Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), a mission partner of Athens First United Methodist Church, provides services and coordinates temporary housing for displaced families in local host churches. During our host weeks, volunteers are needed in a variety of ways, including driving the (IHN) van, spending time with guests (both overnight and in the evening), and providing dinner.
To sign up for a volunteer slot, please register online or email Sarah Beth Barger with your request.
Ways to serve:
- Set-Up-Help set up at AFUMC for our guests.
- Break-Down-Help pack up at AFUMC.
- Dinner Hosts- Dinner hosts prepare a hot meal at either volunteers' homes or in the AFUMC kitchen. Dinner is served in the Hull Conference room on the second floor of AFUMC by 5:30 p.m. Dinner Hosts may stay and eat with the guests or drop dinner off if time is limited. Evening Hosts can help serve dinner. Dinner Hosts can be several families working together or a small group. You will be notified ahead of time with a number of adults and children eating, any dietary allergies and a suggested menu. Dinner Hosts should plan to serve dinner between 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Dinner Hosts can clean up and depart by 6:00 p.m. A menu is already set for the week to ensure variety for our guests and to simplify matters for the volunteers.
- Evening Hosts-Evening hosts mingle with the guests before, during and after dinner. Hosts may conduct children's activities, watch a movie in the theater area, help with homework, or assist a guest with a particular need. Evening Hosts should arrive at 6:00 p.m and plan to stay until the Overnight Hosts arrive around 8:00 p.m.
- Overnight Hosts-Two hosts spend the night at the church. Overnight hosts spend time with guests, help older children with homework, and are available in case of emergency. They wake guests at 6:00 a.m. and leave by 7:00 a.m. Bedtime is usually early during the week. Curfew is 9 p.m. This volunteer slot works great for (2) female friends or (2) male friends who want to catch up, play cards, read a book. Very low key job!! Bring your pillow. Overnight Hosts arrive by 8:00 p.m.
- Drivers-Drivers will be contacted regarding scheduled times, dates, locations to drive. Morning driver will ensure children are taken to day care or school and all parents are taken to job sites or the IHN Day Center. Usually the driver leaves the church between 7 and 7:15 a.m. and returns the van to the IHN Day Center between 8 and 8:15 a.m. Afternoon drivers arrive at the IHN Day Center around 4:30 p.m., pick up the van and leave to pick up children and working guests around 4:45 p.m. Times vary according to guests' work schedules. Driver delivers all guests to the Church by 6:00 p.m. at the latest.