St. Francis House is located in downtown Boston, just a short 10 minute walk from Anderson & Kreiger. For more than 35 years, it has offered basic care and services that make the difference between hope and despair, and often between life and death for many of Boston’s low income and homeless citizens. This week, Anderson & Kreiger was given the opportunity to work alongside the staff at St. Francis House in their kitchen and clothing distribution center. It was a humbling experience for our volunteers to see first-hand the need for a warm meal and fresh clothes to wear.
A&K volunteers helped in the kitchen for both breakfast and lunch. St. Francis House serves about 220,000 meals a year, offering both breakfast and lunch to people in need – all free of charge and no questions asked every single day of the year. In fact, a member of the St. Francis staff mentioned there has been only ONE morning since its opening in 1984 that the St. Francis House was not open for breakfast due to a water problem in the kitchen. The dedication of the staff to its mission is impressive, to say the least. Anderson & Kreiger volunteers worked in shifts in the kitchen throughout the day, both helping to prepare and serve meals.
St. Francis House is also the largest distributor of clothing to the poor and homeless in Boston. Every month, they distribute more than 1,000 changes of clothing through their Fresh Threads program. A&K volunteers worked to help sort donations and shop for clothes for customers, whether it was for a job interview or just something to keep them warm.
Coordinating a day of service was extremely easy with the staff at St. Francis House. They were able to give A&K a set of dates that had a need of volunteers for the various kitchen and clothing shifts and were able to train A&K volunteers on the spot during their assigned 2-hour shifts. With just a small investment of time, A&K was able to help those vulnerable in our immediate community and it was clear that St. Francis staff and customers appreciated the attention. A&K plans to find ways to partner with St. Francis House in the future and encourages you to do the same.
St. Francis is always in need of volunteers. If you are interested in getting involved, they have a group volunteer request form that can be filled out on their website: https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=403157560.