Become a Volunteer

How can you get involved?

Become a Homes with Hope Volunteer.

  • Help on a committee for one of our two annual fundraising events.
  • Organize a food drive at your office or civic group to help supply the Food Pantry.
  • Become a mentor for a woman in the WMI program.
  • Prepare and serve dinner at the Gillespie Center. The need is even greater in the summer months.
  • Encourage your high school student to work with the Bacharach Community staff babysitting children or become a babysitter yourself.
  • Maintain the gardens at one of Homes with Hope’s 10 buildings. Spring or fall cleanup is a great project for a scout troop or sports team.
  • Donate your special skills in the field of photography, writing, graphic design, advertising, sales, or public relations.  A special interest or talent can be a great help to us.

HwH will benefit from any level of commitment you can give.

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Westport Community Kitchen

The Community Kitchen is located in the Gillespie Center, 45 Jesup Road in Westport, behind the Restoration Hardware store. The Community Kitchen Meal Coordinator is Jeff Wieser at jwieser@hwhct.org or 203.226.3426 ext. 14.

Community Kitchen Serving Instructions

If for any reason you are unable to be there on your assigned date, it is important that you call the Community Kitchen Meal Coordinator and the Gillespie Center at 203.226.1661 as soon as possible so other arrangements can be made.

Dinner is from 5:00 – 6:00 PM. The people arrive at 5:00 PM ready to eat. You can consider the dinner hour over at 6:00 PM. Do not serve seconds until 5:20 PM and then only if you can tell that all the guests have been served. Generally there will be a lull in the number of people coming to the serving window indicating that all have had their first helping. Any leftovers that can be used for another meal are good to leave behind. Casseroles can be left if you do not want the pan back; or you can transfer the food into a Gillespie Center pan. All clean-up will be done by the Gillespie Center clients. The dishwasher is a commercial-grade one and the kitchen management prefers that a trained person operate it.

You can add to your experience at the Community Kitchen by eating dinner with the clients. They are curious about who you are and why you’ve agreed to provide the food and generally volunteers are curious about who the clients are and their experience being homeless. We are always glad to have children serve and eat meals. The guests who eat at the Community Kitchen welcome children. In many cases seeing your children will inspire them to become compliant with treatment so that they can be reunited with their own children.

The cooked meals should be brought to the kitchen by 4:45 PM. There is an oven/stove and a small microwave if you need to heat anything. Dinner plates, cups, napkins, utensils and beverages are supplied by the kitchen, although the diners would enjoy lemonade, iced tea or juice. All meals should be well-balanced and enough to feed at least 35 people. Please note that women and children may also eat at the Center and this may be the only cooked meal for many of the people. Fresh fruit is recommended for dessert, although regular desserts are enjoyable as well.

All the people involved in Gillespie Center and Homes with Hope are very appreciative of this essential service you are providing. Please call the Meal Coordinator, with any suggestions for improving our service.

Take-out establishments that have been used in the past:

Angelina’s
Post Plaza Shopping Ctr.
Post Road East
203.227.0865
Calise’s Food Market
734 Post Road East
203.227.3257
Fortuna’s
1244 Post Road East
203.226.3587
Stew Leonard’s
100 Westport Avenue
Norwalk
203.847.7213

Or any of the local take-out pizza restaurants.

P.S. While pasta is an excellent staple, the Community Kitchen serves it many times throughout the week. The dinner clients would always be happy to have something other than ziti, although we are all very thankful for whatever you can do.

Recipe Suggestions from a Fellow Volunteer (click here)

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Food Pantry

The Food Pantry is now open to all who need groceries every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 1pm – 5pm. One pre-packaged bag of groceries can be picked up weekly. In addition, there is periodically a small selection of fresh food available. The Pantry will not be open on holidays. For further information call 203.226.1661.

The Food Pantry provides groceries for those who have a place to cook, but lack the food. All food is donated and there is always a need. The following is a list of suggested items:

Food Items Food Items Non-Food Items
  • Canned tuna fish
  • Mayonnaise
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Pasta, any type
  • Salad dressing: Italian, ranch
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Canned soup
  • Cereal, hot or cold
  • Canned juice
  • Powdered drink mix: iced tea or lemonade
  • Pancake mix
  • Pancake syrup
  • Canned fruit: peaches, pears or fruit cocktail
  • Rice, 1lb. bags
  • Grated cheese
  • Crackers
  • Cooking oil, small bottles
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Salt & pepper
  • Bleach
  • Windex
  • Sponges
  • Dish detergent
  • Comet

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Women’s Mentoring Initiative

Are you . . .

  • A good listener?
  • Compassionate about people in difficult circumstances?
  • Able to relate to people of diverse backgrounds?
  • Respectful of privacy?

Then become a mentor!!

The Women’s Mentoring Initiative (WMI) is a program of Homes with Hope serving women who are experiencing difficulty in their everyday lives. A woman seeking additional support is matched with a mentor, who has volunteered to meet one-on-one for an hour each week for six months, to help her create a more self-sufficient, successful life for herself and her family.

Mentors are volunteers, recruited from the community, who are trained to listen and provide support. Mentors include working women, retired professionals, stay-at-home mothers and single women. Mentors receive support and training from the WMI Program Director. Through weekly one-on-one meetings, trained volunteer mentors, under the supervision of a HwH program director, offer compassion, guidance and friendship, fostering confidence and self-reliance.

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