When OIM staff pack up for the day and lock the doors at 4pm, we know that OIM’s day is not over. Each evening, a team of volunteers will come in and pack up the outreach wagons, and then venture out onto the streets to connect with people and provide much needed supplies.
I’m in the office several evenings each week for our youth programs – so I’m lucky enough to cross paths with many of outreach volunteers. What I’ve noticed is that many of our volunteers do special and thoughtful things as they pack up their outreach wagons.
I get to see Rose, as she packs a small zip lock bag full of tea bags for Larry, who appreciates this gesture each week.
And Jess, who made sure to buy Halloween candy when it was on sale so she will have treats to hand out.
And Doug, who brings a thermos full of hot chocolate on the really cold nights so he can offer a warm drink to our friends.
And Laura, who writes down the name of every person she connects with on the street, and prays for them by name when she returns to the office.
I feel honoured to witness these acts of love. We are so lucky to have such kind and dedicated volunteers who go above and beyond each night. As the winter approaches, pray for our teams who go out no matter the weather. And pray for the folks they meet on the street, that they may feel the love the outreach volunteers have in their hearts, and they may find safety this winter.