“Jesus says in John 20:21, ‘As the Father sent me, send I you,’” said Dr. Mark Vowels, the director of the Center for Global Opportunities. Vowels went on to say that in this passage, Jesus was not calling us to be the Savior of mankind or to be born of a virgin but for us to spread the Gospel and help people in need.
“Jesus came and made disciples, not only by proclaiming Gospel truth but by serving and encouraging people,” Vowels said. “To the extent that we can do those things, we should be doing both.”
This was Vowels’ answer for why volunteering in the community is so important. There are many ways to serve the community right here in Greenville, but several non-profit organizations in Greenville especially need volunteers in the upcoming holiday season. If you’re interested in reaching out to the Greenville community in this way, but don’t know where to get started, here are a few organizations that you can contact.
Miracle Hill’s Shepherd’s Gate is located at 11 Regency Hill Drive across the street from the women’s residence hall side of campus. It’s a shelter specifically for women and mothers with young children who are experiencing homelessness.
Volunteers are usually female. Male volunteers can sometimes come and work on the maintenance of the exterior of the building but would not be allowed inside.
Women students can volunteer in groups, such as through societies, and serve meals to the women at Shepherd’s Gate or simply visit and talk with them. Shepherd’s Gate also has a time set aside for volunteers to come in and give devotions. Individuals can also volunteer to work at Shepherd’s Gate’s front desk, doing tasks such as answering phones.
Anyone interested in volunteering at Shepherd’s Gate can contact Anne Hill, the volunteer coordinator. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Hill asks that volunteers contact her with at least a month’s notice.
Another place students can volunteer is Camp Spearhead, a camp serving those over the age of 8 with special needs. Camp Spearhead meets at the Primary Center next to BJU for their Weekend Program. From the Primary Center, Spearhead takes its campers to places like Fisher’s Orchard or a Swamp Rabbits hockey game.
People can volunteer for the Weekend Program through the website greenvillerec.com/support-spearhead/ by submitting an application. Those interested in volunteering should expect a background check.
Every Monday, Josh Wall, who works for Camp Spearhead, sends out an email to volunteers listing everything Camp Spearhead has planned for the weekend. If volunteers can help that weekend, they can reply to this email.
Wall said volunteers work as counselors for a day. He said it is important that volunteers are active and engaged with campers, making it a fun camp experience.
Another program students can volunteer for is Special Olympics Greenville, which is located at 4806 Old Spartanburg Road in Taylors. Students can volunteer in roles such as a coach or a sports buddy, playing alongside the athletes and supporting them. Interested students can contact Lara Ceisel at LaraCeisel@greenville.org. They should expect a background check.
Students interested in teaching God’s Word to young people can volunteer for the Christian Learning Center of Greenville located at 410 Pelham Road. This organization brings the Gospel to middle school and high school children through Bible classes. Volunteer positions include program coordinator, teacher, assistant or driver.
The CLC normally takes groups of volunteers through local churches, but individuals can get an application to volunteer at www.clcofgreenville.org/volunteer.
Students can print their completed applications and bring them to the CLC office on Pelham Road. Students will go through an interview process before they can volunteer.