We kickstarted the # I SERVE initiative at Concordia this summer. When we serve out in the community, we are joining the mission to take the church into the world. That is one important way we grow in living and loving like Jesus.
The idea behind # I SERVE is simple.
When we choose one specific project for a specific day and time, as we do at Thanksgiving when we feed the homeless of Chula Vista, we do good in our community. But we also limit the impact we have as a church because not everyone has space in their schedule to commit to the same day and time. The idea behind # I SERVE is that we release the entire church into the community to do good, in Jesus’ name, on their own time, in a way that fits their own schedule, and in a way that connects with their personal passion.
# I SERVE will take place during the month of August. Our goal is that a minimum of 50 people from Concordia intentionally choose a place to serve in the community during the month of August, at a time that works for them.
If you are stuck for ideas, we will be sharing fresh ideas on this page every week on Tuesday from July 16th to August 26th. Check back often. Share your own ideas for serving out in our community with Melissa Salomon at email@example.com so we can post ideas to “jump-start” people’s thinking.
Remember, our goal is that at least 50 people from Concordia participate in # I SERVE during the month of August. Let’s see what God will do in our hearts, our lives, our community, and our church.
And share the excitement with others by taking a photo with our “# I SERVE” postcards (available in the lobby and promo board by July 16th) and sending it to Community Life Coordinator Melissa Salomon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A small act can have a big impact! Start praying about what you can do.
Jump Start Ideas
- Join with the Beautify Chula Vista effort! Serve in your community on Saturday, October 19 from 8:30am to noon at one of these locations: Memorial Park, Loma Verde Recreation Center or the CV Golf Course. Bring gloves, water and your own lunch. Volunteers must register prior to the event at www.beautifychulavista.org.
- Fredericka Manor. New Opportunities. Contact: (You could also check out opportunities with Fredericka Manor, 183 3rd Ave. CV 800-310-4696 or Sunrise at Bonita, 3302 Bonita RD. CV 619-470-2220) . See if something here piques your interest: Photographer for monthly magazine. Member of the Grounds and Maintenance committee. Helping with the spring and fall seasons of Dart Baseball, shopping for goodie bags for the winners. Ushering at Vespers, Proof reader for The Reporter.
Week Eight (See more ideas below)
- Want to visit a lonely senior in your community? Jewish Family Services serve all families in San Diego and have a program called “Friendly Visitors”. Find out more at https://jfssd.org/volunteer/serve-older-adults/
- Help keep seniors in their homes in your community and provide a hot meal and a friendly face with Meals on Wheels. More info here https://www.meals-on-wheels.org/volunteer/meal-delivery
- Nursing staff at hospitals work 12 hour shifts and care for people in our community when they are at the most vulnerable. Bake up a box of brownie mix and take some brownies to any floor of nurses. Hospitals in our area: Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center 751 Medical Center Ct. CV 91911Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, 435 H. Street, CV 91910
- Offer to babysit for a military family so they can have a date night!
- Reading Legacies helps support those incarcerated stay connected with their children or siblings. We go in teams and videotape them reading a story to their child/siblings. It’s an easy way to serve. You would need to attend an orientation and fill out clearance paperwork with the Sheriff’s Dept. Contact Melissa@concordiachurch.com or you can respond directly to email@example.com for more information.
Current Saturday workshops for juvenile detainees (probation department):
- Girls Rehab Facility (behind the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility by Juvenile Hall) – 1st Saturday of each month – 9am
- Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility – boys (near Juvenile Hall) – 2nd Saturday of each month – 12pm
- East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility – boys (Otay Mesa past Donovan and behind George Bailey) – 3rd Saturday of each month – 9am
Current Saturday workshops for adult inmates (sheriff’s department):
- Vista Detention Facility (in Vista, men) – 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month – 1:15pm
Possible additions for juvenile detainees (probation department):
- Another workshop at East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility (boys)
- Urban Camp (boys) – located behind Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility near Juvenile Hall
Possible additions for adult inmates (sheriff’s department):
- East Mesa Reentry Facility – men (Otay Mesa across the parking lot from George Bailey)
Week Seven: (See more ideas below)
- Host a “Bless Someone” party. Gather friends and family in your home one evening. Assemble a list of items you wish to pack for the homeless. Ask people on your list to bring one of the items (enough for the ziplock bags you intend to pack). Order pizza and gather for a fun time. Get all the kids involved. A family from Concordia does this every fall with her family as an exercise in gratitude and gratefulness to God. She shared: “I usually ask friends to donate water bottles, packs of socks, underwear, wipes, travel size toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap bars, chapstick, non perishable items such as granola bars, pretzels, chips.” Then deliver them that week to the homeless or distribute them to the people who packed and ask them to carry them in their cars and serve those they encounter that are homeless or in need. It’s a great way to train yourself to “see” the need around us.
- Lutheran Immigration and Refuge Service has served nationwide for 80 years. They partner with community agencies in San Diego. If you want to volunteer fill out this form: HERE
Week Six (See more ideas below)
- We are a Navy community too! How about baking some easy bars or brownies for a navy unit or team? I have in mind a unit in an intense training period and other teams I could recommend, that would so appreciate this. P.S. Make it easy and use a box mix!
- How about baking some treats to deliver to our neighborhood firehouse: Firehouse Station 7 located at 1640 Santa Venetia Street. Let them know you are from the local Concordia Church wanting to serve in our community.
- Military families often do not have extended family to help with children and you could give military couples a date night! How about volunteering for a military night out on a friday? Hosted here at church. We would need 5 women volunteers (ages 16+) to provide childcare for 3 hours.
- Do you and your family like to hike on the weekend? There are so many trails to use and enjoy nature. How about collecting trash along the trail? This is something the whole family can get behind! Try it.
Week Five (See more ideas below)
- If you have the next door app (an online community sharing and neighborhood watch site that allows only those who live in a particular neighborhood to participate. Available for all neighborhoods), post your interest in helping be a reading tutor for a student that needs more reading practice or help in your own neighborhood.
- Sign up with Melissa Salomon to be a tutor for elementary aged children of Camarena Elementary school. This is a special program begun by the principal, Dr. McLaren.
- Help an elder neighbor in your community by offering to take them clothes shopping or grocery shopping. Just having the opportunity to be out and visit with a caring person can do a world of good.
- Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Be a part of a building crew. Two houses are currently being built. One is in El Cajon and one is in Barrio Logan. Check out the opportunities at www.habitat.org Set up an account and check you heard about Habitat through a house of worship and enter Concordia Church so that they can track volunteers from our church. There is an orientation build and then a full day building day. You can also volunteer at their ReStore. You can also volunteer (if you have a Thrivent product you can apply Action Team Funds) to take a crew a lunch or water. Ages 16 and up.
- Make small blankets or a small flower bouquet to drop off at the Bonita View Hospice House or the Sharp Chula Vista Birch Patrick Convalescent Center. Great for families with young children.
Week Four (See Ideas for Weeks 1-3 below)
- Volunteer and serve vulnerable women at a Pregnancy Center.
1220 Third Ave. Ste 1
Chula Vista, CA 91911 (619) 425-5012
Chula Vista Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 12:00pm Additional hours on Tuesdays, 1:00 – 4:00pm Second Saturday of each month 9:00am – 12:00pm
In Office Opportunities (4 hours/week)
- Client Advocate: Works one-on-one with a family providing life-affirming referrals and resources.
- Translators: Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and other languages needed.
- Receptionist: Welcomes clients, prepares client charts, files, answers telephone and other general office work.
- Donations Organizer: Help us sort, organize and display clothing, shoes, books, toys, baby items, food and diapers.
- Data Entry: Enter information into our computer programs.
- Book Readers : Come in during office hours and read to children in the waiting room. For many of these children, this will be their only opportunity to be read to or read to an adult.
2. Volunteer with the elderly at nursing facilities in Chula Vista. At Birch Patrick 751 Med. Ctr Ct. Chula Vista, CA 91910 (619) 502-3540 (follow the prompts to sign up to volunteer HERE)
No matter your skills or interests, our diverse range of volunteer positionsallows you to choose the best way to make your passions count. Some of the many important roles you could fill include:
- Assisting staff throughout the hospital campus, including all patient floors, emergency department, Birch Patrick Convalescent Center and Douglas & Nancy Barnhart Cancer Center
- Greeting and escorting patients and visitors
- Patient support through integrative services
- Providing clerical support to hospital departments
- Running errands for hospital departments
- Provide courtesy shuttle services to patients, visitors and employees on campus
- Provide customer service support at Sharp Chula Vista Auxiliary’s gift shop
(You could also check out opportunities with Fredericka Manor, 183 3rd Ave. CV 800-310-4696 or Sunrise at Bonita, 3302 Bonita RD. CV 619-470-2220)
3. Bake muffins and take a few to a couple of your neighbors for no reason. Just to say hello.
4. Do you know of a neighbor that is ill? Take over a baked item.
5. Are there artistic expression gifts in your family? You might consider Adopt an art-on-a-box (decorate a traffic control box) Go to https://www.chulavista.gov/departments/public-works/volunteer-programs/art-on-a-box-program
Week Three (See Ideas for Week One and Two below, too!)
Wild Willow Farm. Teens will learn about sustainable farming and the food system as they help with chores. Young children can’t volunteer in the fields, but they can assist with feeding animals and composting.
Tecolote Canyon Natural Park & Nature Center – Become a Watering & Weeding Warrior. It happens every 3rd Saturday of each month 9:00am-11:00am; all ages OK, but children under 13 yrs old must be accompanied by a parent. It is not recommended for children under 10 because there is the occasional rattlesnake and there is poison ivy. To begin – just show up and sign in. 5180 Tecolote Rd. San Diego 92110. ph. 858-581-9944
South Bay Community Services. Volunteers may be as young as 5 if a parent accompanies. If no parent is present, then you may be as young as 13 with parent permission. If interested in volunteering, fill out an application online. In the menu bar select Volunteer under the Join Us menu item. Scroll and click on Volunteer Steps. Once you are signed up they will send you a confirmation and you should be good to go! They have only two opportunities in August. The next one is located in National City at 8:30am on August 5th. After you create your volunteer account, you should be able to sign up for them online. If questions, call or visit the facility. 619-420-3620 open regular business hours. 430 F St. Chula Vista, CA 91910
Volunteer with your local library. Volunteers assist in the three branches of the library through the Friends of the Library. Volunteers assist with tutoring, homework help, shelving materials, and many other tasks. Go HERE and choose a youth (ages 15½ and up) or adult volunteer form.
Many neighborhoods now have large mailbox centers. Adopt the mailbox (or a few) in your neighborhood. Do a monthly cleaning. Remove old tape, clean off and keep an eye out for graffiti to remove. Maybe even tape a note of thanks to your mail carrier to the back of the box (that the mail carrier uses to sort the mail).
Week Two (See ideas for Week One below, too!)
San Diego County Animal Shelter – Bonita
Must pass a background check and medical screening. Must commit to a minimum of 12 hours per month.
An additional program associated with the same place is to foster kittens for a few weeks. Must be 18 yrs old.
If you are interested in volunteering, the first step is to complete an online application at San Diego Department of Animal Services. In the menu select “Volunteer Programs” under “DONATE/VOLUNTEER”. If you have questions, call or visit the facility (619-767-2675).
5821 Sweetwater Rd. Bonita, CA 91902, open Tu-Su 9:30am-5:30pm, closed on Mondays and holidays.
Beach Cleanup. Take the kids to the beach. Talk about the effect of trash on marine life. Pick up trash. Have a picnic afterward! Great for families with young kids.
If you want to be part of a large beach clean up effort, check out the Surfrider Foundation.
Open to all ages but minors must be accompanied by parent or bring parent signed waiver print-out. Sign up online at Surfrider Foundation – San Diego. In the menu select “Volunteer” under “Get Involved” and scroll down to find an event. If you have any questions call their office (858-800-2282).
Volunteer at your local public library.
Ages 15½ and older. Volunteer to assist the librarian. Other types of volunteering such as homework help require more extensive registration. You must complete an online volunteer application at chulavistaca.gov, select “Departments” in the menu, then select “Library”. If you have any questions call or visit:
Otay Ranch Mall Branch – 2015 Birch Rd #409, Chula Vista 91915, 619-397-574, hours 11am-7pm
South Chula Vista Branch – 389 Orange Ave., Chula Vista 91911, 619-585-5755, hours 10am-8pm M-Th
North Chula Vista, Civic Center Branch – 365 F St., Chula Vista 91910, 619-691-5069, hours 10am-8pm M-Th
Bonita Branch – 4375 Bonita Rd., Bonita 91902, 619-475-4642, hours 9:30am-5:30pm M-F
Volunteer at the ParentCare Family Recovery Center. It’s a rehab program for women and they support ongoing sobriety for their clients. They need a variety of volunteer assistance. You can help with their client store and food program. You can help as greeters/intake and processing women and children who come to the program. They need help with organizing donations and supplies and shredding and a variety of office tasks. There are an application form and a background check that only takes 2-3 days to clear. For people ages 18 and over.
The center is conveniently located off the 805 freeway and 43rd street exit (about 20 minutes from Concordia), behind the Northgate Supermarket.
Adopt your street or block and pick up trash every week. Great for families with young children.
Volunteer with Feeding San Diego (For ages 6 and up) Contact them to set up a volunteer time.
Volunteer for a two-hour shift sorting food that will be used in food pantries and food programs to serve those in need.
Volunteer with Reading Legacies. They serve those in drug rehab programs or incarcerated by recording a parent reading to their child to preserve the parent/child bond and support reading in their homes.
If you are interested in serving here, buddy up with Melissa Salomon, Community Life Coordinator.
Offer to walk a neighbor’s dog.
Pack a ziplock gallon bag with items for the homeless (granola bars, water, deodorant, washcloth, etc) and keep in the car. Pray with your family that you can serve someone in need. When you see a homeless person, give it to them! (Good for families with young children.)