October 21, 2015

Volunteering for Dinner Service

André House is grateful to the thousands of volunteers who come to our building every year to assist us in helping those in desperate need. The minimum age to volunteer for our Dinner Service is 14 yrs.  It would be impossible to serve so many without the tremendous generosity of others.  Here are some points of information and some necessary guidelines that will ensure a positive, safe volunteer experience for all who desire to help.

1.      Time

Dinner Service:  Please plan on arriving at 3:00pm for dinner preparation.  Due to the preparation that is required to complete the meal by 5:30pm it is imperative that you arrive by 3:00pm. After dinner (which is served from 5:30 – 6:30pm) there will be a period of cleanup which lasts until approximately 7:00pm.

2.     Address

The André House Hospitality Center is located at 213 S 11th Ave Phoenix, AZ  85007.  We are on the corner of 11th Ave and Jackson St (two blocks south of Jefferson), in downtown Phoenix.  The meal is served at this address. Our parking lot is on the east side of our building.  Enter the building through the gate with the sign “Volunteer Entrance”.

3.     Dress

Because of the nature of the work, casual attire is appropriate.  “Work clothes” (T-shirt, jeans/shorts, tennis shoes) are recommended; however, County regulations require closed-toed shoes (no sandals, flip-flops, etc.)  We request clothing be modest & display no suggestive or vulgar wording or graphics as we promote a positive, non-threatening environment.  If an André House staff member determines an article of clothing is not in keeping with our guidelines, the volunteer may be asked to wear an apron or to leave; the decision is solely at the staff member’s discretion and is final.  We do not require a hair net to be worn but ask that it be tied back and away from the face.

4.     Contact with the Guests

One of the benefits of volunteering at André House is having the opportunity to interact with our guests.  This may occur simply by handing someone a tray of food or a cup of coffee, or it may happen when one is walking among the tables and engages in a conversation with a guest.  As we try to promote a sense of community at André House, this is to be welcomed.  We do ask that people be aware that many of our guests may have a history of serious mental illness and/or criminal behavior (drugs, sex offense, etc.)  While interacting with the guests at our facility can be harmless and rewarding, it is against André House policy for volunteers to give out any personal information, especially phone numbers, email addresses, etc, or to agree to meet with them off André House’s property.  We ask that parents and those responsible for minors be especially attentive to the safety of those in their care.

5.     Safety

All staff and volunteers should be safe when serving at André House.  Our guests are typically very grateful for our services and will usually express their gratitude.  However, due to the nature of our environment, we ask that volunteers be alert to their surroundings.  Minors need to be supervised at all times at André House.  If there is an altercation among the guests (for example, an argument or fight) please do not step in or try to settle the matter.  The staff has experience in how to handle almost any situation.

6.     Overall experience

Volunteering at André House can be very positive and rewarding.  Almost everyone leaves with a sense that more was received during the experience than given.  A service heart, an open mind and an eye for safety will result in a wonderful time for all – the guests, the volunteers & the staff.  Thank you to all who generously and willingly serve at André House!

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