children’s Holiday Banquet. There are tons of opportunities for volunteering, including a need for daytime administrative help, which would be a great part-time volunteering gig for a momma with kids in school but not ready to go back to work quite yet.  The office experience would look great on a resume, and you’d be helping facilitate programs for the homeless and hungry in PWC! Love it!

The weekly “Harvest Banquets” occur each Wednesday and serve a HEARTY meal to about 125 men, women, and children.  Prince William County social workers also attend the dinner so they can ensure they are providing services and information to those that need it.  Volunteers are needed during the day to set up and cook, as well as in the evening to serve food and help clean up.  Dinner is served at 7:30 and volunteers arrive at 7.  StreetLight is housed inside Vineyard Church, which is at the corner of Route 1 and the PW Parkway. 

What’s great about the Harvest Banquets is there’s no age limit.  Austin (PwcDad) and I took Riley (10), Logan (7) and Savannah (5) to help, and they weren’t the youngest by any stretch.  Obviously there are a lot of people coming in and out during this event, so you’ll want to make sure that you have adequate adults in your family to work close beside your children, but everyone was able to have a task.  We handed out deserts, but other families with young children were assigned to pouring drinks, scooping out salads, or serving main dishes with a smile.  You can volunteer as a family, or you can sign up with your church, youth group, scout pack, or just a group of friends. We really had a great time.

Handing out cake 🙂 Our friends from Scouts and American Heritage Girls attend All Saints and snapped a few candid shots of me working.  The tiny purple girl in front of me is Savannah.

If you’d like to help but can’t attend, StreetLight keeps a list of needed items and volunteer opportunities on their website.  You can make a donation through your CFC Campaign, come to their fundraisers, or volunteer to pick up groceries. 

Thanks so Jennifer M. for the great first task! I hope that if StreetLight’s mission speaks to you, you’ll take the time to go volunteer, as well!