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City Description

Philadelphia is rich in both its history and its diversity. Best known for its neighborhoods, historical sites, pop-up gardens, events, and food, Philadelphia is a popular East Coast destination. Volunteers live in an apartment in the Chinatown section of the city within walking distance to great restaurants, parks, historical sites, galleries, many outdoor festivals, and even some of our service sites! Volunteers utilize public transportation as it is very accessible in this urban environment.

Housing: apartment (2 floors)
Transportation: public
Number of Volunteers: 4

Service Site Descriptions

Catherine’s Cupboard at Gwynedd Mercy University

Mission: To root our learning community in the following core values core values: Integrity in Word and Deed, Respect for the Dignity of Each Person, Service to Society, and Social Justice in a Diverse World.

This position is based in Catherine’s Cupboard (CC), a program within the Office of Campus Ministry that supports students struggling to meet their basic needs. The program originated as a traditional food pantry for those experiencing food insecurity and has expanded to offer healthy grab and go snacks between classes along with financial assistance for on-campus dining options and to support commuters’ transportation costs. A volunteer is needed as a pantry coordinator/program assistant, aiding in daily operations such as intake and tracking of donations, receiving and sorting food deliveries, assisting students as they utilize CC, facilitating students’ use of the app to order food, and increasing awareness of the services within the community.

Site Details

Website: www.gmercyu.edu/mercy-tradition/catherines-cupboard
Skills: Social Services, Food Insecurity, Public Health, Campus Ministry

Nationalities Service Center

Mission: To welcome and empower immigrants to thrive in our communities and pursue a just future.

Nationalities Service Center provides comprehensive services to immigrants and refugees, including legal protections, community integration, access to health and wellness services, and opportunities to achieve English language proficiency. NSC serves 5,000 clients from over 100 countries, with many of their programs specifically targeting the most vulnerable immigrants such as refugees, asylum seekers, victims of trafficking and survivors of domestic violence. A volunteer is needed to serve as a food access liaison where they will staff and promote the on-site food pantry, receive food deliveries, provide nutrition education to clients, and build partnerships to obtain additional pantry items. Proficiency in Spanish is preferred but not required.

Website: www.nscphila.org
Skills: Immigrant and Refugee Services, Food Insecurity, Public Health

Project H.O.M.E.

Mission: To provide permanent solutions to homelessness and poverty through housing, education, employment, health care, and the revitalization of a low-income community.

Project H.O.M.E. provides a continuum of services for children, youth and adults who are homeless/chronically homeless. These include street outreach; supportive, transitional, and permanent housing options; community-based supportive employment and education opportunities for youth and adults. Project H.O.M.E. also provides education and advocacy to the larger community on behalf of and in collaboration with homeless and low- income persons for more just and humane public policies. A volunteer is needed as a case aide/outreach worker, providing outreach services to homeless individuals on the street and assessing and providing services to those who come to the office.

Website: www.projecthome.org
Skills: Social Work, Homeless Street Outreach, Office Management, Resource Facilitation

Sanctuary Farm

Mission: To address the health inequities resulting from systemic racial oppression and economic injustice by converting abandoned and neglected areas in our community into spaces that promote safety, hospitality, nutrition, and growth.

Sanctuary Farm seeks systemic change by helping to improve the overall health of the community, recognizing that healthcare must address the body, mind and spirit and that an individual’s health is intimately connected with the health of one’s nutrition, community and all of creation. They convert abandoned lots into gardens that grow produce which is then distributed free to the community through a twice weekly produce stand and in conjunction with educational opportunities with partnering organizations. They offer on-site programs such as therapeutic gardening and a local summer camp for children. A volunteer is needed to serve as a community program manager, overseeing the development and implementation of all programs, including working with volunteers, planning new programs and recruiting community members.

Website: www.sanctuaryfarmphila.org
Skills: Social Work, Communication, Environmental Studies, Public Health, Food Insecurity

Witness to Innocence

Mission: To abolish the death penalty by empowering exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones to become effective leaders in the abolition movement.

Witness to Innocence (WTI) is the only national organization in the United States composed of and led by exonerated death row survivors and their family members. Their purpose is to bring death row exonerees together as a collective force, for mutual peer empowerment and peer support, so that survivors can continue to be leaders in the movements to abolish the death penalty. A volunteer is needed as a program and communications coordinator. The volunteer will create and write op-ed pieces, newsletters and website content; maintain a database of supportive resources; attend and help plan membership events including their annual gathering; assist with data-entry; and participate in committee work.

Website: www.witnesstoinnocence.org
Skills: Advocacy, Criminal Justice, Project Management, Communications 

REFLECTIONS FROM VOLUNTEERS WHO SERVED IN PHILADELPHIA

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