The Sanctuary Volunteers in the Delray Beach Community

About two years ago, we noticed that there were too many guys just hanging around the houses all day playing video games and watching tv. We instituted a “no tv during the day rule” and tried to better enforce the “get a job or go to school” rule, but nothing seemed to work with any consistency. At that point, I was given the task to try to find local volunteer opportunities, so that at least we could get everyone out of the house every morning. After looking around a little, I came up with three sound ideas.

1) As I worked part time at Crossroads (one of two Delray meeting clubs) and knew we used volunteers there, I asked my boss if the Sanctuary could furnish volunteers there every day. He was ok with that, and, as a result, the Sanctuary had one or two guys there every morning. Not only was it a good thing for them to do, but it gave them a wide range of meetings to attend and support people (even sponsors) to meet.

2) As I drove around Delray, it was impossible not to notice the number of parks, and I wondered who took care of them all. So I contacted Delray Parks and Recreation people, and soon we started daily park maintenance projects that ranged from adopting our own park (Currie Commons) to mulching and painting all over the city. Basically, we work from 9-11am Monday thru Friday. And a few times a year, we help organize the various Atlantic Avenue evening events. In this regard, the Sanctuary has been cited for all that we have done around the City of Delray.

3) Finally, the soup kitchen. Every Thursday morning, we rendezvous with a truck at the Cros Mininstry storage facility in Lake Worth. We unload the truck and sort the food onto pallets in their various storage bins. Occasionally, too, we help them out with their community food drives. Again, the Sanctuary has received several letters of thanks for our efforts with Cros Ministries.

So that’s pretty much it. The guys get out every morning. We do productive things. Currently, we are painting along A1A just north of Atlantic. It’s tough out there by the beach, but, you know, someone has to do it!

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