Simple Service: Ideas to get your Christian Service Hours done quickly

Courtesy SF Marin Food Bank

Ella Mulligan '19, Copy Editor

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Everyone knows how vital service hours are to the Marin Catholic community, but sometimes it feels like there is never enough time to complete the required 100. However, there are many easy ways to receive service hours while staying local and having a good time!  Participating in service work can be an unexpected, engaging activity to do with your friends while still being a part of the community and making a positive difference.  So whether you are trying to complete the minimum 100 hours or shoot for the stars and go above and beyond the benchmark, (200 Club, am I right?) these service opportunities are a fun way to complete your hours.

SF Marin Food Bank

The SF-Marin Food Bank has two locations, one in South Novato as well as San Francisco, and is open nearly everyday of the week. As someone who frequently visits this organization, I can vouch that the food bank is quite fun to work at. Volunteers normally work in three hour shifts with a half hour break in the middle. 

While working, volunteers can expect to work on sorting various types of produce, meat, or even condiments into large boxes that will later be taken to the local food pantry as well as work on bagging rice into small plastic bags and sealing them up. While this work may seem repetitive and boring, it is actually quite fun and can also be used to take your mind off of anything that is currently stressing you out. Shifts on the weekends normally begin at 9 o’clock in the morning but they are quick to fill up! Go to www.sfmfoodbank.org for more details.

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin

The Marin chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society is located in San Rafael and is a vital part of the community in supporting the homeless and impoverished of Marin.  There are a portion of our service hours that must be spent with the homeless, and St. Vincent’s is a great place to spend those hours at. Depending on the time and day that you work, volunteers can expect to either work in the kitchen chopping vegetables and preparing the day’s meals, working in the back room packaging up different snack foods into Ziploc bags to hand out to people on their way out, or serving people in the dining room. Before volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul, volunteers must participate in a short introduction at the venue to become familiarized with the facility.  After completion of the introduction, volunteers can work shifts that last from and hour and a half to two hours.  St. Vincent’s is an amazing place that really focuses on helping the homeless and impoverished men, women, and children of our community.  Go to www.vinnies.org for more information on how to get involved.

Gilead House

Gilead House is an organization in Novato that focuses on helping homeless, single mothers with children get back on their feet.  If you are looking to volunteer somewhere outside of food service, Gilead House is definitely the place to go.  Volunteers can take part in childcare while the mothers of the home learn valuable life skills for when they go out into the world or join Gilead House on one of their many service days where volunteers take part in tasks like gardening, painting the house, and other repairs.  Volunteers can stay for either an hour or two hours and hang out with some of the many excited, young children running around the house, or participate in one of their service days, coming up on August 19, September 16, October 21, and November 18.  As someone who has done a large chunk of her service hours at Gilead House, I can assure everyone that working here is a blast.  The kids are always excited to see someone new in the house and to have someone to play with.  If you like working with children and are ready to handle anything that gets thrown at you, Gilead House is the place to go!  Visit www.gileadhouse.org for information on volunteering and lending a helping hand.

These are just a handful of the wonderful service sites where MC students can volunteer.  If you would like a broader list of different service venues in Marin County, check the Forms and Links section on MC Connect, and have a fun and fulfilling time serving those in your community!    

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