In the spirit of Volunteer Appreciation Week, City Rescue Mission currently has over 800 active volunteers who help City Rescue Mission serve over 700 people on any given day. With three locations, and over 20 different ways to volunteer, it would take City Rescue Mission a lifetime to acknowledge each individual, or group for their service to CRM and the Jacksonville community.
One of the most consistent volunteer groups making an impact for City Rescue Mission and Jacksonville is CRM’s Clothing Closet. Established by Jerri Lynn Tedrick in 2005, Jerri Lynn and her team of over 10 volunteers dedicate their weeks to take care of over 145 individuals a month. Just in the month of March, the Clothing Closet team put in over 196 volunteer hours, and distributed over 2400 items. “It all started after simply serving a meal for guests coming into CRM’s New Life Inn. My husband and I thought we were just going to be helping with food service one weekend when, the next thing we know, we are serving our neighbors in need each week, providing clothes, hygiene items, jewelry and even perfume,” stated founder Jerri Lynn Tedrick. Every Thursday beginning at 9:00a.m., women are brought up to the Clothing Closet, having already filled out a personalized needs list that includes their size for each clothing item, and any other personal care items they might be deprived of. Each guest is limited to attending once a month due to the high demand City Rescue Mission finds in the Jacksonville Community. The actual Closet is open half a day on Thursday’s, however throughout the week, volunteers are out shopping for new clothes and working in the storage units where items are being stored. The Clothing Closet is not limited to women and their children who call the streets their home. Recipients of the Clothing Closet may be in need for appropriate apparel for a job interview or even require the proper clothing needed to suit their current occupation for those whose jobs do not provide uniforms. The Clothing Closet also provides clothing necessary for men and women students enrolled in the City Rescue Missions LifeBuilders addiction recovery program. “The needs are great but demand for resources are greater,” according to Penny Kievet, CRM’s Executive Director, “We could not do this without our wonderful volunteers.” The needs come in different dimensions, but the cohesion is that whether they are homeless, employed, or unemployed, there is a hardship that City Rescue Mission’s volunteers and supporters help meet each day.
To get involved with the Clothing Closet or any other volunteer opportunities available through City Rescue Mission, you can contact Dennis Barnard, Volunteer Coordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org