I mentioned the Christian Service Mission a couple posts ago as one of the organizations working diligently to meet some of the great needs in central Alabama. And on Friday, I finally made it there to give a few hours of my time. Once I got a feel for the work to be done, it was a very productive afternoon.
I know there are some who don’t have the luxury of walking into unfamiliar territory, so here is a little more information on what to do as a volunteer at CSM (based on my own experience).
To Do Tips
When to go: Volunteers are needed whenever the doors are open, and there is always something to do. Most people are more available on the weekends, but if you have the freedom to be flexible or work a non- traditional work schedule, try going on a weekday. Most efforts wrap up by 5 or 6pm on weekdays. Go on your lunch break; stop for an hour or two when passing through town; stay for a day. Just go.
Where to go: Whether following online directions, your GPS, or a traditional map, the address will get you there: 3600 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL. I parked in the lot across the street from the warehouse. Still in doubt? These pictures should help.
It’s pretty simple really. The main tasks seem to be unload donations, sort through donations and organize, pack items for orders from the community, and load up the orders. Personally, I sorted through some of the donations coming in and eventually found myself sorting food donations and packing “ready to eat” boxes to be sent to the community.
What to wear: No requirements that I know of, but I do recommend close-toed shoes. And you may want to factor in the fact that the warehouse can be pretty warm.
Kid-friendly: I saw a number of school-age children helping to sort all kinds of items (with parental/adult supervision of course).
*If any of the above information is incorrect, please correct me in the comments! Thanks.